Local church offers program to help divorced during holidays

Friday, December 4, 2009 | 11:53 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — John Lennon and Paul McCartney said it best with their lyrics “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

The holiday season is difficult for many people, with stress from family obligations or finding the right present for everyone on their list. Dealing with all of these alone seems hard to imagine.

If you go

What: Surviving the Holidays seminar

Where: The Crossing church, 3615 Southland Drive

When: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday

Cost: $10, which includes workbook, child care and brunch

This year, The Crossing church is hosting an event to help divorced and separated members of the Columbia community get by, with help from friends.

“Surviving the Holidays” is a two-hour seminar created by Church Initiative specially designed to provide support and tips for getting through the stressful season.

Difficulties for people who are divorced or separated are intensified during the holiday season, said Michele Mayer, event coordinator and DivorceCare facilitator at the Crossing.

Mayer and her husband, Warren, were asked by their pastor to become involved in the divorce ministry at The Crossing, since they had both gone through the experience. They currently volunteer by leading a multi-week DivorceCare support series, another Church Initiative program at the church.

This year, they decided to offer this seminar to bring support and hope to Columbia’s hurting for the first time.

“Surviving the Holidays” begins with a video, filled with testimonies from people who have gone through the difficulties, as well as experts who offer guidance in all aspects, from lawyers to counselors. Small group discussions follow the video, where participants are encouraged to share their experiences and difficulties, so they can work through them and maybe help someone else in the group, Mayer said.

The event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, is intended to be an outreach program for the church, said Mayer. Anyone in the community is welcome to attend.

The event costs $10, which includes brunch, a workbook and child care if needed. Registration is available online, but participants are able to go to The Crossing the day of the event and sign up.

Mayer said people are encouraged to sign up online at The Crossing’s Web site, though, so the organizers can get an accurate count of how many people are coming so they can have brunch for everyone.

Since it’s the first year hosting the event, Mayer said she doesn’t have a specific goal for how many people she wants to show up. She said she’d be happy to sit and eat brunch and provide support for one solitary person if that’s all who showed up.

“We want to help them find hope,” Mayer said.

Mayer said her goal would be for people who are hurting to hear about the event and feel motivated to come and see what they can learn.



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Brian Daniel December 6, 2009 | 5:20 p.m.
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