Community Life & Relationships Seminar Talks

speakerRecently, we held a Community Life & Relationships Seminar.  We wanted to make the sessions available in the hopes that they may be helpful to you.

Session 1: A Biblical View of Relationships (audio; Bryan Stoudt)

Session 2: Overcoming Obstacles to Healthy Relationships (audio; Liz Mosebrook)

Dating & Marriage Seminar (extensive notes only; Bryan & Sharon Stoudt)

The audio files must be downloaded before playing.  A special thanks to Scott Hoeckele for his work on the audio recordings!

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Community Life & Relationships Seminar Update

Community Life & Relationships Seminar Group ShotJust wanted to provide a short update on all that God did at our Community Life & Relationships Seminar this past Saturday.

God answered your prayers in bringing out 32 people to learn more about what it means to live in community and approach relationships from a biblical perspective.

I opened our time together with a biblical framework and overview on relationships, then Liz Mosebrook (a counselor) did a great job helping us ‘diagnose’ the common relational challenges we struggle with, and, providing specific help in moving forward.  Especially helpful was a time of personal reflection where we had the opportunity to consider where we struggle in particular, and, set specific goals for progress.

Later, one student mentioned that God had shown her that, while she was willing to put herself in risky situations physically, she has been less willing to do that on a relational level.  Seeing this disconnect in her life was very helpful and will be a blessing in moving forward.

After a fantastic lunch, we ended the day with two seminars, one on dating and relationships (Sharon & I), and one on life in community (Nurse Practitioner Deborah Moss).  These were rich times of teaching and personal interaction.

On a related note, Deborah has been casting vision for forming intentional community among healthcare students, and several have expressed a desire to possibly live together in North Philadelphia beginning in the summer or fall.  Among other things, it’s our hope that these students would both gain a heart for using healthcare to serve the underserved, and, be blessed by all that these communities have to offer.  Stay tuned as God unfolds this story!

As you can see, God blessed our time together.  Thanks again for your prayers!

Prayer Needed: Community Life & Relationships Seminar TOMORROW

puzzle piecesPlease pray for our Community Life & Relationships Seminar tomorrow (Saturday) morning from 9am-12pm, with optional seminars running afterwards until 2pm.

We’ll be thinking about God’s vision for relationships, the obstacles we encounter in them, and, how we can practically grow in this area.

More specifically, please ask God to:

  • bring those who would most benefit, and, to give them receptive, teachable hearts through His Spirit;
  • help the many details to come together and go smoothly;
  • bless Sharon, Liz Mosebrook, Deborah Moss, and I as we provide the teaching;
  • work in our lives long after the seminar ends; we are asking God to use this event as a springboard toward lasting change that honors him and blesses many others through those who attend.

Summer Half-time Report

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s already past ‘half-time’ for our summer.  Although the students are scattered far and wide, many are in the area and we have been busy seizing the opportunities God is giving us.  Here are some first-half highlights!

Penn Dental

For years now, we’ve been trying to connect with our city’s dental campuses, Penn and Temple.  (After all, we are the Christian Medical & Dental Associations!)  However, with fewer dental students and professionals in the area, connections have been harder to come by.  Recently, though, we met Brianna and she brought 6 other Penn Dental students to our home for a night of connecting, sharing and dreaming about what it might look like to reach Penn Dental for Christ.  At the end, Brianna invited us to spend more time on campus and support them in the year ahead.

Bible Study Dinners

With so many students around, we decided to continue our bible study meals during June and July.  Although attendance is more sporadic with summer plans, we’ve averaged 15 and experienced the same great fellowship and significant interactions we’re used to all year.  This summer, our focus has been “The Things That Really Matter”, with 2 Timothy as our guide.

The Love Bug

Many of our students are in various stages of relationships, and recently Sharon and I have had the privilege of meeting with three couples this summer.  The first couple is getting married in a few days, the second is in a season of re-evaluation, while the third is somewhere in-between.  If I had to choose a theme verse for these times, it might be Proverbs 20:5: “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”  Sometimes I’m not sure how much “understanding” we possess, but our aim is to shine God’s light on the ‘deep waters’ these couples are facing so that they can grow together in Christ.  It’s one of our highest joys to help them make sense of their relationships from God’s perspective.

One On One

This summer, we’ve really focused on making sure we get even more good time with students and physician friends one-on-one.  On campus, in our home, at local coffee shops… wherever it may be, personal relationships are at the heart of our ministry.  Let me share just a few examples with you.

In one meeting, a student shared about challenges he’s experienced in relating to his sister, an atheist-agnostic who’s ‘witnessing’ to him out of concern that his faith in Christ is damaging to him.  We also spent some time talking about assurance of salvation, something that’s important as he’s still a relatively newer Christian.

I also had the opportunity to meet with a physician friend who is active in mentoring students in the city.  I was impressed when he came with a list of things he wanted to talk about!  One of our key topics was talking about some challenges in mentoring relationships he’s involved in.  It was exciting not only to see him wrestling with these obstacles, but to have the chance to speak into them and give him suggestions for making progress.  This is one of the ways God is allowing us to multiply our ministry!

Thanks so much for making all this possible through your prayers, gifts and love.  We are very conscious of our dependence upon the Lord and you!

Bryan & Sharon

For prayer & praise:

  • Praise for a solid end to our fiscal year (June 30th).  Please pray for God’s faithfulness moving forward.
  • Praise for so many good meetings with students and physicians throughout the summer.  It’s been one of our best ever!
  • Pray for these last few weeks before the students return: follow-ups and planning with campus leaders so that ‘fall’ begins well; key discipleship times; things to come together for our fall Intermed (weekend of worship, teaching and fellowship).
  • Pray for wisdom as we continue to meet with the couples we mentioned above.
  • Pray for God’s grace in the lives of the first-year students about to arrive on our campuses.  Pray that many will seek Him, and, that those who already do will become connected to our campus ministries and good local churches.