Collateral Damage // Dr. Chirban

A forty-five year old woman who was twelve years old when her parents divorced shared this experience: “My mom put all my dad’s clothes and lunchbox in the car, drove to the woman he was having an affair with, and had me throw all of his clothes on the woman’s lawn, knocked on the door with his lunchbox and told her to make my dad’s lunch for work the next day.”

That is just one of the many raw and revealing quotes from the book Collateral Damage by Dr. John T. Chirban. The book is written to parents as a guide to help navigate the murky waters of divorce. It focuses on steps parents can take to help their children while also caring for themselves through the process.

The book is based on the author’s story of going through a divorce, his education and experience as a psychologist and a five-year survey that was geared toward the parents and the children of divorce.

Dr. Chirban, through his involvement with the Dr. Phil show, was in a unique position to reach many people with the Divorce Study. Over 10,000 people responded to the survey and numerous quotes, like the one above, are shared throughout the book.  Some of the quotes are from the children of divorce and others are from the perspective of the parents. Many of them are heart-breaking as you read the pain and loss caused by the dissolution of families.

Dr. Chirban speaks to the challenges that children face as their parents go through the divorce process.  While he highlights some positive steps parents can take, he also reveals some of the missteps that have occurred in the lives of many.

Here’s just one example from the Divorce Study:” The study showed that 51 percent of divorced parents said they spoke with their children and believed they had met their needs, yet 87 percent of children reported they had no one to talk to about their feelings during the divorce.” (pg. 22)

One of the many challenges that parents going through a divorce must face is how they care for their children, allow them to express freely their emotions and process their feelings while also trying to work through their own hurts and hangups with the end of the marriage.  Dr. Chirban provides a good resource for parents to use to address both sides of that equation.

While I think this book is helpful for anyone who works with children and families and for people who have already gone through a divorce, where I think it would be most helpful is for those who are considering or in the process of divorce.  Dr. Chirban shares good information that can help parents care for themselves and their children.  The quotes shared and steps given provide parents some clarity during a confusing and emotionally charged season.

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AdoptTogether Featured in PEOPLE Magazine

hank-fortener peoplePEOPLE magazine recently named Hank Fortner as one of their “Heroes Among Us.” Hank stared AdoptTogether, an organization that allows would-be adoptive parents to invite their friends, family and strangers alike to help them meet the costs of adopting (which can reach up to $40,000). This is close to our heart as we have used AdoptTogether to raise funds for our next adoption (which we are still waiting on) and we have friends who have used it as well.

Here’s a couple of cool statistics that PEOPLE magazine highlighted::

 

  • AdoptTogether has raised over $8.6 million to help people adopt.

 

  • AdoptTogether has helped 2,100 couples, families and individuals open their homes to children in need.

 

There is a great article about AdoptTogether on the PEOPLE magazine website along with an interview with Hank. It is well worth your time!

House Build Trip Deposit Due 12/13

1mission_4We’ve been talking for a number of weeks about our upcoming Spring Break House Build Trip with 1MISSION (March 28 – April 2, 2016). We had a good turnout for our information meeting that took place a little over a week ago. We are now nearing the deposit deadline of December 13. That will give us a good idea of how many are planning to participate and will allow us to begin firming up travel plans.

I posted some general information a couple of weeks ago regarding our Information Meeting.  That gives a general overview of our schedule, travel plans and approximate cost. If you haven’t had a chance to look at the Information Packet, it is available to view and download on our church website.

Here are some other facts about what we will be accomplishing through our build trip.

The family we will be serving has already volunteered over 200 hours to their community. These hours have included building houses for their neighbors, volunteering with local organizations and participating in community development programs.  A few weeks before the trip we will receive a family biography which will include information about the family.

We will be working alongside local volunteers and community members who have come together in cooperation to improve their community.

Here’s a fun fact for you:  We won’t use any power tools! Why? The house construction is a community project involving
inexperienced people of all ages. The goal is to involve everyone in a fun and safe manner.  So, if you are intimidated by the construction process, you can rest easy knowing that you won’t have to mess with power tools.

The House Build Trip will be a new and unique experience.  It is open to high school students and older.  Check out the information and feel free to make contact if you have questions.

IMPACT 2015-2016 Overview

Last weekend we kicked off our IMPACT school year calendar with a Tail Gate Party and Parent Meeting. We know that once the school year begins, families keep busy with school, school activities, sports events, mom and dad’s work schedules plus all the other things that life throws at us. In order to help our families manage the busyness, we provide a calendar of events for the school year. The parent meeting is our first attempt to get information into the hands of parents.

You can click on the image at the top of the page to get a closer look at what is on this year’s calendar.

For those parents (and students) who may not have been able to attend the meeting, here is a somewhat brief overview of what we talked about.

WEEKLY PROGRAMS:: Here are the programs for students that we offer on a weekly basis. During the school year, we invite all students to join us for these weekly program.

Sunday:
High School Class (B103); Junior High Class (C102) 9:00 am
Small Groups 4:30 pm

Wednesday:
IMPACT Praise Band Practice 6:30 pm

A FEW HIGHLIGHTS:: Each fall we participate in the retreats that are hosted at our local church camp, Butler Springs Christian Camp. The two weekends are a great opportunity for our students and leaders to spend a weekend together, for our students to connect with other students and to grow in our relationship with God. Check out the information on the retreats below.

The Junior High Retreat will take place October 16-18. Cost for the weekend is $65 and the registration deadline is October 4. (The price goes up after that time)

Click on the image below to read more about “This Is Whatever.”

whatever_poster

The High School Retreat will take place November 6-8. Cost for the weekend is $55 if you are registered by the early bird deadline of Sept. 21. (The price goes up after that time)

Click on the image below to read more about “Backpacks and Burdens.”

Backpack&Burdens

We’ve also added Two Parent/Student Events to the calendar – one in the fall and one in the spring. They will be fun events where our students and parents to interact with one another.

COMMUNICATION:: There are a few different avenues we use to communicate with both parents and students.  We would love it if all of our parents and students were connected to at least one of these outlets for communication.

FACEBOOK:   “Like” our IMPACT Facebook Page and/or Wilmington Church of Christ Facebook page

TEXT:  text the phrase IMPACT909 to 95577 to receive occasional text updates

EMAIL:  we send out occasional email reminders.  Email tonysturf@wcconline.org to be added to email list

WEBSITE:   We post updates to the IMPACT Page of our church website.

We are excited about the start of the school year and what’s taking place in IMPACT Student Ministry.  If you are a parent or a student in the Wilmington area, we’d love to connect with you.  Share this information with other families as well.

IMPACT Snap Shot 2014-15

Last Sunday (Sept 7th) we had an information meeting for our parents and students to share about what’s happening in IMPACT Student Ministry this school year. We gave a quick overview and had a few printed handouts with information. One of the main things we wanted to provide families was a snap shot of the events & activities planned for the school year. With the many activities our students are involved in, we are hoping this will help as families juggles schedules.

Here is the Snap Shot. (If you are involved in IMPACT Student Ministry, feel free to share this!)

IMPACT 2014-2015

Youth Ministry….what an honor! (a repost)

One of the blogs I subscribe to from Doug Fields. He has been involved in youth ministry for many years and has a lot of wisdom to share.

One of the great things about him is that he is relational and really connects with others in youth ministry. His blog post today is a story shared by another guy in youth ministry. Thought is was a great example of why serving in the church is both a challenge and rewarding.

You can see the original post at Doug Field’s blog.

Every once in a while someone will send in an email into our podcast that grips my heart. This one came from Craig Piefer from Walla Walla, WA. I hope it does your heart well like it did mine.

Best moment and worst moment in youth ministry happened last week. Dominic a senior, his sister Elizabeth (a junior) and their little brother Benjamin (8th grade) lost their mom, Peggy, to breast cancer. Elizabeth was home when she passed, but the boys where at school. Their dad Tim, called me directly after calling the paramedics. Tim and I had planned days earlier for me to come and get the kids so they didn’t have to be there as they transferred their mother’s body, but now my task was to pick up Dominic from school and tell him about his mom. I won’t describe that moment, but I will hold it close to my heart forever. The day went on with lots of hugs and crying. Their small group leaders joined me at the kids’ home for more hugging and crying. It was tough. It was beautiful.

Now after that day, after the funeral, after the crying, I have a little time to reflect, and all I can think is this: What an honor. What an honor to have the love and respect of their father. What an honor to be drenched in the tears of students I love so dearly. What an honor to partner with Tim and Peggy in raising whole hearted followers of Christ. What an honor to look into the eyes of Dominic, who in the six years that I have known him has grown into a man, and deliver the worst news possible for a teen to hear. What an honor to be that families pastor. It’s more than words can describe, and I’m sure it sounds weird to many. But for those who have walked this road you know what I mean.

I praise God and even thank Him for calling me to this work, as much as it stresses and frustrates me, it is a blessing to be a pastor to students.