“Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.” – Psalm 30:4
If I’m painfully honest with you for a minute will you be honest too? A lot of times, I catch myself singing along to a worship song with little thought of the One the song is actually about. Sometimes, it’s just a familiar tune that I love and know by heart and I just can’t help but sing along to the melody, although my mind and heart may be elsewhere. Other times, I’m singing and focusing way too much on myself (something like, “Hey, that sounds pretty good” or “Woah, that’s awful”) rather than the One to whom all praise is due. Or again, to be honest, I may be wondering and worrying more about what others are thinking rather than what God is thinking. All that said, I acknowledge that it’s totally okay to really love music and get a little lost in the beauty of a great song, or to practice and hone one’s abilities and giftings, or to be sure that the sound that others hear isn’t a painful one. But, with humility I say, the balance of our hearts should tip dramatically towards the praise of our amazing God, vs. thinking about other things.
Do you have questions about the foundational truths and principles of the Christian faith? Would you like to be better prepared to share these truths with those who don’t yet know the Lord? If so, come to the Foundations of Faith class Wednesdays at 7:00 pm starting September 14.
An interactive study of the Bible focused on the fundamentals of Christian doctrine, discipline, and living, the Foundations class is not only for new believers, but also for those who are interested in better understanding nature of God, effective prayer, spiritual life, renewal of mind, fellowship, being a witness, etc.
The open format allows everyone to be comfortable no matter where they are in their walk with Jesus. Do you have friends you have witnessed to who seem to be in the middle of making a decision but are afraid to come to church? Invite them to the class.
Each session includes plenty of room for discussion of the topic being studied. We seek the Lord, and look to the Bible for answers for day-to-day issues. Interaction with each other helps us grow, and also encourages and exhorts those who feel they are alone as they take steps of faith with the Lord.
By Collin Zweigle
Every relationship is built on something. We make friends in lots of ways. We relate with people in lots of ways. Recently I’ve begun riding BMX again. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, BMX stands for Bicycle Motocross. It’s basically riding an undersized bike off oversized jumps and trying not to die. It's the kind of thing young people like me love doing; and yes, mothers in our congregation, I do wear a helmet.
At the skate park I often meet other riders and see them semi-regularly. Through a mutual interest a friendship has begun. No, I’m not super tight with these people and I don’t share my deepest thoughts, hopes, and dreams with them, but I have a relationship with them. We talk about different tricks and how to do them, different bikes we like, secret spots that are awesome for riding, etc. This is a simple, surface-level relationship.
If our relationship with God is founded on Sunday morning church services and summer retreats it is similar to my relationship with my skate park friends. Church services and summer retreats, even Flower City Work Camp, are all experiences. They are awesome experiences. I genuinely believe that everyone in the world should experience these things, but in their simplest form that’s only what they are - experiences. A relationship simply founded on experiences does not have much of a foundation.
Every relationship is built on something. The foundation of the relationship directly affects how long it lasts, what kind of influence it has on you, and how important it is to you. My relationship with my skate park friends is built on a shared experience that we enjoy, but that’s really it. I’m not going to sit on a porch smoking a pipe someday reminiscing about the good old days with those guys.
By Jordan Rowley
Within our world, our communities, our church, and our very own lives there are often moments of intense pain, immense sorrow and incredible confusion. The majority of believers at one time or another experience those “why, God?” moments; those times when perhaps it’s difficult to trust Him and seemingly impossible to worship Him. For example, just imagine the moment your doctor tells you that your cancer is no longer in remission; imagine the day when the career that you’ve spent years training for and worked up the ladder towards is suddenly taken away; imagine the freak-accident that destroys everything you’ve ever hoped for; or how it would feel to hear from your child that not only does he or she not believe in Jesus anymore, but they hate everything about God. These are heart-wrenching, real-life scenarios to think about! And I believe it’s important that our hearts be prayerfully prepared. Come what may, you and I ought to have these words of Job settled in our hearts.
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him…” – Job 13:15a
We know the story of Job. He was a godly man who had just about everything taken from him. He’d been attacked by a number of enemies who killed his servants and stole his livelihood. He’d experienced freak accidents that killed not only what was left of his animals, but took the lives of all of his sons and daughters! And later on even Job’s health was taken too. If we’re honest, we’ll acknowledge that no matter how mature we may be in our faith or how much we may love the Lord, our response would likely be absolutely nothing like Job’s. Upon hearing the news of his servants being slaughtered, his goods being plundered, and his children being killed Job responds in this way:
“Then Job arose, tore his robe and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.”
– Job 1:20
Pastor Ben Hiwale
Our culture is hostile to Christian faith. We no longer live in a time or a place where what we believe constitutes the norm, or even an accepted point of view. What we believe flies in the face of the cherished principles of religious relativism, tolerance, and philosophical pluralism. We are considered "untrained and uneducated" men and women from whom our culture needs to be protected. We are the modern version of Peter and John standing before a Sanhedrin armed with television and radio stations, colleges and universities, newspapers and books, all being leveraged against "the faith that was once for all handed down to the saints." (Jude 1:3) Struggle is inevitable. Conflict is at hand. Will we bow before the god of culture? Or will we plant our feet, square our shoulders, lift our heads, and give an account to all those who ask us not just what we believe but why?
Imagine finding yourself sitting on a sports field - soccer, baseball, football, or lacrosse - with one or more of your children in a tournament game. It is a beautiful morning, the sun is shining, and you are enjoying the latest blend of mocha or exotic coffee, and yet experiencing great frustration and conflict. You are frustrated because you feel a void. It is Sunday! As you begin to comprehend this void, you realize that you are seeing some other families on the other fields that you know are Christian. You are conflicted as you reflect on how you got into this situation. You know the value of church family; you know that consistency is very important for your family to build relationships within the church family and to grow as disciples of Christ. You have made many decisions over the years to say “no” to other things in order to say “yes” to church. And, yet, here you are on a sports field or at an event or something that is not Church on a Sunday morning.
It is possible the coach gathered the parents around and presented this amazing opportunity for the tournament that would land on a Saturday and Sunday. Everyone was so excited, and you felt like you had no choice but to participate. The team wouldn’t be able to play in the tournament unless everyone chose to play. If you said no, you would be letting down all the other kids. One of your close family friends presented an opportunity to socialize, and it all started great, but suddenly all the events occur on Saturdays and Sundays and you feel obligated to participate, and yet you are feeling this tension.
So here you are, sitting on the sidelines contemplating the predicament of so many families. Many families I’ve talked to about this feel like they have no choice for a variety of reasons. Maybe it’s a sport that the kids love, maybe it is a business opportunity, social relationship, belonging to something. These are opportunities that would be missed if you pulled your kids out. Maybe you feel an obligation to a team, club, or friend circle; maybe there’s real potential that may never be recognized. There are many reasons for the decisions we come to that keep our families away from church. I completely understand how we get there – but I also know the long term effect that missing church will take on our families. And that’s the predicament that has been tormenting you.
by Collin Zweigle
“Slow down, slow down
Grab a coffee here with me
And take a second to breathe
Slow down, slow down
Let's be quiet for a while
And I will try to make you smile
...lyrics of singer Mike Mains, an artist I got to see perform at a music festival in Lebanon, PA in the summer of 2011. One night this summer Megan reminded me of the words of this song and said, “If there was ever a song that was written just for you it’s that one.”
Do we ever slow down? Do we even know how to?
In Mexico people take siestas in the middle of the day. A similar practice is seen in Spain when the afternoon sun is nearly too much to take, so everything shuts down and people just relax. Hassidic Jews actually keep the sabbath, refusing to cook or shop or work at all on Saturdays. But Christians in the U.S., in Northeastern U.S. specifically, a region known for work ethic and innovation, do we know how to do this, to slow down? What is this rest and relaxation we hear people talk about? What is vacation? I haven't had one of those in years! See, in our culture we don't really have the space for this “rest.”
Jesus had a habit of leaving his disciples regularly to go and pray and meditate in the hills surrounding the Sea of Galilee. Sure, this often resulted in the disciples getting themselves into a pickle of one sort or another, but Jesus clearly needed and greatly valued rest. Now, if Jesus went out of His way to find a place where He could have a little peace and quiet, why do we view taking some “me time” as a selfish thing? We wonder why we have high blood pressure and sore backs. If we truly valued rest and time spent in places and environments where we have the space to rest, we would probably be surprised by how easy it is to hear God’s voice. And when we came down off the mountain we’d be actually able to help calm whatever storm brewed up in our absence because we would be rested and ready for action.
Jesus says to us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV) I want that yoke. I want the burden that's as light as a feather; the kind you can barely feel on your shoulders as you carry it because it's been carved, shaped, altered, and designed to be just right for your shoulders, neck and back. I want that burden, the backpack that fits just right. I want His burden, not mine.
But where do I get this burden, His burden? Well if I'm carrying my burden around on my back there’s no way I'm going to be able to pick His up. That's why the psalmist wrote, “Give your burdens to the LORD, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” (Psalm 55:22 NLT) It's only then that my shoulders will be freed up to carry that easy and light burden that God has prepared just for me.
So what are you carrying on your shoulders today? Cast it off! Take a break! Yes! This might be a reproof for people like me who are really bad at taking a second to think and pray and really sense where our own hearts are at. But how will we truly be able to minister in Jesus’ name unless we allow Him to minister to us? See, the vessel needs to be refilled. I can’t just keep pouring water through the same coffee grounds each day. I need to grind fresh beans each time I brew a cup, otherwise the coffee will be over-extracted and bland. Let’s let the Lord give us fresh coffee beans this summer, eh?
When do you start having that conversation with your child about the birds and the bees? This is a topic that many parents do not know how to face so they totally avoid it. Parents may feel awkward, uncomfortable, and unequipped to address their children about sex.
The physical maturation of your child is inevitable and needs to be approached with sensitivity and wisdom. According to Darkness to Light (an organizational leader in the prevention of child sexual abuse), 8 is the age at which we as parents should begin discussions with our children about their “private parts” and “touch”.
Look at some of these startling facts and then prayerfully consider starting these conversations with your children at the age of 8.
1. 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before the age of 18.
2. Youth are 2.5 times more likely to get raped than adults.
3. 35% of child sexual abuse victims are age 11 and under.
4. 9% of all 10-17 year olds receive unwanted sexual requests while on the internet.
5. About 85% of child pornography victims are living at home when they are photographed. Parents are often responsible.
These statistics from Darkness to Light are sobering and should motivate us to address these topics. We need to be proactive as parents in educating our children in the areas of touch and intimacy the way God intended between a husband and a wife. Using terms like “cookie” and “pickle” to address anatomical parts could unintentionally harm our children if a child-predator attempts to manipulate them. If we do not educate and inform our children about their bodies, dating, marriage, and sexual intimacy, there is a good chance someone else will. This is 2016 and we are facing more challenges in the sexual arena than ever before. We must take every step necessary to protect our families.
What does God word say about this topic?
1. Genesis 2:21-25 speaks of Adam’s helpmeet being made from his rib. They were both naked and not ashamed. Explain to your children why they were not ashamed of being naked.
2. Explain biblical terms like fornication, harlot, the undefiled bed, etc.
3. For all the land which thou see, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever (Genesis 13:15). A seed is used to grow something (a plant, a fruit, a tree, a human life). Explain that a seed is used to start the growth of a human life in a mother’s womb (not a stork).
4. Teach modesty and purity (Titus 2:3-5). This generation of young people often rebel against the thought of modesty and purity. Teach your children to be “counter-cultural” in this area.
5. God desires the Titus 2 model in both young men and women. The older men and women of God should be modeling in word and deed what modesty and purity look like in the life of a Christian.
If a child is sexually abused in any way it will cause damage that is very difficult to repair. Be proactive, seek the Lord, and have the “birds and bees” discussion with your children.
By Domenico Danesi
Segregate - to separate or set apart from others or from the general mass (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary)
Assimilate - to absorb into the culture or mores of a population or group (Merriam-Webster’s dictionary)
Have you seen the new slide in the sanctuary? “Children of all ages are welcome in the sanctuary.” Praise God, this means there is no more “kid patrol” near the sanctuary. Family worship is very important to God and it should be to us as well. Children were never intended to be looked at as “second class citizens”. The disciples already experienced how Jesus felt about not allowing children to come to him. “And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:13-14) “Let the little children come to Me”. My friends, Jesus desires your children and mine to be free to worship and learn about Him in the nursery, children’s church, and in the sanctuary. Restricting children because they are too loud, cry, or can be disruptive to a degree is nothing short of what happened in this passage in the gospel of Mark.
According to research, children who worship with their families are more likely to attend church when they are adults.
Take a look at this excerpt from the Patheos Christian Journal. Do you want to know (one of the reasons) why millennials aren’t attending your church? Here goes…Millennials aren’t attending your church because they’ve never had to attend your church. Think about it. From the time my generation was born we were thrown into nurseries with other babies. Then we went to children’s ministries to be entertained while our parents went to “big church.” Then we had middle school ministry. Then we had youth group. Then we went away to college and found a church with a stellar college ministry. It wasn’t until we graduated college that we were expected to be a part of the intergenerational community called “church.” We’d been segregated by age for the first 22 years. And you not only allowed this. You encouraged it. (www.sixseedspatheos.com).
This is not only concerning, but true. Now I will tell you that the Children’s Ministry of Koinonia Fellowship does not entertain, but rather instructs children in the ways of our Lord, but I get the point of this excerpt. Here are a couple more statistics from the article.
• Only 12% of youth have a regular dialog with their mother on faith and/or life issues.
• Only 5% of youth have a regular dialog with their father on faith and/or life issues.
Yet, the greatest faith shapers by large margins in the life of kids are Mom and Dad, followed by grandparents.
My friends, we must assimilate children and youth into the regular church culture. We must be intentional about it, and the younger the child, the better the results. Parents must be the primary Pastors in the lives of their children and according to these statistics it is not happening. We must seek the Lord and improve in this crucial area of discipleship.
Church is not a place for “parents to get a break from their kids”. Church is a place of worship; “My house shall be called a house of prayer” (Matthew 21:13). Segregation was never God’s heart biblically. Look at this passage in the book of Acts 21:5: “And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.” There was a family prayer meeting to send Paul off after a 7-day stay in Syria. No children’s prayer-youth prayer-college prayer, etc.; all the wives and children knelt down with the men on the shore and prayed for Paul.
Your child is welcome any time to come to Children’s Church on Sunday morning, but when is the right time for them to worship with you in the sanctuary? Well my friend, I challenge you to consider this question in the very near future. God loves children, God loves families, and God desires that we worship Him together in spirit and in truth. We are praying for your family.
By Jordan Rowley
One day, over two-thousand years ago, God sent His only begotten Son to this world that He so loved. Jesus was sent to seek and to save the hungry, the hurting, the struggling, the suffering, the bound, the blind, the addicted and the abused. He came as a physician for the sick and as a restorer for the broken. Our Lord Jesus came as a rescuer for the ensnared and a redeemer for the enslaved. And one day, a little over 30 years after Jesus was born into this world, after 3 years of selfless ministry, He died a brutal death on a horrible cross to pay the price of our sins with His own precious blood. He willingly did that so you and I could be saved from death and born anew into everlasting life. Three days later He rose from the tomb as the firstfruits of the resurrection, leading the way for all who would follow Him.
Now, one other day, when God’s perfect kingdom comes and when His perfect will is done in a new heaven and on a new earth, there will be an end to all hurt, all hardship, and all heart-ache for all of humanity. We will see Death and Hades once and for all thrown into the lake of fire. From that day on there will be no more destruction of human life, not by disasters or disease or depravity. There will be no more people lacking food and starving to death. There will be no more people lacking medical treatment and suffering from preventable or curable diseases. There will be no more people thrust into destruction and desperation by earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, or other “natural disasters”. There will no more people forced to endure persecution or oppression. The former things will have passed away and, behold, He will have made all things new! (Revelation 21:4,5)
As Christians, our hearts long for heaven and deeply desire to be in the presence of God. It will be there, in His courts, where our faith will finally become sight and where our hope will fully be realized. Doesn’t your heart burn and yearn for that day when there will be no more tears, no more sorrow, no more pain, no more sin, no more death (and the list goes on!)? And in addition to all of these “no mores” that we’ll be blessed to embrace in heaven, there will be many more “forever mores” we’ll taste as well. We’ll experience joy forevermore and embrace love forevermore! We’ll partake of freedom from sin and death forevermore. We’ll worship and simply be with the Lord forevermore! In Psalm 84:2, the sons of Korah sang it like this: “My soul longs, yes even faints for the courts of the LORD. My heart and my flesh cry out for the Living God.” Amen! Doesn’t your heart long, yes, even faint, for the courts of the Lord? The Good News (pun intended) is that soon and very soon we who have placed our hope in Jesus will in fact be in His courts!
So with all that said, one day, this day, may we worship Him all the more fully in praise for all He’s done and in anticipation for all that is yet to be. May you and I bow our hearts before Him as we raise our voices in humble thanks singing the heavenly song, “blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne and to Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13b)
By Lynn Metier
Christians have often been known to pray, "Thy kingdom come", but just what is it that we're praying for? Jesus instructs us to seek first (or continually seek) God's kingdom (Matthew 6:33), but how do we know when we "find" it? What makes God's kingdom different from any other? What are some of its characteristics?
About 2000 years ago John the Baptist preached a message of repentance, "for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2) But Jesus has yet to bring about that reality in the physical realm, although the signs that He said would indicate His imminent return - deception and pseudo-Christs, "wars and rumors of wars", ethnic cleansings, famines and ‘natural’ disasters, persecutions and apostasy (Matthew 24:3-12) – are frequently the day's headline news. Was John's proclamation 2000 years off in its timing? No. The coming millennial reign of Christ from the throne of David in Jerusalem will only be the visible, physical manifestation of His kingdom. It will be the earthly culmination of His already existing kingdom. When the Pharisees questioned Jesus about the kingdom of God that He was proclaiming, He told them that physical observations were not signs of the true kingdom because, "the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20,21) When Pilate questioned Jesus about being the "King of the Jews", Jesus twice told him that, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). So if the kingdom of God is more than a form of government, what is it?
By Lynn Metier
In the “old days”, the coming of Spring meant it was time for the annual ritual known to every housewife as “Spring Cleaning”. But do you realize that God is also in the “cleaning business”, especially when it comes to His church and children? By the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross 2000 years ago, He has cleansed His church. By the shedding of His blood, He fully paid the price for our redemption, meeting the requirements of the law in the payment for sin, and satisfying the justice of a holy God. But God is also engaged in the continuing work of sanctification; that is, "cleaning" the world out of His church. Paul explained that Christ "loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word." (Ephesians 5:25-26) Notice the past tense of the verb "cleansed". When Jesus said on the cross: "It is finished", He had completed the work of redemption the Father had sent Him to do. But when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the church at Pentecost, His work of sanctification was just beginning.
What is true in the corporate sense for the church is equally true in each individual person. When a person is "born again" he becomes a new creation and is given a clean heart, but usually he is not immediately taken out of this world. He is still affected and influenced, tempted and tainted by this sinful, fallen world and his old sin nature. This is explained by Jesus as he sought to wash Peter's feet (John 13:6-10). When Peter protested, Jesus replied: "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." But then, when Peter wanted a complete bath, Jesus explained: "He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean." Therefore, even though a believer is cleansed at conversion - ALL his sins washed away by the blood of the Lamb – the process of cleaning the world out of him (sanctification, or "setting apart") has just begun and will continue until the Christian is taken home to glory.
What’s in your mouth!? No, I’m not asking how often you put your foot in your in there (because I’m already an expert on that). I’m not asking what your favorite flavor of gum is (you know, to cover up that yucky foot taste). I’m asking about the words that come out. If you’re anything like me, all too often you find your mouth filled with words of complaint or judgment or discouragement or worry or anger or some other variety of fleshly speech.
One of my favorite Scriptures is Psalm 34:1-3, in which we find David declaring the following:
“I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.”
Amen! May this be our heart as well; to refrain from allowing anything that grieves God to pass over our lips and rather speak and sing the praises of God! David begins this Psalm, “I will bless the LORD at all times.” What a wonderful thing it is to know that you and I (small as we are) can actually bless the Lord. David’s desire is to bless the Lord, not just right this moment – but “at all times!” So often, we may “bless the LORD” when we’re on our spiritual mountain tops in special times of prayer, fasting or Bible study, but the very next hour we can once again allow those words of the flesh to proceed from our lips. Yet, here we see David declaring, “I will bless the LORD at all times!” How? David continues, because “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Just as the Word should not depart from our eyes (Psalm 119:148), His love should not depart from our hearts (Revelation 2:4), and His works should not depart from our hands (1 Corinthians 15:58), so too His praise should not depart from our mouths! In doing so, there isn’t room for anything less.
David goes on, “my soul shall make its boast in the LORD.” May we too, make our boast, our only boast, in the Lord. As we unceasingly speak forth His praises from our mouths and declare the glory of God, “the humble shall hear of it and be glad!” Undoubtedly, there will be humble (poor, downcast, afflicted) souls around us who hear our words and will be made glad. In other words, they will rejoice! Amen! I don’t know about you, but I want what’s in my mouth to be used by the Lord to encourage others to rejoice and be glad rather than being used by the enemy to discourage, divide, or distract from God’s goodness.
At this point, David turns from sharing his heart’s desire and speaks to those with ears to hear. “Oh, magnify the LORD with me,” he sings, “and let us exalt His name together.” I can almost hear him pleading, “Oh, won’t you magnify the Lord with me!? Can’t we exalt the name of our great God together!? Will you join me in praising Him continually!? Will you make your boast in Him with me!? Then, the oppressed and distressed will hear and see and rejoice with us! Don’t let any situation or stress or person or problem hinder you from this!”
So, brothers and sisters, let each of us make this declaration now! May we say this prayer now! May we speak to our own souls and to those around us singing out:
“I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.”
Save The Date: Saturday, May 21st at the Highland Bowl
This month we have another exciting opportunity to take hold of the challenge as we, the body of Christ, rally to support the vision and mission of CompassCare, Erasing the Need for Abortion, by becoming a participating walker in their Annual Walk For Life.
Here are some facts about the Walk For Life:
The Walk is on Saturday, May 21st from 9AM – 12PM at the Bowl in Highland Park, rain or shine. This is the largest walk in Rochester of its kind, with an estimated reach of 16,000-20,000 people.
Over 800 people participated in 2015, representing 72 Rochester area churches, and $204,000 was raised by hundreds of pledge-supported walkers. 120 babies were saved in 2015, and since 2002 1,037 lives have been saved from abortion through the programs at CompassCare. In 2015 24 women prayed to receive Christ. The Walk raises awareness and funds for the mission of erasing the need for abortion by transforming a woman’s fear into confidence.
The challenge I wish to encourage us to take on this year is to increase the number of walkers that we recruit for this amazing ministry. That is how we can aim for the target of reaching more people. With every person that we talk to about sponsoring us, we are bringing the mission and vision of CompassCare to their knowledge. By encouraging those who have sponsored us in the past to become walkers themselves this year, and by their subsequent going out and getting sponsors, the numbers of people who become aware of CompassCare’s amazing work increases. This not only greatly multiplies the number of supporters, but it also puts the ministry in the forefront for those women who may find themselves in need of the care and support provided by the ministry.