USA: SPIRITUAL GROWTH GROUP
by Michael and Adonia Hentrich
Since our Colorado Family Church upgraded its Sunday Service, we’ve had a lot of newcomers walking in the door and returning week after week. A big part of this upgrade was creating our Welcome Ministry.
The Welcome Ministry greets each person and makes sure that they are well taken care of. Newcomers are given a gift bag, matched with older members as guides, and regularly prayed for.
Newcomers are invited to “Who we are, a brief intro”, an introductory presentation by Pastor Mike that explains things that might look strange to them. Things like praying in our own names; the large photo of two Asian people on the alter; and new phrases like True Parents. He also shares about the local vision for the community. After the introductory presentation, newcomers are invited to hear our church’s teachings, the Divine Principle.
After studying the Divine Principle and taking a membership class, they are officially recognized as members of our local church, they join the Spiritual Growth group, which currently has about 10 new members in it.
The Spiritual Growth Group has a family feeling. The new members and their spiritual parents attend together. The interactive meetings deal with topics like: Who True Parents are, The Value of the Blessing, Hoon Dok Hwe, Pledge, Noticing God, Holy Days, and How to Pray.
Since COVID-19 we’ve been meeting by Zoom Meeting and are looking forward to meeting again face to face. There is a plan to publish the Spiritual Growth Group’s lesson plans and other content in the future.
Testimonies from Spiritual Growth Group members:
William, a new member: The spiritual growth class has given me guidelines on how to include elements of faith in my life, like reading God’s word, prayer, and conditions. I was taught by inspiring individuals in a comfortable setting with other students of faith. The deeper connection to God has given me a stronger overall sense of wellbeing and led to many great experiences in my life. I thank everyone who has been involved!
Loretta, a new member: I joined as member shortly before the class was formed with little spiritual guidance in my life. I was eager to start my journey but quickly felt lost and unsure how to begin. This class was the answer to my prayers. Since joining, I have been guided to expand my spiritual tool kit in an environment that has encouraged my personal growth. I am filled with so much gratitude for the leaders of my church for being there to support us every step of the way.
Alice, a 50+ year member: Its 9:01 pm on a Wednesday evening in Denver, Colorado. I’ve just finished a zoom call with my Spiritual Growth Group. The topic tonight was “Faith and True Parents”. I’m hyped!! I don’t think I will be able to sleep early tonight, my emotions are too activated and my spiritual self is zinging – being energized and in an intensely inspired place where I’m remembering and reflecting on my own experiences with True Parents. As the coordinator, an educator, spiritual parent, and participant in this initiative, I continue to gain so much from each program I attend – each presentation and discussion enriches, enhances, and has brought revival to my own spiritual life and walk. I definitely feel God’s presence, guidance and investment in each group meeting and can recognize Heavenly Parent’s inspiration and heart in the parenting efforts and love being shared with those precious sons and daughters who are participating in this providence.