Thursday, December 29, 2016

Support Us so we can Heal and Bless

I established the foundation for Sweeten Life Systems when I was on the Pastoral Team at College Hill Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. I began to teach the Listening Classes we called Apples of Gold in 1974.

The key to getting me started was a group of eight women led by Edith Barr . God used Edith to push me beyond my comfort zone.  And, Edith had enough heft to get the Elders to agree to teaching "psychology" in the church! A very rare idea in 1974. So, I started teaching my Doctoral insights to eight ladies. We had a blast learning and trying new things in a church setting.

Before long the Elders changed my duties from Christian Education to Christian Discipleship. This new position included small groups, equipping members how to care and coach each other. The curriculum included listening, renewing the mind, family wellness, healing prayer, and so

In 1976 we set up the Teleios or Wellness Center with twenty or so Peer Helpers on call to meet, listen and pray for people with emotional, relational, and spiritual distress. (We never  call them "mentally ill". Such a stigma is a major deterrent to asking for assistance. It is also a deterrent to a church thinking about providing such assistance.)

In 1978 we started a new nonprofit called, Christian Information Committee. It was designed to train other Christians how to develop every church into a caring community for all people. We later changed the name to Equipping Ministries International. That early beginning has spread to nations around the world.

It has many names and many different forms according to the local culture. That is one of the beautiful things about our model. It is flexible and does not require leadership from highly trained professionals. In fact, clinically trained people often misunderstand us because we train Moms, Dads, Brothers and Sisters, Uncles and Aunts as well as simple folk that are caring and Compassionate.

If you like the idea of ordinary people doing extraordinary things because we have a super ordinary God pray for us and consider going to the special donor page here! 

1 comment:

Gary Sweeten said...

College Hill was one of the most influential churches in America in the 80's because we equipped God's people. The church continues to bless many, many people. It is a vital part of the compassion and care that citizens in Cincinnati receive.