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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Life after divorce?

N.Y. congregation helps people say 'yes' through its divorce recovery workshop

Mark Ridley, pastor of Christ the King, started the workshop after reading Developing a Divorce Recovery Ministry — a How-to Manual by Bill Flanagan (out of print but available through libraries or on the Internet from Amazon.com). The book contains step-by-step instructions for establishing a six-week divorce recovery workshop.

Following these guidelines, Ridley invited divorced parishioners to an organizational dinner meeting. They responded enthusiastically. Janet Denman took the lead, and several others agreed to serve as facilitators for small-group discussions. Ridley recruited Roy Carter, a pastoral counselor, to help lecture. He then trained the facilitators and publicized the workshop communitywide.

About 40 people came to the first workshop in fall 1993. This response led the church to offer the workshop each spring and fall.


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