Healing from the past with the Bible

Monday, February 7, 2011

CLOVERDALE -- Today is the first meeting of a new group at the Putnam County Center for Women's Ministries in Cloverdale.

Julie Goss is the group facilitator.

"The curriculum is titled Making Peace with your Past," Goss said. "It's a small group of ten women."

"What the support group hopes to achieve is, having suffered emotional problems from growing up in a dysfunctional family, ... through the power of God to be able to unpack that emotional baggage that has kept us from becoming productive, successful adults," Goss said.

Goss said she hopes this group leads to other groups following the same curriculum.

She said that the group is only for women because of the guidelines of the center, though the curriculum isn't gender specific. Goss said the size of the group is important.

"In order for this to work as the writer has hoped that it would he wants to limit the group to 10 or under. When you deal with so much emotion, the bigger a crowd you have, the less intimate a person is willing to be," she said.

Goss said the group, which is aimed at adult children from dysfunctional families, will follow a work book and curriculum by Tim Sledge.

"What this support group curriculum hopes to do is bring women together," she said. "You have a workbook that you work through daily, then we come together once a week and just discuss and bring together answers that we've worked on all week."

Goss said the workbook contains questions to answer every day.

"There will be times that you will be led to the Bible to read some scripture, contemplate the truth of what the scripture says and then see how, if the truth of the scripture was applied to your life, how could you then go forward applying that truth," Goss said.

"It's anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes a day that each participant will have their own book and every day be in it and then when we come together we support one another. We try to be honest and open in order to be healed from the wounds or the emotional trauma that we've been through, we have to admit that it is there."

Goss said her role in the group isn't to act as a leader.

"I'm not teaching anything," Goss said. "We're all coming together and sharing our own stories. We support each other. Every group you get eight or 10 people together and you need to have a group facilitator."

The group will be meeting every Monday for the next 12 weeks from 3.30 to 5:30 p.m., including today. If more people express interest it could lead to other classes.

Mary Lou Sipe is the director of the Putnam County Center for Women's Ministries.

"The Center for Women's Ministries is a non profit organization. It's all free. There's no employees to pay, it's all volunteers. It's about non-judgemental listening. We don't tell anyone what to do -- we listen," she said.

"It's also non-denominational, though we are spiritually based. ... we represent 14 churches in the community," Sipe said.

The Center for Women's Ministries can be reached at 795-6774.

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