“All three of my kids heard from the Lord. It was very powerful for them,” one parent shared.
The Community of the Cross was bursting at the seams during the first Family Dunamis, with 31 children and 32 adults, of which ten were our leadership team plus a couple of ‘floating’ helpers.
Chris Walker and I had the joy of teaching, and worship leaders Rebecca Modrzynski and Ginger Taylor did a beautiful job of ushering a multi- generational group into the Lord’s presence– complete with a basket of instruments so kids could help “make a joyful noise.” Mary Ellen served as staff support and intercession for us, and Janet Yusi and Jon Gurley teamed up to oversee meals.
Families took turns serving as work teams for the meals.Eight-year-olds were serving salad next to teens dishing out dessert.
It was beautiful to see all the kids helping cook, sweep, and wash dishes alongside parents and other adults.
The discernment we had gotten was: ‘build the community,’ and it was awesome to see God doing just that.
Even a rainstorm one night that cancelled worship became a springboard for a family game and hang-out night inside the log house.
Everyone learning together
Our event kicked off with a welcome cookout for families who had arrived the day prior and wanted to register early.
Mornings began with worship all together and then teaching in our age-specific groups. Adults were outside under the tent, kids were at the prayer porch, and the back porch was transformed into a fun-filled nursery for our little ones.Brenda Walker and Crystal Wilson did a fabulous job of sharing God’s love with our four-and-under guests.
A highlight of the Family Dunamis was the thoughtfully-designed interactive curriculum developed by Jon and Nancy Van Stone of Ontario, Canada. While the adults were going through the Gateways to Empowered Ministry material, the children (ages 5-12) were learning the same concepts.
As the need emerged during the week, we created a small group for young teens, led by PRMI intern Adam Rampersaud. They began learning about listening to God, and had the opportunity to pray for one another.
Teaching with Creativity and Energy
We tried to introduce both creativity and energy into the teaching, seeking the Lord for creative ways to shape ‘the container’ of the teaching and style of ministry that has impacted and equipped multiple “waves” of people over the years.
One example of this was that the Director, Josh Modrzynski, created a digital version of the worldview teaching (the first topic in the Gateways Dunamis) which was sent to participants in advance to pray through and process as a family.
Another example was, implementing guidance we received one afternoon from the Lord, which resulted in our offering a men’s small group and a women’s small group during the teaching time.
Parents discussed the Holy Spirit’s works of justification and sanctification, and the joys and challenges of cooperating with the Holy Spirit in their kids’ lives and in their family life. Teaching and illustrations were focused when possible towards families.
Connections and Prayer Opportunities
Prayer ministry for individuals and couples was offered in the afternoons during the free time, as well as opportunities for rest, family fun or doing The Walk.
Rebecca Modrzynski, PRMI’s Coordinator of Healing Prayer at the COC, thoughtfully put together teams of prayer ministers from the wider community, and our child care people were available to watch over any kids whose parents wanted private prayer.
Our final teaching session concluded with an opportunity for couples to walk on the land and talk together about how God met them during the week, and share any insights or guidance they had received about their families.The last evening, we gave families the option of coming forward to receive prayer for empowerment. It was a gentle, sweet time as God touched many lives.
It was such a joy to see relationships forming and connections being made among the adults and the kids. God is indeed building the community and pouring out His Spirit on a new group of upcoming leaders in the Presbyterian-Reformed family of His Body.
Thanks to all of you reading this who covered us in prayer from your homes prior to and during the event.
Next year’s Family Dunamis, “In the Spirit’s Power” is set for July 9-13, 2019. We will need committed, called adults to work with our children and young teens.
We are also hoping that there will be a few more “grandparent-types” with the ministry of “hanging around” who would be available to love on children and to walk with adults. If you would like to be an offsite intercessor, or have an interest in helping in some way, please email me (Rev. Susan Finck) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Josh Modrzynski at email@example.com.
If you would like to give towards this work, designate your gift to Family Dunamis. We estimate that it costs PRMI $410 for a family of 4 to come to the Family Dunamis.
The families also have the cost of travel and housing to attend. So assistance in offsetting the conference costs would be very much appreciated.