JAMES CRUISE Ministries Blog

God chooses what we go through. We choose how we go through it.

Archive for the category “Events – Upcoming”

An open letter to pastors (A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day)

An open letter to pastors (A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day)

 “I’ve asked Amy Young to share her “Open Letter to Pastors,” with us. I came across this article a few years ago and it really spoke to my heart. I hope it serves to encourage you as it does me.”

Pastor,

Tone can be tricky in writing. Picture me popping my head in your office door, smiling and asking if we could talk for five minutes. I’m sipping on my diet coke as I sit down.

You know that I’m not one to shy away from speaking my mind, part of the reason you love me (mostly!), so I’m guessing that internally you brace yourself wondering what might be next.

I set my can down and this is what I’d say.

A few years ago I sat across from a woman who told me she doesn’t go to church on Mother’s Day because it is too hurtful.  I’m not a mother, but I had never seen the day as hurtful. She had been married, had numerous miscarriages, divorced and was beyond child bearing years. It was like salt in mostly healed wounds to go to church on that day. This made me sad, but I understood.

Fast forward several years to Mother’s Day.  A pastor asked all mothers to stand. On my immediate right, my mother stood and on my immediate left, a dear friend stood. I, a woman in her late 30s, sat. I don’t know how others saw me, but I felt dehumanized, gutted as a woman. Real women stood, empty shells sat. I do not normally feel this way. I do not like feeling this way. I want no woman to ever feel this way in church again.

Last year a friend from the States happened to visit on Mother’s Day and again the pastor (a different one) asked all mothers to stand. As a mother, she stood and I whispered to her, “I can’t take it, I’m standing.” She knows I’m not a mother yet she understood my standing / lie.

Here’s the thing, I believe we can honor mothers without alienating others. I want women to feel welcome, appreciated, seen, and needed here in our little neck of the body of Christ.

  1. Do away with the standing.

You mean well, but it’s just awkward. Does the woman who had a miscarriage stand? Does the mom whose children ran away stand? Does the single woman who is pregnant stand? A.w.k.w.a.r.d.

  1. Acknowledge the wide continuum of mothering.

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you

To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be

To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you

To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

  1. Commend mothering for the ways it reflects the Imago Dei (Image of God)

by bringing forth new life, nurturing those on her path, and living with the tension of providing both freedom and a safety net.

I know I might be an unusual one to be speaking about Mother’s Day; but maybe that’s why so many talk to me about mothering, I’ve got the parts, just not the goods.  Thanks for listening and for continuing to mother us in a shepherding way. Even though I’m a bit nervous to come on Sunday, I will be here. But if you make us stand, I might just walk out.

Warmly and in your corner,

Amy

SLIDE - An open letter to pastors mother's day

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Will Be Interviewed on American Family Radio

AFR

I will be interviewed live on American Family Radio (AFR) TODAY’S ISSUES hosted by Tim Wildmon on Tuesday July 28 at 11:10 AM CDT talking about single parents and my ministry. Hope you can tune in! If not, you can visit the AFR site afterwards and listen to it at your convenience. http://www.afr.net/afr-talk/todays-issues/

Super Single Parent Conference

Super-Single-Parent

Super Single Parent Conference

Olive Baptist Church – Pensacola, FL

Friday & Saturday, May 1-2

It’s tough being a single parent. James Cruise knows this all too well. Many years ago James lost his wife to a car accident, leaving him solely responsible for three young children. You have the opportunity to hear his story and learn from his struggles.

How can you take care of your children, take care of yourself and still find time to follow Christ’s leading in your life? Find out by joining us May 1-2 to hear from James Cruise, our guest speaker, at the Become A Super Single Parent Conference. The cost for the conference is $10. Payment envelopes can be picked up at the registration table in the foyer, all singles classes, the Singles office and the Main office. Scholarships are available by contacting the Singles office at 850-475-1147.

The Friday evening session begins at 7:00pm with heavy hors d’oeuvres. Saturday morning begins at 8:30am with a continental breakfast being offered. The event will be held in the Blue Room (#4100).

Free childcare will be provided for birth through fifth grade, but only for those registered by April 22. Pre-registered children can be checked in at the Simmons Building 15 minutes before the event starts and picked up immediately at the close of both sessions.

http://olivebaptist.org/singles

Friday is Single Parent’s Day

Here are the 12 reasons why we celebrate March 21, 2014 as National Single Parents Day:

1. 40% of all families in U.S. are led by Single Parents

2. It is already a holiday. (Most just don’t know about it)

3. Single Parent’s Day is more significant to female single parents than Mother’s Day.

4. Single Parent’s Day is more significant to male single parents than Father’s Day.

5. Honor single parents because the task of combining bread-winning and nurturing is awesome.

6. Children are our future.

7. The greatest need of all children is to be loved, whether they live in a one parent family or a two parent family

8. Single Parent’s Day has been a tradition since 1984.

9. Over half of all children in the US are raised in a single parent home at one point or another.

10. The number of single parents has increased over 200% since 1970.

11. There are many individuals who have filled the needs of their children with great courage and compassion as single parents.

12. Say it again! 40% of all families in U.S. are led by Single Parents

Slide - Single Parents Day 2014 JPEG

Reminder – Single Parents

Mark your calendar for the weekend of February 28 – March 1.

“2014 Single-Parent Retreat”

For single parents and their children (ages6-10). Free day care provided for 5 & under.

Speaker: James Cruise

To sign up or for more information:

1-800-748-1651, ext. 284 or dbrashier@mbcb.org

Retreat 2014 Central Hills

Surviving the Holidays: A GriefShare Program

FirstBaptistChurch, Jackson, Mississippi

Monday November 18th, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

In past years, the Christmas holiday season may have been a time of great anticipation and excitement… but this year, the prospect of facing the holidays without your loved one may cause anxiety and dread.

You are not alone.

Join us for a special holiday program by GriefShare that will help you to find strength and healing, plus, it provides tools for you to move forward in your daily walk through the deep pain and loss.

Facilated by First Baptist Jackson’s Congregational Care Minister, Dennis Daniels.

To  register, call our Congregational Care office at 601-949-1907

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