Seaford Mission: The 'Jesus factor'
By Robert Marx
This week we will see how week two at the Mission went for "Matthew" and examine a program similar to the one at the Mission. Matthew describes his second week at the Mission as "good." He was taken to his doctors to get his "medications straight" and received treatment for a cold. Matthew has several disorders that have contributed to his problems with the law. Those same problems have existed since his teen years, and also afflicted his parents. He remains stable as long as he gets his medication. In the past week Matthew was asked to begin developing a plan for his future. This plan will be continuously assembled and polished during his time at the Mission with the assistance and guidance of the administrator and Matthew's mentors. Matthew is planning to go to college to study psychology. His goals are to pursue a career in counseling and ultimately in psychotherapy. He believes that his studies will contribute to a better self-understanding, and that will enable him to help others more effectively. He describes his classes in the book of Proverbs, and the devotions at the Mission as "uplifting." His second week can be summed up in one word, "hope." He notes that in the past he really had no hope, but he can now see a future. He feels he is committed to his plan for the future. As he says, "There are no locks on the doors, and I'm still here." Some Mission residents have chosen to continue developing their spiritual and life skills at Teen Challenge. This program started in 1958 in reaction to the gang violence problem in New York City. It has since expanded to treat addiction in teens and adults on a national basis. They currently have over 170 treatment centers. The Teen Challenge program, like the one at the Mission, is faith-based. In fact, there are a number of parallels between the two programs. Both are long term, residential, and largely supported by charitable donations. These programs are a distinct contrast from the largely insurance funded short-term inpatient (STI) programs. The length of stay in short-term facilities is usually about 30 days, supplemented by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) after the hospitalization ends. A visit to the Teen Challenge website at www.TeenChallengeUSA.com, is very illuminating. Three major independent studies are cited. The Northwestern University study identifies the "Jesus factor" as the key to the success of the Teen Challenge Program. Although other therapeutic programs are based on a "moral model," the Christ-centered approach yields a success rate that is three to four times higher. The other startling fact uncovered in this study is that Teen Challenge is dramatically less costly than STI/AA/NA programs. The Mission's program mimics the basic elements of Teen Challenge design, and shares the high success rate at low cost. There are no similar studies yet to support the Mission's approach, but an informal survey of staff and residents clearly identifies the "Jesus factor" as the reason for their triumphs. In fact, they will unanimously tell you that God deserves all the acclaim for their achievements.
News, Needs, and Thanks
We are hard at work on a new website for the Mission. It looks like we will get some much-needed help from a volunteer with a journalism background. If you are interested in volunteering at the Mission, you can e-mail the Mission at SeafordMission@Verizon.Net, call 629-2559, or write to Seaford Mission, PO Box 1271, Seaford, DE 19973. This week we wish to thank the business leaders who are helping us to shape our development and fund-raising plans. As always, the Mission appreciates all financial help received, and especially your prayers.
Seaford Lenten Services
Rev. Drew Christian, president, Greater Seaford Ministerium announces Seaford Lenten services, sponsored by the Greater Seaford Ministerium, will begin on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 21. Services will begin at noon at rotating designated churches and will be followed by a light lunch. The schedule and pastors bringing a short message is as follows:
Feb. 21 - Grace Baptist Church, the Rev. Drew Christian;
Feb. 28 - Gethsemane U.M. Church, Father John McKenna;
March 7 - Atlanta Road Alliance Church, the Rev. Homer McKeithan;
March 14 - Mt. Olivet U.M. Church, the Rev. Peggy Briggs;
March 21 - St. John's U.M. Church, the Rev. Andy Kerr;
March 28 - Our Lady of Lourdes, the Rev. Carlton Cannon.
Christ Lutheran Shrove Tuesday
Christ Lutheran Church's Youth Group is sponsoring a pancake supper Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 20. "Shrove" is the past tense of the old English verb "to shrive," which means to make or hear confession of sins. On Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, many Christians make a special point of examining themselves and confessing sins. Shrove Tuesday is also called Fat Tuesday because on that day thrifty housewives would try to use up the fats, eggs, sugar and other foods forbidden during Lenten fasts. Shrove cakes, or pancakes, were introduced when people combined the ingredients they were trying to clean out of their cupboards. Christ Lutheran Church will observe the Lenten season with special Wednesday evening services. The Ash Wednesday service on Feb. 21 includes Holy Communion and imposition of ashes. All services begin at 7:30 p.m. Prior to the services on Feb. 28 through March 28, there will be covered dish dinners at 6:30 p.m. The Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, which includes scrapple and sausage, will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. Call the church office at 629-3975 to make reservations. Adults $5, children (ages 3-12) $3, and families $15.
Chapter of the Brotherhood
Plans are going forward at St. Luke's Episcopal Church for the formation of a Chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, an organization of the Episcopal Church founded in 1883. This chapter is open to all men in St. Luke's parish and in the community and will offer the opportunity for men to gather together for prayer, study, service and fellowship. Monthly meetings will be held. For more information call the church office at 629-7979 or Joe Coladonato at 629-3597.
Calvary Baptist Spring Conference
"Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman," Ladies and Teen Girls Spring Conference will be on Saturday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Calvary Baptist Church, Georgetown. Speaker will be Juanita Purcell of the Villages, Fla., Women's Conference Speaker and Author. There will also be a time of worship and praise, special reading, food and fellowship. Register by March 12. Cost is $7, which includes breakfast and lunch, on site. After March 12, the cost will be $15 per person. Call 856-3773.
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