Originally created 11/08/97

Conference speakers say families need a tuneup



When families are out of kilter, individuals suffer, and so does society.

"Every facet of society is an extension of family life," said the Rev. Charles Simpson. "It is what a person learns as a child that gets extended into families and social relationships. If the factory is broken, the product is likely to be broken."

Tuning up the family factory is the reason for TwobyTwo, the Southeastern Christian Marriage and Family Conference Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Alleluia Community Complex on Peach Orchard Road. The Rev. Simpson and the Rev. Larry Christenson will be the main presenters during the conference.

The talks will be followed Saturday afternoon with parenting workshops.

The Rev. Simpson, founder of Covenant Church of Mobile, Ala., is a leader in the charismatic renewal movement. He is also the author of The Challenge to Care, Your Home or His? and Courageous Living.

His organization, Charles Simpson Ministries, publishes Christian Conquest Magazine.

The Rev. Christenson, whose best-selling book, The Christian Family, has sold 2 million copies, lives in St. Paul, Minn. He and his wife, Nordis, authored The Christian Couple. The Lutheran minister is also editor of Welcome, Holy Spirit - a Study of Charismatic Renewal in the Church.

Everything in creation finds its completion in something larger than itself, said the Rev. Simpson. "Whatever doesn't integrate is malignant," he said.

Many, however, are taught that their role is more important than what they belong to, and that is a formula for fragmentation, according to the Rev. Simpson.

Self-sacrifice is a poorly understood topic today, he said. "But you can't build great countries, institutions, businesses or families without it."

Other speakers include Stephen and Karen Swenson on Saturday. They will present a talk titled Motherhood, Fatherhood and the Other Hoods.

The Swensons are teachers at Alleluia Community School, where Mr. Swenson is also principal of the middle school.

"I think it is evident that family life is very important to God," said Ms. Swenson. "He is pouring out his Spirit on us to be renewed in what he wants for the family."

With God at the center, the family should open up to include singles, adopted children and the elderly who need a place to be loved and cared for, she said. "It is important that we not limit our vision just to the nuclear family."

Workshops include: Parenting Difficult Situations, with the Swensons; Teaching Children About Sex, with Dian and Bill Conkright; Music, Media and Christian Family, with Dr. Hank Edmondson; Understanding Spiritual Warfare for Families, with the Rev. Lou Lindsey; and Dating, Courtship and Marriage for Christians, with Peggy and Chuck Hornsby.

For information about child care and other concerns, call 772-9687.

Two by Two

What: Southeastern Christian Marriage and Family Conference
Presented by: The Revs. Larry Christenson, Charles Simpson and local speakers
When: Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15
Where: Alleluia Community Complex, 2819 Peach Orchard Road
How much: $25 couples, $15 singles