I'M NEW HERE GET INVOLVED MINISTRIES COMMUNITIES eGIVING

The Frequently Asked Questions
about the Workshop

  1. What is the cost of the workshop and what does it include?
  2. Do you have childcare? Does it cost extra? Is it just childcare, or is there content about divorce for children?
  3. Do you have a program for middle school age (12+)?
  4. Is parking convenient? Does it cost?
  5. How many participants do you usually have? Men? Women?
  6. I have schedule conflicts on Sundays in Sept/Oct/Nov, Is it okay if I can only come half the time?
  7. Do you have other programs during the year?
  8. How is the workshop structured - live lecture, video, small groups?
  9. Are there social activities?
  10. How many weeks is the program?
  11. Do you have different speakers or is it the same person each week?
  12. Who conducts the small groups? What is their training or background?
  13. Do I have to talk in the small group? I am shy, I mostly want to listen, I'm not usually comfortable sharing.
  14. What about confidentiality?
  15. Are the small groups mixed gender? Can I be in an all-women’s or all-men’s group?
  16. Is this mostly a program for women?
  17. I have been divorced for a while. Can I still benefit?
  18. I am only separated. Do I have to be divorced to attend?
  19. My last relationship was a train wreck, it feels like a divorce although we weren't married. Can I come?
  20. I am the one who ended the marriage. Will I be blamed, or treated differently?
  21. I am not a Baptist. Does that matter?
  22. I am not a Christian. Am I welcome? Will the people try to evangelize and convert me?
  23. I don't usually attend church. Will I feel out of place?
  24. Who can I talk to if I have more questions?
  25. Can I get help with other issues related to divorce, i.e., financial, children counseling?
  26. Which side of the building do I come in and which door do I use?
  27. What do I need to bring?
  28. I am really a wreck. What if I fall apart and cry?
  29. Is this a Biblical program or a Bible Study?
  30. Do I have to be a member of the church to attend?
  31. I am not sure I will like the workshop. Can I observe the group before I pay?
  32. What if my estranged spouse signs up to take the workshop?

Top of page

1. What is the cost of the workshop and what does it include?

The cost includes a workbook and the Workshop Weekly newsletter, Children’s and Teen program and childcare for younger children. It also includes Friday night “Boundaries” seminar and a Workshop social. The cost of the workshop is $60 if you sign up in advance, or $75 at the door.

Top of page | Back

2. Do you have childcare? Does it cost extra? Is it just childcare, or is there content about divorce for children?

Yes we offer childcare and the cost is included in the program fee. Childcare is for children first grade and under. Your children will be safely cared for by the First Baptist Church trained and professional childcare team. There is no “content” for the younger children. Their time will be spent in play, age appropriate activities, gym time and snack time. The Workshop fee includes a program for children in grades 2-6 and a separate program for teens grades 7-12.  The content of these programs is designed to assist the children, in age appropriate ways, with their own recovery process.

Top of page | Back

3. Do you have a program for middle school age (12+)?

Children in the second through sixth grade are included in the program for children. Seventh through twelfth grade are included in our Teen program.

Top of page | Back

4. Is parking convenient? Does it cost?

There is no cost for parking. Parking is available in the lot on Mulberry Street adjacent to the church. There is an additional parking lot one block from the church on Robinson Street between Monument and Park. There is also ample parking near the church on the surrounding streets. The church employs security guards during activities and we provide escorts to your car on request. Participants generally will leave in groups and we have never had a problem with parking safety.

Top of page | Back

5. How many participants do you usually have? Men? Women?

The Divorce Recovery Workshop usually has around 80 to 120 participants each year, though we have had one year of 220 and one year of 70 participants. The ratio of men to women varies each year but is usually about 30% men. Our volunteer staff is close to 50/50 men and women.

Top of page | Back

6. I have schedule conflicts on Sundays in Sept/Oct/Nov. Is it okay if I can only come half the time?

We encourage participants to make every effort to attend each week. Attendance is important to each participant’s learning and connecting with others. Additionally, each participant is an important member of their small group and their presence in the group is valued. We do recognize that some people have obligations that prevent them from attending on a regular basis. For this reason, we have initiated “Flex” groups. These groups are designed specifically for individuals who cannot make a commitment to attend on a regular basis.

Top of page | Back

7. Do you have other programs during the year?

The Divorce Recovery Workshop is the launch pad for the Recovery and Transformational Ministries at Richmond's First Baptist Church. The workshop is designed to help individuals deal with the emotional pain of the loss of a love relationship and the consequent issues related to that loss. It is just the beginning of the healing and growing process. It is our hope and our goal at First Baptist that each participant will continue the process of learning and becoming and transforming. We provide year-round opportunities thorough various classes and programs, social, travel, and missions opportunities. These programs address personal growth, healing, relational skills, spiritual nurture, and community building. We believe that the recovery process is a journey and a great adventure. We hope you will join us on the trail!

Top of page | Back

8. How is the workshop structured - live lecture, video, small groups?

The workshop begins each Sunday night with a gathering time around snacks and coffee. At 6:00 pm we have a short period of announcements. After announcements, a past participant will give a ten minute testimonial. Next, a 30-minute lecture is given by different local professionals. Following the speaker, we dismiss to individual rooms for a small group time of discussion and sharing. Finally, the group will come together for a short closing time and benediction.

Top of page | Back

9. Are there social activities?

We believe that community building is one of the most important elements of recovery from the loss of a love relationship. We believe that individuals suffering from this devastating loss need to learn that they can discover joy in the midst of their crisis. We provide several opportunities for our participants to have a little fun and experience community during the workshop. Every Sunday before the workshop, participants are encouraged to meet for dinner at Robin Inn. We sponsor one “safe” social event which is held at the church and structured to provide an evening of carefully planned group activities. On Friday evenings during the workshop, we have a pot luck dinner and the video series, “Boundaries,” with small group discussion. We encourage each workshop small group to plan a group activity. At the end of the workshop, we host a wonderful weekend retreat.

Top of page | Back

10. How many weeks is the program?

The workshop runs for eight weeks on Sunday evenings. Included in the workshop is a Friday night program, “Boundaries,” that is a Cloud and Townsend video series.

Top of page | Back

11. Do you have different speakers or is it the same person each week?

Over the eight week workshop we generally have six to eight different speakers.

Top of page | Back

12. Who conducts the small groups? What is their training or background?

The small groups are facilitated by individuals who have taken the workshop as participants and have experienced the loss of a love relationship themselves. They are not professional counselors or therapists and they come from varied backgrounds and situations. They are chosen by our leadership team based on recommendations, interviews and observation. Some of the qualities we look for are; individuals who are good listeners who are well along on their own recovery journey, who have a heart for hurting people, and who are good team players. We look for people who caring, non judgmental, accepting, and willing to give generously of their time to the ministry. Once the individual makes a commitment to the ministry, they participate in a training program designed to equip them with the necessary understanding and skills to effectively facilitate their small group. New facilitators are generally paired with a more experienced co-facilitator.

Top of page | Back

13. Do I have to talk in the small group? I am shy, I mostly want to listen, I'm not usually comfortable sharing.

No one is required to share during small group. Each person is offered the opportunity to share but there will be no pressure to share should they decline. We tell our groups in the beginning that if anyone does not want to share, all they have to do is say “I pass.” We do all we can to make the small group a safe place to share your feelings and experiences and we understand that it is difficult for some participants to share openly with their group. We respect each person's need to move at their own pace and to share only that which feels comfortable to them.

Top of page | Back

14. What about confidentiality?

We consider confidentiality the most essential element in establishing the feeling of safety and trust that is necessary for participants to feel comfortable enough to share openly and honestly in their small groups. We have established clear rules regarding confidentiality both for participants and for volunteers. All volunteers are trained extensively in our confidentiality policies and techniques for dealing with confidentiality issues. All volunteers sign a covenant that includes strong language regarding confidentiality. Our group rules address confidentiality and participants are asked to covenant with their group to maintain the confidentiality of their group. Any breach in confidentiality will be handled seriously.

Top of page | Back

15. Are the small groups mixed gender? Can I be in an all-women’s or all-men’s group?

Most groups are mixed gender. We believe that it is important for participants to relate to both genders during their recovery process as this reflects the world in which they must live, work, and interact. Most groups have a male and female facilitator and it is our goal to have at least two men in each group. If there is sufficient interest among our participants, we will set up all men and/or all women groups that meet on a night during the week.

Top of page | Back

16. Is this mostly a program for women?

Our workshop participants are 70 to 80% female though our volunteer staff is about 50/50 male to female. Bruce Fisher, the author of our textbook “Rebuilding,” has studied men and women and their participation divorce recovery seminars for many years. His research has shown that men are more reluctant to attend a divorce recovery seminar but those men who do attend, demonstrate remarkable progress toward adjustment. They adjust more quickly and more effectively than men who do not attend. This, of course, is true for women as well. We believe the help this workshop offers to our participants is reflected in the makeup of our volunteer team.

Top of page | Back

17. I have been divorced for a while. Can I still benefit?

Anyone, no matter how near or distant their loss, can benefit from this workshop. Many people are not aware of the effect that buried and unacknowledged feelings can have on their quality of life and on their relationships. Though the feelings may have dulled with the passing of time, they are still present, unhealed and denied. In order to truly heal and go on with our lives, we have to face our issues and feelings. This process is not always easy and can be painful. Many people in the workshop say it is like “work.” Once we have dealt with the painful issues, we are then free to move on with our lives unhindered by the emotional ties to a painful past. The workshop aims to help participants deal with the painful feelings and to learn new life skills that will help them rebuild their lives and create new healthier relationships.

Top of page | Back

18. I am only separated. Do I have to be divorced to attend?

The majority of participants are in the separation phase of their relationship loss. Our workshop is not designed to help couples reconcile. If you are actively engaged with your partner to work through your issues with the clear intent to stay together, this workshop is not for you. This workshop is for individuals who have made the decision to end their love relationship or who have had that decision made for them. Wherever you are in that process, whether separated, divorced, or experiencing a breakup, this workshop will help you process you painful feelings, adjust to the process and connect with others going through the same thing.

Top of page | Back

19. My last relationship was a train wreck, it feels like a divorce although we weren't married. Can I come?

The workshop is open to anyone suffering the loss of a relationship. We take the loss of a relationship through breakup very seriously. The loss of any love relationship is a painful and grief-ridden experience. We hope you will trust us enough to attend.

Top of page | Back

20. I am the one who ended the marriage. Will I be blamed, or treated differently?

Many of our participants and volunteers are the party that ended the marriage. We understand that the feelings the “leaver” is dealing with are just as painful and the adjustment just as difficult as those of their partners. We do not judge or blame anyone regardless of their actions or role in ending their marriage. Rather than judgment and blame, we offer care, concern, encouragement, and validation. Our concern is in helping each participant heal and discover wholeness and hope in their lives so that they can become all they were meant to be.

Top of page | Back

21. I am not a Baptist. Does that matter?

The mission of this workshop is to provide a safe place for ANY person who is experiencing the pain of the loss of a love relationship. You do not have to be of any particular faith or denomination or belief system to attend. You will not be asked about your beliefs nor will you feel uncomfortable or out of place because of them.

Top of page | Back

22. I am not a Christian. Am I welcome? Will the people try to evangelize and convert me?

We do not evangelize, preach, or make any attempt to change your beliefs or to convert you. Doing so is strictly against our policy. Again, our mission is for everyone who attends to feel comfortable and accepted. We are concerned about YOU, not your religion.

Top of page | Back

23. I don't usually attend church. Will I feel out of place?

You may feel uncomfortable with the idea of coming to a church but you will quickly discover that this workshop is not church, and that we have worked hard to make this a safe and comfortable place for you. We will not ask you about your faith or beliefs and we will not ask where you go to church. You will find that you are not the only person who is not a regular church attendee. Some of our participants have never been in a church and some may not have attended a church since their childhood. Others may attend a mosque or a synagogue. So come on, you will feel just fine.

Top of page | Back

24. Who can I talk to if I have more questions?

Please feel free to contact: Ralph Starling (Minister of Christian Invitation) Starling@FBCRichmond.org 804-358-5458 x134

Top of page | Back

25. Can I get help with other issues related to divorce, i.e., financial, children counseling?

We have many resources available to our participants. Just let us know what your needs are and we will do all we can to help you. We have child and teen specialists on our church staff who are wonderful resources to help with children. We have a special seminar on finances during divorce.

Top of page | Back

26. Which side of the building do I come in and which door do I use?

The first night of the workshop, you will see many volunteers holding green balloons around the church. They would love to give you directions. We encourage our participants to park in the lot on Robinson Street, located between Monument Avenue and Park Avenue From there, walk one block west down the alley way toward the church. Cross Mulberry Street and walk through the parking lot to the veranda. You can enter the door on your left. There will be lots of folks around to direct you and greet you and answer your questions. We look forward to meeting you.

Top of page | Back

27. What do I need to bring?

If you are not pre-registered, you will need to bring your registration fee in cash or check. If you wish to purchase a textbook, you will need $16 in cash or check. The books will be available for sale throughout the workshop. You may want to bring a pen or pencil if you want to take notes but if you forget, we will be glad to provide one for you. You will receive a nametag a small group assignment, a workbook and a workshop Weekly newsletter. There are journaling pages in you workbook for note taking. Other than that, just bring yourself, your open heart and your willingness to learn.

Top of page | Back

28. I am really a wreck. What if I fall apart and cry?

Most people who attend the workshop are struggling with their emotions and dealing with varying levels of situational depression. Our goal is to make this workshop a safe place for participants to share their feelings. Few participants will get through the eight week workshop without shedding a few tears. Many will cry through their whole small group each week and that is okay. We have all experienced the strong emotions that go along with the devastation of a divorce. Our lives are confusing and chaotic during this time. Crying, shorter fuses, frustration, losing keys, forgetfulness, disorganzaition, running late; in short, being a “wreck,” is normal for anyone going through separation and divorce. We understand this because we have all experienced it. Many of our volunteers will tell you that they thought they were “going crazy.” We want this workshop to be the one place you can feel accepted for all that you are dealing with, an oasis from the rest of the world and their demands and expectations. If you cry, we will understand and we will cry with you.

Top of page | Back

29. Is this a Biblical program or a Bible study?

The volunteers in this ministry are answering the call of Christ in our lives to “comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” We approach this program as an outreach to all people with our mission to help anyone who is suffering. We do not evangelize, preach, read scripture, or proselytize during the workshop. We offer a program to help everyone who is suffering from the loss of a love relationship to heal from the emotional pain g of their loss. For those who would like a Bible study, we offer a support group and Bible study on Sunday morning during the workshop.

Top of page | Back

30. Do I have to be a member of the church to attend?

No, you do not have to be a member of the church. Most of our participants are not members of First Baptist Church.

Top of page | Back

31. I am not sure I will like the workshop. Can I observe the group before I pay?

Many people are unsure if they will like our approach. Most fear that it will be too “religious.” Some have even had a bad experience at another church. We will allow you to observe one session of the large group time only. Due to issues of confidentiality, we cannot allow anyone to observe a small group session.

Top of page | Back

32. What if my estranged spouse signs up to take the workshop?

If it is determined that both parties have signed up to take the workshop the same year, our policy is that the first person to register is allowed to participate in the workshop. We will work with the other partner in any way we can do all we can to assist them in finding another program.

Top of page | Back

 

 
  Ministries
Christian community
Christian invitation
Christian formation
Christian worship
Christian compassion
Communication
Support


Missions
Divorce recovery
Music
New Americans
Prayer
Recreation
Upward sports
First Baptist Preschool
  Communities
Children
Youth
Young adults
Adults
Senior adults
Women
Sunday school
Deacons
Deaf




First Things First
online


FBC home
  Spiritual Growth
What is a Christian?
First Connection
Daily devotionals
Bible studies
Faith stories
Pastor's blog
Sermons
Stewardship
Sunday@FBC




WebClass Bible
study


I'm new here...
  Resources
Calendar
CDs & DVDs
eGiving
Library
Media clips
News
Podcast
Webcast
Weddings
Scholarship fund
Endowment fund


KOH2RVA


Getting involved
  About us
Who we are
How to join
Weekly schedule
Location
Parking
Staff
Organization
History
Weather closing
Website tour






Microchurch
  Connect with us

RSS
Facebook
Twitter
Vimeo
Youtube
Receive email news
 
 
FBC exists to make disciples of Jesus Christ through joyful worship, caring fellowship, spiritual nurture,
faithful service & compassionate outreach in the Richmond area and throughout the world.
This site is maintained by the Communication Ministry of First Baptist Church.
Send comments or suggestions to the FBC webmaster.