Thursday Afternoon

Understanding Stepfamilies 101

Ron Deal, LMFT, LPC

Worship Center

Those new to stepfamily ministry are encouraged to attend this 101 breakout. Living in a stepfamily is as different from a biological family as driving a segway is from driving a car. If you’re trying to get your head around how and why they’re different (and how you can keep from going crazy in your own home) this laugh and learn breakout is for you. Children’s, Student, Adult, Marriage, and Senior pastors are encouraged to attend.


Integrating Stepfamilies into Marriage Ministry

John McGee

The Barn

Marriage ministry has historically ignored blended families. This breakout will unpack proven principles and models of marriage ministry and discuss how to integrate stepfamily ministry.


In Their Shoes: Understanding a Child’s Perspective of Stepparenting

Lauren Reitsema


The stepparent role is often met with resistance. Attitude, anger, and annoyance may spew from children who are coping with their new reality. The heart-ache resulting from this dynamic can test relationships at their core. This interactive breakout will provide perspective and tools for understanding this resistance from a stepchild who made her stepparents’ journey difficult.


First Year Survival Guide

Laura Petherbridge


Join Laura and a panel of stepcouples as she explores the unique issues stepfamilies face in the first year of marriage. Placing the marriage and the new spouse in the front seat, after the kids have dwelled in that spot, can be bewildering. She will address the “how tos” associated with coparenting, discipline, loyalty, conflict resolution, realistic expectations, and keeping “The Main Thing—The Main Thing.”


Parenting Grieving Children: Learning to Connect with Loss

Diane Fromme


No matter how stepfamilies form, every member experiences loss. This breakout will help parents explore ways to connect at a heart level with a child’s grief and loss, especially the death of a parent. It will also address how stepparenting differs after death than divorce.


Basic Training for Military Stepfamily Ministry

Todd and Tammy Gangl


If being in a stepfamily is not for cowards then being in a military stepfamily is only for super heroes! These blended families face all of the common blended family challenges and then find their load increased. This breakout session will outline the the unique stressors faced by these heroic stepfamilies and identify practical, hands-on ways that your church or ministry can reach out and serve those who are sacrificing to serve us