Healing Streams promotes writing ministers in church
HERCULANEUM—A new ministry that emphasizes creativity is being established at First Baptist Church, Herculaneum-Pevely.
Healing Streams Writers’ Group was founded by church members Stephanie Wolcott and Joy Williams after the Holy Spirit prompted them to do so following their attendance at a writers’ conference in the Quad Cities region of Iowa.
“Joy and I discussed the need in our church for Christian writers to be able to hone their craft and also be encouraged to use their talents for the Lord,” said Wolcott, who also functions as layout editor for the church’s monthly newsletter. “I saw that persons who loved children were encouraged to teach or volunteer for children’s ministries, singers were mentored and encouraged through choirs, praise teams and church specials, but I realized that no one in the church had ever helped me to use my ability to write for the Lord.”
“I think that it (writing) is one powerful area that is being overlooked when we consider helping others to develop their ministries (and) talents within the church,” she said. “We want the group to encourage Christians to write, give them an outlet for their writings, and support them in their endeavors to get published if that is where God is leading them.”
The goal of Healing Streams is “to inform and uplift the church body, to encourage and support Christian writers, and to begin new ministries through literacy programs,” Wolcott said. “We talked about the harsh reality that we could write truly amazing, God-inspired, powerful things, but only those who can and do read will be touched by the Holy Spirit. We have to take responsibility and begin to encourage our church body and the children to learn to read and become lifelong readers.”
The group meets monthly to plan upcoming newsletter issues and to select themes. The group also does such things as help set up the church library or clean the church library. Wolcott, a language arts instructor in the Rockwood School District, also teaches mini-lessons on sentence variety, weaving and basic essay writing for teens and other interested writers.
The first issue of the group’s newsletter was “received very well,” Wolcott said. Readers responded with cards, phone calls and emails. Many said they read it from cover to cover.
Future newsletters will focus on the Bible, Jesus, thanksgiving, peace, joy, renewal and love. Feature stories on church members hopefully will promote unity. Other departments include missionary correspondence and church ministry want ads. The goal is to get more people involved in ministries.
Wolcott offered this advice for other churches wishing to start a writers’ group.
“Pray, pray, pray,” she said. “I’d say at least one (preferably two) person(s) need(s) to be completely committed in seeing it through, knowing most of the work for at least the first few months may fall on their shoulders. You need the support of your pastor and spouses (if married). You need Microsoft Publisher or a good program like that on a working computer with a printer, a disc or flashdrive for storage and portability, and, if possible, another member in the church who could act as ‘tech support.’ For us, that has been my husband, who is a Helpdesk associate, and John Harvey, another church member. Announce the idea in your church bulletin several Sundays prior to the first meeting and get the word out.”