The Embracing Embrace Series exists to encourage curious minds and hesitant potential leaders to respond with brave acts of courage and obedience and take the leap. Make the calls, emails, texts, the face-to-face conversations and invite women around your table to talk, share, listen and grow together. Here’s Katy Engle; soldier (member) of the Royal Oak Salvation Army corps in Royal Oak, MI. Katy’s the ‘volunteer champion’ for Embrace at the Royal Oak corps – because as she puts it, “I believe in it and feel called to do it!”  She also is a Mary & Martha consultant, offering tools for women to make their homes speak to their faith ala Deuteronomy 6.  Check out her site! EMBRACE
“Eight ladies (including myself) met in my home today over lunch for embrace..” and here’s how it went…
Did you have any expectations about Embrace before your first gathering? I expected all the ladies to be sort of giggly and awkward or quiet and reserved during our discussion.  I don’t know why I thought we would all suddenly act like middle schoolers.  I thought it would be like pulling teeth to get anybody to answer.  I imagined myself saying, “Come on, guuuuyyyyys!  It’s not that bad!” throughout the gathering and having to do an extreme amount of coaxing.
What (if anything) surprised you about the questions? I was surprised at how simple the questions were to have such profound answers.  It was surprising to ask, “What do you spend a lot of time on each day?” and not be sure of how to answer because most of the time we spend time just DOING and thinking about what we’ll do next.  We were able to pause and take time out from our daily obligations to consider what we put before Jesus.  It was a healthy reminder that our identity should be in Christ!
How did your group of women respond? The women responded better than I’d hoped!  They were warm and inviting towards each other.  There was plenty of laughter and smiles.  Answers were honest and hearts were open to sharing and encouraging each other.  It was very touching and I could already see relationships being strengthened just from sharing this one meal.  God was at work!  Everyone responded positively and mentioned out loud that they’re looking forward to more embrace gatherings in the future.
In what way do you hope Embrace builds community in your corps?
I hope to see women encouraged in their walk with the Lord.  I hope to see women getting to know Jesus better through getting to know other women better.  I hope to see more inter-generational friendships.  I’d love to see more women introduced to our body of believers through Embrace.
Additional comments: I wish I had thought to take a photo and to share the scripture on the back of the question cards.  The scripture was very applicable to our conversation and I’m sure it would have resounded in our hearts at the time.  Next time I think I’ll have a larger visual of it in our meeting place, maybe on a chalkboard where everyone can see it.

Check out these Royal Oak Embracers!

embrace RO 2embrace RO



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