Laura Behnke, seen here with her 4-year-old daughter Sedona, will facilitate Mountain Life Church’s Single and Parenting program that will be held
Laura Behnke, seen here with her 4-year-old daughter Sedona, will facilitate Mountain Life Church's Single and Parenting program that will be held each Wednesday, beginning Sept. 3. (Courtesy of Laura Behnke)
Laura Behnke went through a divorce 2 ½ years ago while living in Arizona.

Luckily Behnke's parents told her to move with 4-year-old daughter Sedona back to Park City.

"I have been so blessed that they would take us back in," Behnke told The Park Record. "Many people in my situation don't have that."

In fact, many single parents don't have any type of resource or don't know where to find them. So, Mountain Life Church will start Single and Parenting, a 13-week seminar beginning Wednesday, Sept. 3. The sessions will run weekly from 6:45 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Childcare will be provided.

The course is designed around a workbook and DVD created by Church Initiative, a ministry organization that helps people experiencing life crises.

Mountain Life Church uses other Church Initiative sources for its DivorceCare and GriefShare sessions as well.

Behnke will facilitate the Single and Parenting program, which is like a study group open to all single parents, regardless of whether they are single through divorce, death or other circumstances.

"Each participant will get a workbook that they can do five minutes a day," she said. "When we meet each Wednesday, we will watch a 40-minute video, and then open it up for people to share what's in their heart."

The goal of the group is to help single parents understand what they are going through.

"The people at Church Initiative are counselors and can share some of their expertise," Behnke said.


"I encourage the participants in the class to listen to what these people have to say.

"The curriculum is faith based, but it doesn't matter what faith you are," she said. "If you came in and listened, you would be able to gather some great resources and tools. I think anyone will get something wonderful out of it."

Tim Deer, who is responsible for all the care ministries at Mountain Life, selected Behnke to facilitate the sessions.

"He told me I have a heart for people and have a passion to help these people," Behnke said. "To be honest, I was a little afraid. I am still a single mom and haven't come out of it. But I can still recall those feelings, emotions and different stages I went through those 2 ½ years ago.

"I am in no way a counselor," she said. "I'm more of someone who can provide them with resources, depending on their situation."

Before Behnke could lead the program, she had to complete it herself, and she learned many things that benefit her as a single mother.

One of the topics was dealing with family during the holidays.

"I have family members who are married and you go through the holidays and you're the single one and that brought back some emotions," Behnke said. "I had a hard time just enjoying the holidays, so going through this book has given me the tools to enjoy those times."

The program also helped her find the strengths of being a single parent.

"I've learned how I can influence my daughter, because it gives great parenting tools," Behnke said. "It helps you work with your kids to process their emotions at the same time you're processing your own. And it also gives tips on how to deal with their behavior.

It also helps single parents deal with their former spouses, especially if they have anger or resentment, she said.

One issue that really struck home for Behnke was how to accept help.

"A lot of time, pride gets in the way and you try to show that you have everything under control," she said. "You don't want to see the vulnerability and weakness, but that's a great way to start."

Although the sessions run consecutively for 13 weeks, Behnke knows it will be hard for participants to attend every session.

"Whatever they can do will be beneficial," she said. "We're planning to repeat the sessions in the spring, so if they missed something they can retake it."

Behnke hopes other single parents in the area will take advantage of the classes.

"We are a place where people are hurting can find a place of encouragement and care without judgment and condemnation," she said. "We're there to help people in our community."

Mountain Life Church, 7375 N. Silver Creek Rd., offers Single and Parenting, a 13-week program aimed at single parents in the community, every Wednesday, beginning Sept. 3, from 6:45 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Childcare will be provided. The one-time cost is $15 for materials. To register call 435-647-5855 or email . For more information, visit