Mountain Life Church offers a series of support sessions |

Mountain Life Church offers a series of support sessions

Scott Iwasaki

In a nutshell, the mission of Mountain Life Church is "Compassion for God, compassion for people," said Gail Iverson, assistant to the senior pastor.

"What we like to do as a church is go out into the community instead of being such an inward organization," Iverson said during an interview with The Park Record. "We do this because we’re all in this life together."

That’s the main reason why Mountain Life Church, located at 7375 Silver Creek Rd., offers monthly support groups, which will start their new season on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

"There is a spiritual side to these sessions, but we feel people from all walks of life will feel comfortable attending these offerings," Iverson said. "You go in and you’re with other people who are in sort of the same situations."

The sessions are as follows:

  • Single and Parenting, led by Laura Behnke, from 6:45 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., on Wednesdays for eight weeks.
  • EnCOURAGEment Through Cancer, led by Jeanne Fine, on the first Thursday of the month, from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., ongoing.
  • DivorceCare, led by Dale and Sara Clark on Wednesdays from 6:45 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., though Dec. 9.
  • DivorceCare4Kids, led by Kylee Sandusky and Sandy Hicks, on Wednesdays from 6:45 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., though Dec. 9.
  • GriefShare, led by Tim Deer, on Wednesdays from 6:45 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., though Dec. 9.
  • Celebrate Recovery, led by Barbara Boineau, on Fridays from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., ongoing.

    Most of the sessions are free to attend, except DivorceCare and GriefShare, which include a $15 materials feel.

    "Also, we would like people to know that they don’t have to attend every week," Iverson said. "We know schedules get complicated, especially in Park City. So people can come and go as they want or need."

    Although usually focused on being a single parent, the Single and Parenting class is switching gears this season, Iverson said.

    "Participants will read the book ‘The Meaning of Marriage,’ by Timothy Keller," Iverson said. "The reason for the switch this time is to help those who were once married and are single now, through divorces or death, and prepare them for when and if they want to get married again."

    The EnCOURAGEment Through Cancer provides support and encouragement for those journeying through cancer.

    "It has already been going on for a bit, but it doesn’t have an end date," she said. "Anyone can come in during any of the sessions."

    Iverson encourages divorcing parents and their children to take advantage of the DivorceCare and DivorceCare4Kids simultaneously.

    DivorceCare includes DVD presentations from nationally recognized experts on divorce and recovery with topics for adults. DivorceCare4Kids is designed for children ages 5 to 12, she said.

    "With the adult sessions, the leaders will address issues including anger, loneliness, forgiveness and new relationships," Iverson explained. "During the children’s sessions, kids can make friends with other kids to talk about their feelings and play games, listen to music and watch DVDs."

    GriefShare is one of Mountain Life Church’s best attended session and is based on biblical teachings that focus on topics associated with the death of a loved one.

    "We use a DVD that was created by well-respected grief experts that tell real-life stories, followed by a small group discussion," Iverson said. "We want people in the class find encouragement and comfort."

    Then there’s the 12-step Celebrate Recovery course, which isn’t just for those who are struggling with substance abuse.

    "This can cover any addictions, not just about narcotics, alcohol," Iverson said. "We have actually held this session in the jail, which was great because many times someone is in there because of an addiction. It’s like Alcoholic Anonymous, but with a spiritual angle."

    Lastly, Iverson is in charge of a new program called Stephen Ministry, which is held by appointment.

    "This is not like the others," she said. "This one features our group of lay ministers who have gone through a lot of training to have one-on-one sessions with people who are going through tough times. The ministers help people with anything including job loss, divorce or other situations."

    Iverson pairs people with the ministers.

    "So if a woman is needing support, I’ll find a female minister to talk with her, and if a man is in need, then I’ll find a male minister to work with him," she said. "These sessions usually last about an hour a week and can continue for as long as needed."

    Iverson hopes people who are facing life’s challenges will take advantage of these sessions.

    "Unfortunately, we will all, at one time or another, go through some hard times," she said. "That’s why we offer these services."

    For more information about the Mountain Life Church’s support groups, call Gail Iverson at 435-647-5855 or email .