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Local Ministry Forms Support, Service Group For Parents Of GLBTQ Children

FULTON – “Four thirteen,” a group for Christian parents of GLBTQ children, has been launched by Lakeside Christian Ministries in Fulton.

The group meets on the third Monday of each month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the home of Pastor Chuck and Betsy Copps, 38 Bakeman St., Fulton.

“While the group was initially created to provide a safe place for Christian parents to connect with others and share encouragement and support, four thirteen is open to all,” said founder Betsy Copps. “The name four thirteen comes from the Bible verse Philippians 4:13, which says ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Together we can indeed find the strength to model the love and ministry of Jesus Christ before all people with an uncompromising faith that honors God and serves others.”

The Copps draw upon their own life experiences, as their youngest child is transgender.

Betsy saw a need to build connections with other parents, but this need was not being met in the faith community.

“I did not see a safe place in which parents, let alone their children, could openly and authentically discuss their feelings, their struggles, their fears; as well as share the joys and the heartbreak that comes with all family life, with others who can identify with their experiences. So I kept silent for a long time,” she said. “Then I realized that isolation is unhealthy and unproductive. If I’m experiencing it, then so are a lot of others. It’s time to come together!”

The Copps are among the founders of Lakeside Christian Ministries, a Fulton based church and ministry organization that celebrates its second anniversary on Oct. 18.

“Church usually meets in our home at 9 a.m. on Sundays,” said Pastor Chuck. “We also hold prayer time from 6 to 7 p.m. on all the other Monday evenings when four thirteen is not meeting.”

Lakeside has several projects in the planning stages for the next few months, including: a “scarf bombing” event to place winter gear in public places where the homeless can retrieve them and keep warm as the temperatures drop; monthly game nights at Michaud Nursing Home; blessing bags with snacks and non-perishable items to hand out to homeless folks on the street throughout the winter months; and collection of items for Operation Christmas Child.

“We’re looking forward to becoming more visible and involved in helping those in need, especially through partnering with other ministries. We want to help others – and ourselves – live our lives and walk out our faith in ways that honor God’s truth and reflect God’s love and care for people,” Pastor Chuck added.

You can keep in touch with what’s going on at Lakeside Christian Ministries by visiting www.lakesidechristianministries.org, as well as LakesideCMFulton on Facebook.

The email is [email protected]