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Adventure Awaits: Camp Tekoa 2018!

Adventure Awaits: Camp Tekoa 2018!

WATERSHED SUMMER CAMP AT CAMP TEKOA

Watershed is excited to announce our second year of summer camp experiences for children and students ages 7-17!  Your child is invited to spend a week (or half week depending on age) with us at Camp Tekoa, a beautiful camp nestled in the mountains of Hendersonville, NC. This camp is a beloved summer camp of some of our Watershed GreenHouse/Shed Student leaders not only because they attended the same camp as children, but because they have been sending their own kids there as well for the past few years. We have tested the waters and we know you will love this place!

This Watershed summer camp experience is sure to be unforgettable for your child. Children will get to experience God in the context of nature and enjoy community with their fellow GreenHouse and/or Shed Student friends. Plus they are going to have a ton of fun given all the amenities and activities at Camp Tekoa. From arts and crafts to ziplines, swimming and campfires, adventure awaits your child!

Are you new to the whole camp thing? Never fear! Camp Tekoa offers ways to send your little campers email during their time away and they even have secured photos posted throughout the week so you can follow along with your child's journey!

Although registration will be done directly through Camp Tekoa, we ask that you respond to Watershed Children's Pastor Becky Santoro before registering so we can keep track of which Watershed families are also taking part in camp and help resource you with possible carpooling/transportation and child roommate request opportunities. Fill out this form to express interest and get in touch with her!


WATERSHED CAMP TKO WEEK 8: JULY 29TH-AUGUST 4TH, 2018

MINI CAMP (Ages 7-9): There is an option for first time and young campers to spend just half a week at camp. These shorter sessions give your new camper a taste of everything and might be more cost effective. Cost is $270.
FULL WEEK CAMP (Ages 8-17): This is the classic camp experience. From the thrill of the zipline to various lake activities and other adventures, your elementary student is sure to have an unforgettable experience! Cost is $570. 

A minimum $50 non-refundable and non-transferable deposit by electronic check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express is required online to reserve a camp session. The full balance for camp must be paid by May 1st, but payments can be made between February and May to make it less of a financial strain.
 

The Potting Shed: Thermostat vs. Thermometer

The Potting Shed: Thermostat vs. Thermometer

By Kristy Yetman, Child Therapist and GreenHouse Volunteer

I believe for every kid who is about to lose it, there’s a parent who is about to do the same.  Some days are beautiful and others can feel brutal.  There is nothing certain about a day with a kid except that you are certain to not have certainty!

All parents know those scenes:  

  • You’ve almost successfully made it through the checkout line at Target without a meltdown when your child reaches for one of the chocolate bars.
  • You have spent the past three hours at the playground and, after giving the 5-minute warning, everything seems to be going according to plan and you might just make it back to the car without issue... but because his brother took his last goldfish your tired and dirty toddler is now a tired and dirty toddler who is also having a tantrum. 
  • Your child is teary-eyed while sitting at the kitchen table because he’s not understanding the science project instructions and it’s due tomorrow.  

I’m sure you could add your own stories with your kid, at any day, and any moment.  One of the things I work on with parents is to help them pay attention to themselves during these moments and notice what is happening inside of them.  Is my heart beating fast?  Is my jaw clenched?  Am I using physical force?  Am I raising my voice in that frustrated tone?  Am I starting to blame my spouse for what’s happening?  

One of the most valuable things I have learned from the research of Dr. Gary Landreth, and something I share with parents all the time, is the metaphor of being a thermostat verses a thermometer.  A thermometer reacts to the temperature around it.  When the temperature goes up, the thermometer goes up.  Thermostats on the other hand respond to the temperature around them and when the temperature changes a thermostat responds in a way that is helpful to the situation.  

Yes, it is one of those things that seems easier to say than practice. There are definitely skills to learn and practice.  When we are able to recognize what is happening inside of us, though, we are able to interfere with the tendency to let the emotions of others dictate the emotions in us.  Just because your child’s emotional temperature is rising, doesn’t mean that your's has to.  You can respond in ways that help regulate your child’s emotions. In other words, your child’s feelings are not your feelings.  

What’s one of those skills for staying calm?  The easiest thing to do and the easiest thing to forget to do:  breathe.  In through your nose and out through your mouth.  Once, twice, however long it takes for you to feel in control of yourself.  

With a calm body, you can respond with a calm mind.

There are lots of other things you can do too. During The Potting Shed series in GreenHouse, the When Big Emotions Can Cause Big Problems session will explore some of the reasons why kids escalate into those big emotions and how parents can respond in the ways that are most helpful. With a few new techniques – and maybe some crossed fingers – when your child comes back to the shopping cart with a Kit Kat bar, you can help them regulate their emotions and understand that it’s almost time for dinner.


THE POTTING SHED

Our next Potting Shed workshop will be a repeat of the topic When Big Emotions Can Cause Big Problems, taught by Kristy YetmanThis session will be held on Sunday, June 25th, from 9:15-10:45AM. Space is limited to 20 participants and the cost is $15 for GreenHouse volunteers/$20 for non-GreenHouse volunteers.

Read what GreenHouse parents are saying about the first session of When Big Emotions Can Cause Big Problems...

This was worth our time. The content was spot on, interactive, and Kristy provided meaningful practices/nuggets of wisdom. Let's do it again soon.
-Rich Robles, GreenHouse parent of 4

Kristy balanced Q&A and presentation of material really well without getting into too many kid-specific situations. It was perfect. Well done!
-Chris Hartter, GreenHouse parent of 2

Adventure Awaits!

Adventure Awaits!

WATERSHED SUMMER CAMPS AT CAMP TEKOA

Watershed is excited to announce our first SUMMER CAMP experiences for children and students ages 7-17!  Your child is invited to spend a week (or half week depending on age) with us at Camp Tekoa, a beautiful camp nestled in the mountains of Hendersonville, NC. This camp is a beloved summer camp of some of our Watershed GreenHouse/Shed Student leaders not only because they attended the same camp as children, but because they have been sending their own kids there as well for the past few years. We have tested the waters and we know you will love this place!

This Watershed summer camp experience is sure to be unforgettable for your child. Children will get to experience God in the context of nature and enjoy community with their fellow GreenHouse and/or Shed Student friends. Plus they are going to have a ton of fun given all the amenities and activities at Camp Tekoa. From arts and crafts to ziplines, swimming and campfires, adventure awaits your child!

Are you new to the whole camp thing? Never fear! Camp Tekoa offers ways to send your little campers email during their time away and they even have secured photos posted throughout the week so you can follow along with your child's journey!

Although registration will be done directly through Camp Tekoa, we ask that you first respond to Watershed Camp Coordinator Tracy Strickland before registering so we can inform you of which other Watershed families are also taking part in camp on the same dates and help resource you with possible carpooling/transportation and child roommate request opportunities. Tracy is an experienced Camp Tekoa and GreenHouse parent and is happy to answer your questions! Fill out this form by February 1st to express interest and get in touch with her!


WATERSHED CAMP TEKOA WEEKS FOR ALL AGES

  1. WEEK 1: June 25-July 1
  2. WEEK 2: July 30-August 5

ELEMENTARY STUDENTS

AGES 7-9:  CHOICE OF WEEK 1 OR 2

MINI CAMP: There is an option for first time and young campers to spend just half a week at camp (either Sunday-Wednesday or Wednesday-Saturday). These shorter sessions give your new camper a taste of everything and might be more cost effective. 

Cost of mini camp is $270.

AGES 8-11: CHOICE OF WEEK 1 OR 2

FULL WEEK CAMP: Session runs Sunday-Saturday. This is the classic camp experience. From the thrill of the zipline to various lake activities and other adventures, your elementary student is sure to have an unforgettable experience! 

Cost of full week camp (called TKO for Tekoa Overnight Camp) $540.


MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS

AGES 11-14: CHOICE OF WEEK 1 OR 2

This full week (Sunday-Saturday) camp experience will engage your middle school student and activities will include a slip-n-slide, canoeing, a waterfall trip, a mud pit and lots of adventure. Currently we have two students from MSB Bloc signed up for Week 1 in case your middle school student would like to join in with that group! 


HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

AGES 14-17: CHOICE OF WEEK 1 OR 2

This is full week (Sunday-Saturday) camp experience will engage your high school student and activities will include ziplines, mudpits, canoeing, rafting, campfires, a service project and much more adventure. 


To learn more about Camp Tekoa, visit the Camp Tekoa website.

GreenHouse Training Day

GreenHouse Training Day

GreenHouse exists to plant seeds and cultivate hearts through the lens of Jesus. It’s our hope that by the time a child leaves 5th grade they have a firm sense that God created them, that His spirit is everywhere, that we are connected to Him and others, and that justice is the heartbeat of humanity.

In order to plant these deep roots of identity, awareness, connection, and justice it takes a special group of volunteers who know how vital GreenHouse is to the growth of our littlest Watershedders!

To say that Children’s Director Becky Santoro loves her team of GreenHouse Volunteer Leaders would be an understatement! Gathering together a few Saturdays ago for a training and celebration, the team kicked off with an epic lip-sync battle (Jimmy Fallon would be so proud) and ended with pizza and a healthy competition of who knows which child developmental phase the best.

Sprinkled throughout the three hours were conversations of the new and continuing initiatives in GreenHouse. The time also allowed for reflection about how the way we viewed God as children has shaped us as adults today.... and our hopes of what a future GreenHouse graduate would say when faced with the same question one day.

When 30+ people take 3 hours out of a Saturday to learn and grow together we know we are in for an epic year. Thank you volunteers for all you have done and continue to do for our community’s children!

To learn more about GreenHouse, Watershed's Sunday morning experience for kids ages six weeks through 5th grade, email Becky.

 

Spring Baptism 2016

Spring Baptism 2016

Sometimes religion can feel abstract or intangible, but when we hear someone's story it puts flesh on the theoretical and animates concepts that may have previously seemed inaccessible or dry. Baptism is a declaration of resurrection in real-time. The symbolic dunking in the presence of community has less to do with theories and dogma and much more to do with tasting real Transformation and feeling drawn to relinquish old patterns of living as a result. Baptism proclaims that resurrection is not only something that happened... but that it's something that HAPPENS.

On May 22nd Watershed baptized six of our community members. May their stories of hope and renewal remind you that you, too, are endlessly pursued by Love!

Interested in participating in our next Baptism? Check out our Baptism FAQ's or fill out a Baptism Interest Form


Kristen 

I found Watershed about a year or so after my divorce. Through the experience of having my marriage end, I was starting to develop a much clearer picture of my true self. However, I also arrived wounded and somewhat lost due to a lack of support from some people who I thought would be there for me through the pain. Going to church, and especially joining and sharing in a community, wasn’t fully comfortable. I felt ashamed to say I was divorced. I felt like I didn't fit in with early 30-somethings who were all settled, married, and having children. 

Watershed was the first place I felt something new start to grow. I felt I could be who I was and let people know my circumstances without judgement. It felt so good to be able to do so. Over time, the embarrassment, guilt and self-consciousness that once occupied parts of my life started to dissipate. And, ultimately, it became the space where Christ started to grow inside of me. In our most recent series, I’ve started dealing with the idea of truly forgiving myself.

More and more, awareness of God's presence started to grow in my life. I started being drawn to this community: I decided to go through Preface...  I joined a bloc... I started engaging the Bible... I invited others to Watershed.. I became a tutor at Byers... I volunteer as a greeter... I’m friends with the leader of the band (I’ve never really had “church” friends!). When I traveled for work, I stayed connected through podcasts and the Watershed app. I've gone to church for most of my life (except for college/early 20's), but often I wasn’t fully present and certainly was never a full-fledged part of a church community.  

Coming into a greater intimacy with God has been both freeing and challenging. There’s a happiness and peace that I have started to experience. I’ve been given permission to be myself. But it’s also challenging me to look at others and myself differently to remain open-minded and compassionate toward others in the same way.

When I was a child I was baptized, but I love the fact that as an adult I have a choice, kind of like renewing your vows in a marriage: even though you did it once I'm re-confirming this is my choice. It’s my choice to seek God, community and a life with Christ that I want to continue being intentional with. I am also moved to be able to have my grandfather be a part of this with me, as he and my grandmother are the clear spiritual leaders of our family and have probably had the most impact throughout my life in keeping me close to God.


Bonnie 

I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church. I went to church religiously every Sunday as a child and teenager. My father is a Baptist Deacon and my mother was raised Catholic, so God and Christ were important to our family. When I was seven I prayed to accept Jesus so that God would forgive me of my sins and I could go to heaven.  As a child, often you haven’t developed enough to ask questions about things. But as I grew into adulthood, things changed. To the extent that for the past 13 years, the idea of God, church and religion wasn’t as simple as I remembered it. In fact, it became rather confusing and less than compelling.

And so I drifted into a life that was more about me than it was about God. I lost track of what it meant be “Christian” anymore.  My views about life also changed. In some sense… I felt lost.

I think I arrived at Watershed longing to be closer to God. However, I didn’t feel that my life was “good enough." Preface helped me realize God’s expectation of me wasn’t perfection. I started recognizing that getting closer to God was more about understanding that He was already here… with me and in me... in the first place.  I realized that part of what Jesus was inviting us to do was to see God in everything. If you focus on seeing, the being will come.

My life just before arriving to Watershed, I think, was marked by quite a bit of stress and anger. I felt out of sync, as though there should be more to what I was experiencing in life. I embraced the belief that more success, money and experiences would somehow satisfy me in the deeper places of my life. What I’ve realized is that because God loves me and is close to me, my life is already meaningful. And that I am OK being by myself, sitting in the quiet, sensing that I’m a part of something larger than myself.  

I’m getting baptized because I’m awake to everything I just described after being asleep for the better part of the last 13 years. My hope is to continue to grow and to learn and follow in the steps of Christ. The more Christ teaches me about God, the more I realize how impossible it is to ever understand his immensity. But I want a deeper, more awake, more vulnerable and stronger relationship with God. And I want my life to matter such that the change and peace I’ve discovered and experienced, others can begin to experience too.  


Greg 

My first experience with Watershed was in 2005 through a Watershed-sponsored event called Movies in the Park.  I remember meeting Matt at a local coffee shop to talk about Watershed’s view of life, God and Christianity. Watershed was in its first year and meeting in Actor’s Theatre in Uptown back then. I decided to get involved. I attended on Sundays, joined a bloc, served and led in various capacities. I even led Watershed’s ROVE Bloc for a while.    

From the beginning Watershed spent time and energy attempting to help hurting people. I was drawn to get involved with some of the pursuits to make things better for people, whether in West Virginia through Habitat for Humanity or building homes in Mexico. I like doing things with my hands and I love being outdoors. These are some of the ways I feel most connected to God, so those were very meaningful experiences for me.

Life took me in a different direction several years ago, but Watershed has always been a place marker for a true season of growth. I learned things about myself and my relationship with God that were building blocks for my life with Christ today.   

These days I’m part of a church within the community where I live in South Carolina. It’s a church I really love and it’s a community that’s really starting feel like home. However, recently I became aware that when I was baptized as a child it was a decision that was more driven by my parents than by my own convictions or relationship with God. I’ve been reflecting on this for a while and decided that, as an adult, I wanted to embrace this for myself. I wanted to mark this moment in my life because of how truly loved and accepted by God I am.

Because so much of my journey was informed and instigated during my season at Watershed and because God used this community and the people here to impact my life, when I made this decision I felt drawn to return here for baptism.  

I want to be baptized because, after looking back over my life, I’ve noticed that God has consistently been present with me, patiently growing me and walking with me even during those less than desirable times of life. I want to be baptized because I want to continue identifying with Jesus, building community and being a part of helping others connect to the God who has been so vital to me personally. And what makes this really special for me is being baptized surrounded by so many people in a place that has always felt like home. 


Carole 

Since childhood my spiritual life has definitely ebbed and flowed. It really flowed as a kid. I grew up in a church that was right up the hill from my parents house. I was very involved in our youth group at every level. It was a really enjoyable experience and I feel fortunate to have grown up with a church and church community so close to my home.

I think a lot of the ebbing had to do with being an unaware college kid, allowing myself to be influenced by people and situations that were not the safest or healthiest. I hate to say it but it was kind of like a "sex, drugs, and rock & roll" phase of my life... when I really lost touch with God. It's like my love for Him was always there but I was clouded by bad decisions and toxic relationships. In college, I remember sometimes searching for a church or attending some random Bible study but nothing ever stuck.  It wasn't until I moved to Charlotte that my life really changed.

I had just moved here and didn't know a soul so I started going out and drinking as a way of fitting in. And so, unfortunately (and in an odd way, fortunately), I was out one night drinking and I chose to drive home intoxicated. However, I didn’t make it home. Instead, I was pulled over and arrested for Driving Under the Influence.  

I don’t know how others handle something like this, but for me it was a horrible, embarrassing, humiliating experience. It left me emotionally drained and emptied. Thank goodness I didn’t injure anyone or myself. But that night in 2013, everything changed for me.

There was a sense that I always knew ABOUT God before that event, and that I even felt he was often near. But that experience (as painful and demoralizing as it was) also woke me up to the desire to know God in deeper more meaningful ways. I longed to know God loved me even when I was unable to love and forgive myself for what I had done.

Then, in 2015, Tracy (a friend and co-worker) invited me to come to Watershed. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but over time I got involved in a bloc, started contributing to GreenHouse, and started really searching into deeper parts of myself. At Watershed I entered into a pursuit of following Christ in the process. I started feeling God's love me more and more. I started noticing that parts of my story and life became easier to describe and more redemptive to tell. The pursuit of Christ has had and continues to have a huge impact on my life. I think I've always had a love for God and have always known I need Him. But I think the more I forgive myself for my actions and let God in the closer I feel to Him.

I’ve only really been focusing my life this way for a little over a year, but today I feel more alive, content and in tune with who I am and who I want to become. I still have insecurities of course, but the more I’ve moved through this, the more the insecurities go away. I used to spend a lot of my time in other people’s shadows, feeling like I had to measure up in order to be liked. In my pursuit of Christ, it feels like I've come out of the shadows. And I believe I did because God used the worst moment of my life to open this sort of door. It feels like He pushed me out of the shadow. “I feel like He was like, "no kid, enough of this, you need to shine! You need to become who you were designed to BE. Not this other person you’ve been all these years."  

So I want to be baptized today, because this is the moment in my life when I’ve hit the reset button. I want the metaphorical death of old Carole to know a new, more alive, more real, more transformed Carole! The one Jesus keeps reminding me is real.  And I want this to be the way I live from this day forward. 


amanda & ryan

AMANDA

Church has always been a part of my life. I was raised Catholic and attended mass most Sundays with my family. Those early experiences with religion and spirituality were satisfying and gave me a strong value foundation that I still use to navigate life.

However, upon entering college, I found myself searching for a more personal expression of my faith. I wanted a deeper intimacy with God and unfortunately just attending mass didn’t provide that relationship I was searching for. During my senior year of undergrad, a friend reached out and helped me start exploring my personal relationship with God. My friend attended non-denominational church. It was a bit of a struggle with the change from the Catholic Church, but I started spending time sifting through the Bible and talking to God on a daily basis, attempting to learn more about my faith on a personal level. I only attended my friend’s church a handful of times before I left Florida for grad school in North Carolina.   

Upon arriving to North Carolina,  I chose to return to my Catholic expression as often as I could. But ultimately, I struggled finding traction with God.

Then, last Christmas, my fiancé Ryan (who was unaccustomed to religion) started expressing an interest in finding a church. This was fueling for me personally because I saw it as a way for us bring faith into our lives. Ryan and I started to search together and the craving grew for my life with God to develop into more than just ritual. I wanted it to be a part of the fabric of my day-to-day life and I yearned for a life where Ryan and I could share faith. I wanted God be present to both of us.

Ryan and I found Watershed in January with a mere google search. They had just begun the Stogies and Stilettos series which seemed perfect for a newly engaged couple like ourselves. Watershed has been instrumental for me and for Ryan. It many ways, it’s become like a home where we’ve felt the freedom to explore and embrace God in a deeply personal way. We jumped right into Preface with only a few weeks under our belt and we started exploring our faith together within our group and at home. Embracing God has changed me. Christ has helped me look at myself and the world through a different set of eyes. It’s created a sacred space for Ryan and I in our relationship that is ours individually... but one that we also share with each other.  

Our pursuit of God has helped us experience a faith more spiritually and emotionally entwined. It’s expanded our love and commitment to each other. It’s given our relationship more meaning and significance.  

Baptism for me is has been about the start of something new that I want, always, moving forward in my life. I want my life and our marriage to be a picture of God’s compassion, mercy, justice and peace. For my life and my family to be a picture of the good news that Jesus embodied. I want to be able to give our children this way of knowing God, this type of community, this type of relationship and this type of faith. I hope to continue to grow and become more of who God longs for me to be. I want make a difference both in our Watershed community, the community of Charlotte, and the world. I want my faith to be an outward expression of God’s love and invitation to others.    

I'm getting baptized because of how personal my life with God has become. It’s a relationship that has become real, alive and true. I am so happy to experience this with my fiancé Ryan by my side!

 

RYAN

I grew up in Sarasota, Florida, in a family and with parents who were the most generous, loving parents I could ever ask for. I’ve never known what it’s like to NOT be loved by my mom and dad. I have a very high opinion of them both. Interestingly though, our family was relatively non-religious. Conversations about God, church or religion just never really came up. So my experience with religion and spirituality has been, to put it simply, absent.

All this started shifting for me over the past couple of years. I can’t pinpoint an exact moment where God came into my life but the biggest influencer in all this has been fiancé, Amanda. Amanda grew up with her own understanding of God and would often ask me to attend church with her. I was always open minded about going, but just never truly felt comfortable at the churches we tried.  After spending Christmas with her family and attending church on Christmas Eve I expressed to her that I wanted to attend more frequently so I could gain some traction and understand more about what I was doing there.

Amanda had the idea of searching for the type of church where it would be safe for both of us to explore this in our own way and also together. We found Watershed through a Google search. It was close to home and so we decided to attend. That first Sunday was the first time I walked into a church without feeling anxious or apprehensive. It felt right. It felt good. In the way that Watershed has helped me make sense of myself and God, there seemed to be less obstacles in experiencing a presence and connection with God, something I’ve noticed growing stronger.

Recently, Matt asked me the question:  “Has the idea, conversation about, or pursuit of Christ had some sort of impact or influence in you starting to feel closer or more in sync with God?”

It took me a few days to organize my thoughts about this. But, since really diving into my own spirituality I've definitely felt a connection with Christ and have been thinking about life in many ways that are different than before.

I’ve noticed caring more deeply for the people I love in my life. I’ve noticed this also in terms of the people I’ve met here in the Watershed community or people I work with or the people I desire to help in more outreaching ways through the schools Watershed works with. And I am certain it all comes from this new relationship I've just started with Christ. This is still all very new to me and I'm extremely excited about it all. I'm still learning to embrace everything in my own way but I feel like I’m growing everyday.  

I’m drawn to the idea of baptism. Baptism for me has become this milestone where my resolve and bond with Christ and God are strengthened more and more. In my heart and mind my baptism is a powerful and emotional moment of celebration in my life because of the traction I’m experiencing in the beginning stages of my relationship with Christ and God. I do not want to put my life before Christ to rest, I want to explore and add more layers of love and spirituality to it with Christ and God.  And I look forward to doing it here in this community.  

 

Thanks to Liz Croby & Bill Thomas for taking the photos shown above!

Because He is Risen

Because He is Risen

Thanks to all who joined us yesterday at Watershed to celebrate Easter Sunday! You can listen to the complete message here if you missed it. 

Because He is risen
Spring is possible
In all the cold hard places
Gripped by winter
And freedom jumps the queue
To take fear’s place
as our focus
Because he is risen

Because He is risen
My future is an epic novel
Where once it was a mere short story
My contract on life is renewed
in perpetuity
My options are open-ended
My travel plans are cosmic
Because he is risen

Because He is risen
Healing is on order and assured
And every disability will bow
Before the endless dance of his ability
And my grave too will open
When my life is restored
For this frail and fragile body
Will not be the final word
on my condition
Because He is risen

-Gerard Kelly

 

Conscious Coupling

Conscious Coupling

Yesterday Watershed welcomed Charlotte therapist Patricia Butler to share a Valentine's Day message about conscious coupling. Patricia walked through the states of partnership/marriage and explained an intentional dialogue practice couples can use to communicate in a healthy and effective manner.  

STAGES OF PARTNERING OR MARRIAGE

  1. Romantic Stage (18-24 months)
  2. Power Struggle Stage
  3. Mature Love Stage

After about 18-24 months, most couples will begin to find themselves in the Power Struggle Stage of a relationship. The subconscious needs and desires of each person might clash, and, if left unexamined, will continue to cause unresolved tension. In this stage, many couples strive to return to the Romantic Stage, to "get back to how we were." However, returning to that stage is not possible. Thus, couples need to find a way to move forward into the Mature Love Stage. 

Practicing intentional dialogue is one way couples can begin to move forward into greater wholeness and mature love. Intentional dialogue slows down our brains, fosters deep listening, creates a sacred space, and can serve as a contemplative practice. Click here to view a description of each stage of the intentional dialogue practice.

After hearing from Patricia, Matt reminded our community that it can be easy for couples to lose hope during the power struggle stage. However, the moment you connect with the idea that there's something else happening beneath the surface, that there's a whole internal sub-story which is unknowingly informing your life and the life of your partner, you might experience a new sense of liberation and hope.

In Matthew 13 Jesus told a parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."

May it be the same in our relationships. Once we discover hidden treasure we didn't know existed, may we be willing to forgo everything to run after the wholeness and healing that can be ours.

Contact Patricia (pjbutler-msw@earthlink.net) or check out this recommended reading list for more. Also, Patricia and her husband will be leading a Conscious Coupling Workshop next month:

 

CONSCIOUS COUPLING WORKSHOP

March 5, 2016

Myers Park Baptist Church, 9:30-4:00pm

$295.00 (before 2/26/16)

$325.00

 

Listen to the full podcast of Matt and Patricia's interview here

Reshaping the Future

Reshaping the Future

"It does take a village to raise a child. It is the role of the entire community to uplift this school."

Last Sunday Principal Sarah Reeves from Shamrock Gardens Elementary School came to Watershed's Sunday Gatherings to share about the importance of community support in education (watch the full interview below). Through Catapult, Watershed's local justice initiative, volunteers have been coming alongside the staff and students at Walter G. Byers school for more than seven years. We are so excited to launch this second school partnership with Shamrock!

Our primary focus at Shamrock will be providing reading buddies to scholars who need them. That's right - scholars. It's no accident that the young people at Shamrock are labeled with a word loaded with such potential. The staff wants Shamrock students to know just how much they believe in them, and part of helping scholars internalize that belief is having people from outside the school community reinforce it as well.

On Sunday Principal Reeves shared some sobering statistics with our Watershed community:

"Reading is the achievement gap for our kids. You could fill the NC music factory amphitheater with [CMS 3rd graders] who are below proficient in reading. There is so much research that shows if you don’t get them by the end of 3rd grade, the chance of them becoming proficient really decreases. States look at 4th grade reading proficiency levels to project prison rates. Getting our kids on grade level is a non-negotiable."

Inevitably these stats and figures beg one question: what is the solution?

The solution is layered and complex, but one facet that seems to be moving the needle is matching up struggling readers with one-on-one reading tutors. 85% of the 3rd grade scholars at Shamrock Gardens who started with a reading buddy before October are now on grade level. For just an hour a week, it truly is possible to help reshape the future for a struggling student in this community. 

Watershed's goal is to resource Shamrock Gardens with 20 new reading buddies before the end of March. As a reading buddy, you'd visit your student for 30-45 minutes each week on a consistent day and time. Resources and lessons plans are provided - no education experience necessary!

Thank you, Principal Reeves, for visiting Watershed and providing our community with an opportunity to undermine injustice right in our backyard.  

Would you like more information or are you ready to jump in? Click here to get involved!

Christmas Eve "Early"

Christmas Eve "Early"

December 20 at 9:00 & 10:45 AM
two opportunities for a special Watershed experience for the whole family
1817 Central Ave • Charlotte NC • 28205
Plaza Midwood

One of our community's most beloved traditions is our annual Christmas Eve service. We decided this year, since so many folks travel over the holidays, that we would move our Christmas Eve experience from the 24th to our Sunday morning gatherings on December 20th so that everyone could take part in the tradition.

At the core of all the celebrating, shopping, decorating, overeating, and various traditions of the Christmas season is a baby, an unwed mother, a carpenter, and a silent night that started it all. On Christmas Eve, Watershed offers a respite from all the holiday chaos where you can take a moment to rest, hit the "pause" button on the pandemonium, and possibly catch a glimpse of the Christmas holiday in its natural state. Join us on December 20th to experience Christmas Eve a little early at Watershed - a contemplative, casual, ambiance-drenched, reflective, family-friendly, 70ish minutes of Christmas-carols-meet-21st-century Christmas Eve service for ALL ages and ALL walks of life. Bring someone you love!

Watershed 10 Year Anniversary Story & Celebration!

Watershed 10 Year Anniversary Story & Celebration!

#Watershed10 was a success! Thank you to everyone who made our ten year celebration possible, from the staff and the volunteers to the past Watersheders who came and visited and the food trucks who joined us for the fun. We couldn't have done it without all of you and we are so grateful for all of the love that was shared through pictures, stories, and music. Send us your photos from the day and we'll post them on our website to commemorate! 

Listen to the podcast of the stories from our celebration here!

Catapult Auction

If you've been around Watershed very long you probably have noticed that we highly value creative expression. But our heartbeat is justice and we've discovered away to blend the two to accomplish something fantastic.

DECORATE YOUR SPACE FOR A GREAT CAUSE! Be part of our FIRST EVER stage elements auction!

ABOUT THE WALL HANGINGS: Have you noticed the custom wall hangings suspended from white branches on stage for this #twelve series? They could be yours! Two custom hand-knotted amalgum of variegated cotton and wool blend threads and yarns suspended from white rope tied onto birchwoodesque wooden branches- purple lights bulbs to backlight the wall hangings included (fixtures not included, but bulbs are!).  Currently they are about 4 feet wide and can be adjusted. The colors vary from black, grays and white to different shades of plum and purple. We purposely have left the length long so it can be customized for YOU! You have to see them in person!

ABOUT THE AUCTION: During this twelve week series we will begin an auction for both of them - the highest bidders take them home (either 2 different bidders or both to one bidder depending on your offers!). They look great on a wall, in a window...they are fashioned in the style of Rachel Miller (designer for Urban Outfitter) wall hangings and can be styled in numerous ways and trimmed to the length you desire! The proceeds from this auction will go IN THEIR ENTIRETY to help our Watershed Justice CATAPULT program serving the students and staff of Walter G. Byers School.

Feel free to inspect them up close before and after our Sunday Gatherings throughout the series and let's make your bare walls or windows beautiful while furthering justice in our Queen City! 

HOW TO BID: You can place a bid for this auction in the comments below. Just state the amount and whether you are bidding on BOTH or just ONE of the wall hangings. The #Twelve series wall hangings will go to the highest bidder(s) on the final week of this series, May 17. 

Please share with your friends (FB, Twitter, Insta) and know that when you place a bid you are not only helping the kids of our city but you're investing in a piece of a transformational series about addiction and recovery for our community. It'll be a storypiece for your home/office/workplace/school etc. and we know you'll enjoy it for years to come. 

Questions? email us!

HAPPY BIDDING!