Support Groups

Support Groups

Welcome to RiverLakes Counseling Ministries, where you will find encouragement to help you find and follow Jesus through the transitions, challenges and struggles of life.  We are a ministry to hurting people encouraging them with the Hope of Christ,  so that they can be reconciled to God and to others. Whether you’re in the midst of a crisis, having to confront a challenge, or searching for spiritual direction, our ministry offers a friendly face of understanding and practical assistance.  By applying Biblical truths to everyday difficulties, you can learn to live a life full of joy that pleases God.

-Dr. Brent Van Elswyk, Pastor of Families,

Counseling and Support / Teaching Pastor

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Giving Opportunity 

People Encouraging People

Trained lay counselors serve as a crucial lifeline to hurting people to provide hope, support and encouragement. Meeting with a lay counselor in a safe, accepting environment may assist an individual in overcoming the obstacles that are in front of them, with the ultimate goal being to point them to a closer, life changing walk with Jesus.  

Since its inception in 2002, the People Encouraging People ministry of RiverLakes Community Church has also been providing lay counselor training. Over the course of about 2 years, potential lay counselors attend 3 phases of training, obtain psychological testing, and participate in an interview process. Additionally, Consultation and Ongoing Education is provided on a regular basis to assist counselors with learning new techniques and counseling constructs, many of which are used directly in counseling sessions, as well as for the personal growth of counselors. 

When you make a donation to RiverLakes Community Church, which supports the People Encouraging People ministry, not only does your gift go toward providing valuable resources used for training and education for counselors, but it impacts the lives of people living right here in the Bakersfield community and the Church-at-large. Any gift of any size is significant in helping us be People Encouraging People.

Thank you for your contribution!

CLICK HERE

DivorceCare: Surviving the Holidays

DivorceCare: Surviving the Holidays

Help and hope for men & women going through a marriage breakup while trying to navigate the Christmas season.

Wondering how you will survive the weeks surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas? Are you dreading these holidays, knowing that everything has changed and happy memories from past years can’t be recreated?

Our Surviving the Holidays seminar is especially for people who are separated and divorced.

Join us Sunday, November 17, 2019 from 3:00 – 5:00pm in the Community Center Room 121.

You’ll learn:

  • How to deal with your many emotions during the holidays
  • Helpful tips for surviving social events
  • Ways to give your kids a good holiday experience
  • How to discover hope for your future

Light refreshments; no childcare. $10.00 at the door (-please have correct cash or check payable to RCC).

Contact Crosby & Veronica at crozzby@me.com to register and get further information.

Upcoming Occurrences

  • Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 3:00pm - 5:00pm
GriefShare: Loss of a Spouse

GriefShare: Loss of a Spouse

​Video interviews with counselors, grief experts, and widowed men and women offer helpful insights on:

  • What to expect in the days to come
  • How to deal with the loneliness
  • What to do with your spouse’s belongings
  • Why it won’t always hurt this much
  • And other practical help for dealing with the challenges of widowhood

Loss of a Spouse is a special seminar for people grieving a spouse’s death. You’ll learn what to expect in the days ahead and how to find strength and endurance to carry on. Join us Sunday, October 20, 2019 from 3:00 - 5:00pm in the Community Center Room 120. No childcare. $10.00 at the door (correct cash or check payable to RCC). To sign up, email George & Donna at georgebuell1975@gmail.com or call the church office at 589-9733 x222.

A Remembrance Service is offered every December.  The next GriefShare series is January 5 – April 5, 2020.

Upcoming Occurrences

  • Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 3:00pm - 5:00pm
GriefShare: Surviving the Holidays

GriefShare: Surviving the Holidays

Avoid being blindsided. In the wake of grief and loss, get focused help to face new struggles during Thanksgiving and Christmastime.

Sunday, October 6

3:00 - 5:00pm

Community Center, Room 120

The holidays can be confusing and you may feel isolated with many questions about things you’ve never faced before. It’s a time when difficult emotions hit even harder. You CAN be more prepared and more intentional, and gain wisdom and insight while still dealing with the heartache and sorrow of your loss.

Our Surviving the Holidays 2019 seminar is especially for people who are grieving the death a spouse, child, family member, or friend. To sign up, email George & Donna at georgebuell1975@gmail.com or call the church office at 589-9733 x222.

 

Loss of a Spouse 2019 seminar will be October 20, 2019.

A Remembrance Service is offered every December.  The next GriefShare series is January 5 – April 5, 2020.

Remembrance Service

Remembrance Service

​​Sunday, December 10 | 7:30pm | Community Center Auditorium

Are you missing a loved one this Christmas?

You are not alone. Remember those who have passed away and celebrate the hope of eternal life that we have in Christ at our Remembrance Service.

Suriving the Holidays - A DivorceCare Seminar

Suriving the Holidays - A DivorceCare Seminar

Help and Hope as You Navigate the Christmas Season

​​Wondering how you will survive the weeks surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas? Are you dreading these holidays, knowing that everything has changed and that happy memories from past years can’t be recreated?

Our Surviving the Holidays seminar is especially for people who are separated and divorced. 

Join us Sunday, December 4 from 3:00 - 5:00pm in the Community Center Room 122.

No childcare. $7.00 at the door (please have correct cash or make check payable to RCC).

Contact Crosby & Veronica at crozzby@me.com to register and get further information.

You’ll learn:

  • How to deal with the many emotions you’ll face during the holidays
  • Helpful tips for surviving social events
  • Ways to give your kids a good holiday experience
  • How to discover hope for your future

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Weekly Divorce Seminars: DivorceCare is a weekly seminar and support group for men and women who are separated or divorced.  If you are going through the pain of a marriage breakup, find help on Sunday afternoons from 3:00 to 5:00pm, February 26 – June 11, 2017 (except 4/16, 5/14 & 5/29), in the Community Center, Room 121. Workbook fee is $25.  No childcare. Contact crozzby@me.com to sign up.

Women of HOPE

Women of HOPE

Women with CancerWomen of HOPE is for women who have received, or have the possibility of, a cancer diagnosis. Get connected with another woman who can offer information and resources, friendship and understanding, knowledge and compassion. We would be honored to support you during this time in life. Please call Carolyn at 661.324.2914 or join us in the Community Center Board Room at 6:30pm for support and prayer.

Coordinator(s)
Carolyn (661.324.2914) and Karen (661.204.4335)

Location
Community Center Board Room

DivorceCare for Men & Women

DivorceCare for Men & Women

Weekly Divorce Seminars:  DivorceCare is a weekly seminar and support group for men and women who are separated or divorced. If you are going through the pain of a marriage breakup, find help in a warm, caring environment with people who understand. Learn practical information and find hope for your future! Sunday afternoons from 3:00 to 5:00, August 11 – November 10, 2019 (except 10/6) in the Community Center Room 121.  Workbook fee is $25.  No childcare.  Contact Crosby & Veronica atcrozzby@me.com to sign up.  Surviving the Holidays is 11/17/19.

GriefShare

GriefShare

Sundays, 3:00 - 5:00pm

January 5 - April 5, 2020 (except 2/2)

Community Center, Room 120

Grief Recovery:  GriefShare is a weekly seminar and support group for men and women grieving the death of someone close to them.  It’s a place to be around people who understand what you are feeling.  Work through your grief and renew your hope as we journey from mourning unto joy. To register and get more info, email George & Donna at georgebuell1975@gmail.com or call the Church at 589-9733 x222.  $25 for materials.

Surviving the Holidays and Loss of a Spouse are each offered in October.

A Remembrance Service is held every December.

​Not Alone:  L.I.F.E. for Women

​Not Alone:  L.I.F.E. for Women

Not Alone:  L.I.F.E. for Women Affected by their Mate’s Sexual Brokeness. Confidential support and encouragement. Whether your mate is involved in pornography, physical or emotional adultery, or other forms of sexual acting out, this Christ-centered group incorporates spiritual discipline, accountability and prayer for those enduring sexual infidelity. You need not suffer alone. Join other women who also want to Live IFreedom Everyday. Call Diane at 204.2499 for further information.  Childcare available by previous arrangement only.  Materials fee. Start anytime Sept – May. 

Sexual Addiction Exposed: For Men Only

Sexual Addiction Exposed: For Men Only

Tuesdays 7:00 - 9:00pm

Expose the darkness, pursue healing and embrace grace.  Develop tools to prevent lapse and relapse. Pure Desire curriculum confronts sexual bondage, associated struggles and family system issues.   Learn to live and love in the light of Christ. 

Call Gilbert at 661.319.3910 for location and further information.  No childcare available.  New groups form periodically. To be added to the list and obtain more information, call Gilbert at 661.319.3910 . No childcare available. 

Betrayal & Beyond: Meetings for Wives

Betrayal & Beyond: Meetings for Wives

Betrayal & BeyondSupport Group For Wives of men struggling with sexual addiction. Join other ladies in similar circumstances to confidentially address sexual bondage and betrayal. Apply Pure Desire curriculum in learning to pursue healing, embrace grace and explore change. No childcare. Materials fee only. New groups start periodically. 

Call Margit at 661.333.4644 to sign up and obtain further information.

Passionate Hearts

Passionate Hearts

Hope, Help & Healing for Women

Passionate Hearts Ministry offers a variety of Christ-centered, curriculum-based, highly confidential settings for adult women. 

Were you wounded by childhood sexual abuse? Are you wanting to defeat disordered eating? Do you long for emotional health and wish for heart-connections? Have you wondered how to overcome the bondage of dysfunctional relationships? Come and discover a better understanding of who God created you to be. 

Call Wendy at 661.331.3392 to apply. Space limited. Materials fee only. Childcare by prior arrangement only.

More info: http://www.passionateheartministry.com/


Call by August 22 to request registration in any of the following groups:​

Passionate Hearts: For women wounded by childhood sexual abuse

We provide a safe place for women to tell their stories and to establish responsibility for the abuse where it rightfully belongs. We provide a safe place for them to assess and overcome the wounding caused by abuse so that they can move from being victims to being survivors. We help them explore core beliefs that developed during their abuse and help them gain an understanding of how these beliefs drive their choices and actions. Then we teach them how to replace faulty beliefs with Biblical truth. We give survivors the freedom to wrestle with God and His sovereignty over abuse and help them explore what it means to passionately love God, themselves and others. We help survivors see their story, painful and ugly as it is, as a part of God’s beautiful redemptive story. 

If you were victimized by childhood sexual abuse or rape and want more information about this group leave a message at 661.331.3392.

Courageous Hearts: For women in recovery for all types of eating disorders, both clinical & subclinical

We provide clear definitions of eating disorders and explore the physical damage disorders cause, protective denial systems, root causes and cognitive processes of disorders. We also explore emotional, relational and spiritual damage caused by eating disorders and provide practical tools for overcoming them. Whether you struggle with disordered eating patterns, distorted body image, anorexia, purging or non-purging bulimia and/or compulsive eating, you can benefit from studying this material with us. The group will help you grow in your relationship with God, yourself and others as you courageously face fears concerning food, needs, relationships, life and body image. It will also help remove the shame of having an eating disorder as you learn to depend on God for healing in this area of your life.  

If you struggle with an eating disorder and want more information on this group leave a message at 661.331.3392.       

Feeling Hearts: For women who would like to learn more about the emotions in their lives

God created us to feel a wide array of emotions that give us valuable information about our hearts and our perceptions.  Because of The Fall, we tend to mishandle, misread, repress, suppress, avoid or deny our feelings. This makes us great pretenders and experts at deceit; robbing us of heart connections. If you’ve been taught that emotions are unimportant, inappropriate or shameful, this support group will give you new insights that will free you to experience all the emotions you were created to feel. It will also help you to learn how to live a more authentic life, experience a deeper sense of community (by helping you to form heart connections) and give you a deeper understanding of the Creator who created you in His image. 

If you would like to learn more about how emotions affect the way you live and want information on this group leave a message at 661.331.3392.   

Invisible Hearts: For women recovering from multiple past issues

This group will address most all areas of abusive challenges including verbal, neglect, physical, spiritual, and growing up in a home with mental illness issues. We will discuss the impact of shame, powerlessness, cognitive distortion, and the core beliefs that form in abusive relationships. Learn to verbalize your pain, stories, and questions in a safe place where Gods’ love and sovereignty for the wounded is explored. Gain skills to reduce the impact of abuse on your relationships with the Lord and others. Become empowered to relate in healthier ways and love as Jesus loves. 

If you were a victim of emotional abuse and want to understand its impact and work toward healing, leave your message requesting more information at 661.331.3392.

Loving Hearts: For women who desire to understand and overcome dysfunctional relationships

This group will explore the faces of dysfunction by covering topics such as: living with a distorted sense of reality, a distorted sense of responsibility, control issues, chronic loneliness, codependency and unresolved woundedness. We will also look at the roots of dysfunction by exploring topics like starving for love, living in the shadow of addictions, abuse and families bound by legalism and shame. We will learn how to overcome dysfunctional relationships by understanding our call to love and the heart issues which hinder that call. We will also talk about the art of building mutual relationships, loving in the face of difficult circumstances and what it means to understand the love of God and live loved. 

If you desire healthier and more meaningful relationships this group would be beneficial for you. For more information leave a message at 661.331.3392.