A letter to my body

Kristen Schoenbeck

Kristen Schoenbeck

Birmingham Teaching Pastor

No matter what I weigh, I see fat. There is always a pair of pants I can’t fit into. A smaller size mocking me from the hanger—dancing with delight on the rack because it is beautiful, popular, confident, and envied. All the things I will never be because I can’t fit my thick body into it.

I have allowed the scale, the mirror, people’s comments, and social media to define me. I have given them authority to remind me that I will never be good enough. I have listened to the shame-filled whispers in my mind too long.

Today it stops. Today I change my mind. Today I choose to come into agreement with God when He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139). Today I stare at my frame in the mirror and wrestle with the degrading whispers to expose God’s truth. I list every mutinous body part and choose gratitude instead of contempt.

A letter to my body….

You have been good to me, body. You have been faithful to me when I have been ashamed of you. You have given me good gifts of sight, taste and smell when the only attention I have given you has been with the hope to change you. To make you more socially acceptable. To make you more attractive to others.

Hair. How I pulled you into tight ponytails to straighten every strand of you instead of letting you naturally be free to frizz up and curl. You are healthy and beautiful and have a life of your own. I am sorry I let the magazines tell me you should be sleek and shiny like plastic.

Arms. You rock. You have been twisted, broken, and called upon to carry the heavy loads. I apologize I covered you in long sleeves so no one would see you age. You have earned the loose skin under your upper muscle. You wear it with grace.

Veins. I have hated you the most. You have thin walls and have expanded to carry my life-giving blood through my body. You protrude. You have faithfully carried oxygen and nutrients throughout my body never taking a day off. Never resting. I apologize for the multiple times I crossed my legs in humiliation and fear that you would be seen. Thank you for your unfailing service. I am grateful.

Going forward I am going to engage in self-compassion instead of self-condemnation. I am going to thank God for the beautiful, miraculous piece of artwork that you are. Daily. I am going to take care of you because I value you, not because I want to change you. I am going to give you healthy food out of love rather than to fit into a dress size.

God made me. God says I am His masterpiece, not the practice sketch. The final most significant rendering. I am beautiful. Today I agree.



Take the challenge

I challenge you to do the same. Write your letter exchanging the lies for truth. Join the movement of people who want choose to live in gratitude instead of shame.

If you’d like to share your letter with me, or a picture of yourself in the mirror choosing to love your body, I’d be honored. Email me

-Kristen Schoenbeck, Shelby Campus Director

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Birmingham Campus

We are offering a time for our congregation to gather after the 10am service for prayer in the Groves Auditorium, 20500 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025.

On Sunday evening, Dec 5, parents of high school and middle school students are invited to the second half of our Edge gathering at Genesis Church, 309 N Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067, at 6:15pm. We will have a breakout to equip parents in caring for themselves and processing pain with their children in times of tragedy.

Parents & Student Resources

Parents – self care is critical. It’s important to do your own processing with another adult so that you can be more present as your child processes. Here are tools that you can use to get you started.

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Counselors Are Needed After Tragedy

“The aftermath of the Oxford shooting tragedy will undoubtedly result in traumatic symptoms and experiences across our communities for quite some time. Healing the brain through evidence-based therapies is absolutely possible with clinical guidance. There is a valuable village of Trauma Therapists with collective resources standing by for Oxford, for both direct and secondary survivors to engage in therapy. Until then, we honorably hold a sacred space, as students, families, staff and school partners continue to mourn.” -Laura Azoni, LMSW, Founder of Sanctuary Services

Orion Campus

We believe that unity at this time is more important than ever. Several churches in the area are partnering together to offer space for students to begin the process of healing.

We will have several grief and trauma specialists on site this Sunday evening at our Orion Campus (4640 S Lapeer Rd Lake Orion, MI 48359) from 5-6:30pm and will have a night of prayer, worship and an opportunity for students to process with each other.

Tate Myre Funeral:
Monday, 12.6 Visitation 1 to 8pm
Tuesday, 12.7 Visitation 10-12pm and funeral at Noon

Clinton Township Campus

We will be offering a time for our congregation to gather after each service for a time of corporate prayer in the Greatroom. Prayer will be offered at 10:15 am and 12:15 pm. (25000 Hall Rd, Charter Twp of Clinton, MI 48036)

This Sunday at 3:30 pm as a community we want to gather, pray and mourn together. We are all looking for answers and wondering why tragedy happens but we can find hope and peace in Jesus. 

Troy Campus

Join us Sunday night, December 5th for a Community Prayer Vigil at Kensington Church at 6:00 pm. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to come together for a time of hope and prayer. 

Following the Vigil, at 7:00 pm, there will be breakouts for students and for parents to process and be equipped in caring for themselves and those around in times of tragedy.

Marriage Classes

What grows marriages? Focusing on the two of you and being in community!
The Marriage Course includes seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Some couples do the course to intentionally invest in their relationship, others are looking to address more specific challenges. Either way, the course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help you build a relationship that lasts a lifetime. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

Please email marriage@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Financial Peace University (FPU)

Financial Peace University (FPU) is a catalyst to help people live in financial freedom and enable them to have a posture of openhandedness. We have witnessed numerous Kensington families experience life change as a result of applying Biblical truths to their personal finances. The real blessing is seeing people create lives of margin that allow them to hear and respond to the Lord’s calling on their lives.

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Bible Basics

Whether you are brand new to the Bible or have been reading it for decades, Bible Basics is a course that will help you understand the overall flow of the Bible. Over the course of several weeks, learn how the Bible came from the original writers to the English versions we have today. We’ll look at the big-picture story of the Bible and how all the individual books add to the whole. We’ll even learn a little about the history of the Jewish nation. But most of all, we’ll grow in our awe of the amazing author of this amazing book!

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

All Campus

Orion

Clinton Township

Alpha

What is my purpose? What value does the Bible have in my life? How do I pray? How can I grow in confidence to share my faith? These are the big questions that are at the heart of what it means to have a relationship with God. Alpha is a space to explore life’s big questions, to say what you think and to hear other people’s points of view. Over ten-weeks you will explore and discover while listening to weekly topics, participating in table discussion, and developing community. Alpha courses meeting in-person gather around a meal.

You don’t have to come for the whole series—just check it out for the first session and see what you think. No pressure.

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

All Campus

Orion

Troy

Clinton Township

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For additional questions, please contact giving@kensingtonchurch.org or call 248.786.0637

GROUP LEADER DEVELOPMENT

Together Again

updated June 23, 2021

It’s been life-giving to be in-person for our weekend services since last July when we reopened. If you haven’t yet, we invite you to join us in person sometime soon.

Reservations and ticketing have been discontinued at all our campuses.

Masks are optional at all services, events, and ministry gatherings for kids, students, and adults. We know that everyone needs to make the right health decisions for themselves and their family, so if you feel comfortable removing your mask, you may. And if you’d like to continue wearing a mask or face covering, you may do that as well. This is a personal choice that only you can decide what is best for yourself when attending in person at Kensington.

If you are sick, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have possibly been exposed to COVID-19, please plan to stay home and participate in our services via our many online streaming options.

At the start of the pandemic, Kensington’s Executive Team commissioned a group of staff members as a COVID Task Force to establish protocols and procedures for the safety of our church community. Thanks for sticking with us throughout all the changes and adjustments over the past 15 months.

We’re grateful to be together again!