Blended Family: Rom-Com Turned Reality TV

Terry Barnett

Terry Barnett

Before the dust settles, the exciting search for new love begins. We are convinced they married the wrong person. The only logical thing to do now is to move on and find a new person to fill the void. Maybe his heart was longing for that person in the office or perhaps an old high school flame?

This narrative is becoming all too common, and it was my reality almost a decade ago.

Sparks were flying, and I was a main character in a typical rom-com story where an intriguing conversation swiftly blossomed into a love that I never experienced.

As the relationship deepened, another lifelong commitment seemed to be inevitable. She had two children from a previous marriage and I had four. Destined to form our own Brandy Bunch, we forged ahead at a blistering pace. All seemed perfect at first, then reality hit. Again. Our rom-cam quickly became a reality TV show watched with one eye open. Through all the trials, we decided to push forward and tied the knot.

Perception vs. Reality
Somewhere in the whirlwind of love and excitement, chaos reared its ugly head. The children were at each other’s throats and we felt tension from our different approaches to parenting. The complexity of the blended family dynamics were in its infancy. The kids were pitting my wife and I against each other, former spouses were making an effort to sabotage the new marriage. Did I mention in-laws, former in-laws, former spouse’s significant others, too? Holiday switching, not being with my two children on Christmas morning or their birthday as I alternated with my former spouse…it all became so painful.

The hardest part was all the people influencing my day-to-day life than I could have ever dreamed possible. That is when the guilt set in. With all the disharmony, we clung to our children. Blood thickened and the new blended family was now divided.

The music went somber again.

The Stats
Blended families are on the rise and the trend has no sign of slowing down. With a divorce rate over 50%, blended families are quickly becoming the new norm. Almost 65% of remarriages involve children from a previous marriage. Another shocking statistic: the divorce rate for blended families with one divorce jumps to 70%. The more marriages, the higher the divorce rate. The stats alone make the case that this fast-growing community is in dire need of love and support.

My Blended Family
My wife Jenny and I have been married for 6 ½ years, together for 9 years. Our beautiful family of six children ages 9 to 27 has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding times of our life. Our success in overcoming the struggles and extremely difficult dynamics of our blended family can be contributed to two factors:

1. Our unwavering faith that our Lord and savior Jesus Christ is with us always
2. Our amazing community of blended families and marriage mentors that have walked alongside us every good and difficult step of the way.

The role of the church has a profound impact on the success of the blended families. The truth is, most blended families don’t look like the Brady Bunch or a rom-com. We need all the help we can get to lock arms with other families going through the same challenges. There is healing that takes place when you invite God and other families into your struggles.

The Blended Family Ministry has the opportunities to change a legacy that could impact thousands of generations. This ministry has the ability to save blended family marriages from that 70% divorce rate. If you are in a new blended family, approaching that season of life, or if you’ve been living with this reality for years, please do not face this challenge alone. Stand with us in changing legacies! God loves your blended family; Jesus was in a blended family and there is no mountain He cannot move!

Join the Blended Family Workshop!
This small group workshop is taught from Ron Deal’s book/DVD series called “The Smart Stepfamily.” The workshop provides practical biblical insight into the struggles that blended families face for dating, engaged, and married couples. Join a community that will walk with you as we navigate the complexities of the blended family together.

Workshops will be offered at two campuses and new this year, we will also have Blended Family Home Studies in Oxford (childcare available), Macomb Twp., and Clinton Twp. Learn more and register at https://kensingtonchurch.org/blended-family-ministry/

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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!