Defining the “New Normal” Again

Sheri Horning

Sheri Horning

Kensington Kids Director, Clinton Township Campus

I took up running about nine years ago. Not just for the physical and emotional benefits, but mostly because it was one thing I could do to be alone and not disrupted by my two wonderful children who were ages 10 and 7 at the time. I would put my phone on do not disturb, throw my ear buds in and listen to worship music. This was my alone time with God and still is to this day.

During my run recently, God reminded me that I have experienced a “new normal” twice in the past seven months. If you are anything like me, I do not like change. I have a type-A personality and the constant talk about the “new normal” is driving me crazy! But, God reminded me how my two “new normal” situations have actually been good, and I’ve grown immensely from them.

A not-so-final goodbye
I went through a new normal when my 19-year-old son went away to college this past August. My heart was hurting and I was worried that I didn’t teach him everything he needed to know about life. Would he fall away from his faith? What if he got sick? Is he eating properly? The list could go on and on and I knew my life would never ever be the same again. Our family of four for the past 18 years was now learning how to be a family of three. I was missing my personality twin in the house. My son and I both share an introverted disposition and thrive in peaceful situations with no confrontation, unlike my husband and daughter.

After a few months, my “new normal” had now become my “normal” and I have to say, it was not too bad. Lower grocery bill and less laundry were a couple of perks from this new life. I was finding joy again. Psalms 94:19 says, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” For me, whenever I see the word joy I also think of the word contentment. Those two words are synonymous to me and bring me comfort to know I can always find contentment in our Lord.

Seriously, another new normal?
Fast forward 7 months and my son returned home from college for spring break. Unbeknownst to any of us, this was the end of his college-dorm-living days. While home for spring break he received an email that said he had a couple of days to move out of the dorm due to this pandemic. So once again, my normal life which I just became accustomed to was shifting again to a “new normal.” This time, though, my heart did not hurt for myself, it hurt for my son. He wasn’t able to say goodbye to his friends. He didn’t have time to process moving back home. He even had to leave the small classroom setting with professors he had built relationships with and finish out classes online and alone.

During this time of attempting to embrace our new normal—which shifts often—I can see God’s hand on so many things in my family’s lives and the lives of others. I am reading through the book of Ecclesiastes and learning more about Solomon, who is known to be the wisest man to ever live. Repeatedly throughout this book is the theme that everything under the sun in meaningless.

Unfortunately, it takes a pandemic for many of us to focus on what really is important and what we thought was important is truly meaningless. I can see the stress that my kids normally carry is somewhat lifted because the hustle and bustle is gone. People are going out of their way to help others financially, emotionally and prayerfully. While most of us parents are stressed or worried about how this is affecting our children, I believe our kids will come out of this stronger and more appreciative. God is good and He always brings good out of bad situations.

My final words of encouragement come from Matthew 6:34. We are reminded to give our attention to what God is doing right now and not to get worked up about what may or may not happen. He will help us deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. Let’s focus on what today brings and be grateful for the little things that usually get overlooked.

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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.

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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.

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Clinton Township

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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!