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What is Grace Encounter (GE)?

Grace Encounter is a Christian ministry that focuses on spiritual and emotional healing. Our mission is "Transformation Through Loving Connection." We believe that we are transformed by the love of God and the love of His community of believers. We believe that Christ's mission was to heal the broken hearted and bind up the wounded. In this fallen world we are often hurt, wounded, and confused by the pain and darkness all around us. We believe that grace is for more than just saving us in a future state, grace is here for us now, to heal us and to grow us into mature wholehearted people. This involves truth, emotional honesty, intentional personal investigation, and a loving community. We provide workshops, ongoing community, and teachings that help people to heal, grow, and thrive.

 

Grace Encounter Board

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Randal Weidenaar, Behavioral and Organizational Psychologist 

Randal is a Culture Change Consultant. He works with organizations to help them focus their culture on valuing people. He spent a decade of his life in missions in Europe. Randal has read extensively in the fields of psychology and neurobiology for his work and ministry. He holds a master's degree in behavioral and organizational psychology from the London Metropolitan University. He is certified in ACT Therapy. He has studied neuroscience at Harvardx and team culture development at the University of Pennsylvania. He attended Moody Bible Institute and has a deep love for knowing and experiencing his heavenly Father. He attended Grace Encounter in 2013. He and his wife, Rebekah, have two grown daughters and grandchildren. They live in central Missouri on a small hobby farm. 

Leadership Team and GE Director
 

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Rebekah Weidenaar, LPC 

Rebekah is a Licensed Professional Counselor; graduated in 2020 from Grace College and Seminary with a masters in clinical mental health counseling. She received her bachelor degree in counseling from Central Christian College of the Bible in 2017. Rebekah has a lifetime of multi-cultural experiences as she lived in different countries for 20 years as a missionary child and then as a missionary. She has led a number of women's groups, attended Grace Encounter in 2012, and has been a GE trainer since 2014. She loves to watch her heavenly Father lovingly and graciously speak to people's hearts bringing healing and hope.

Grace Encounter and its workshops are not affiliated with her clinical practice at Rebekah W Counseling. 

Leadership Team and Workshop Facilitator
 

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Frank Marth

After getting his BSBA/Management degree, Frank has held several positions in the business field currently operating his insurance agency. Hobbies include remodeling houses and various building projects. He is married to Linda, resides in mid-Missouri, and is dad to two sons and a daughter. He has held many leadership positions in his community, his church, and he facilitates groups for Making Peace with Your Past and Financial Peace University. Frank has a passion for Grace Encounter as through this workshop he discovered the man God created him to be. Frank desires to help others discover what’s keeping them from finding joy and freedom to rest in God’s love and grace.

Leadership Team
 

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Linda Marth

Linda began her career in business after earning her BS in Business Administration/Marketing. Reassessing values led her back to school years later into the field of physical therapy. She now is blessed by helping people with rehabilitation and gaining quality of life. Grace Encounter is the most impactful experience in her life discovering WHO God created her to be, and inspiring a life-long journey with Christ for spiritual and personal growth. She is humbled to walk with others who desire to break the chains that are holding them back. Linda is continuously amazed at how God is at work through joys and challenges in life. She enjoys time with family, friends, her golden retriever, and being in nature.

Leadership Team
 

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Janice McCollum

Janice has been involved as a trainer with Grace Encounter since 2009, after attending a similar workshop in Kansas City in 2005 and experiencing a life transformation as a result of it. She is married and lives in the Kansas City area. She received her Associate’s Degree in 2000 and works as a Registered Dental Hygienist. She has a passion to help people uncover their true identity in Christ, and to help them see how God can take any area of brokenness and offer grace, hope and healing, just as God did for her. She loves to spend time with family, is involved in her local church, enjoys discipling younger women, cooking with her husband, and using their home for various ministries. She believes Grace Encounter is one of the most transformative workshops available, and has witnessed countless lives changed as a result of it.

Leadership Team

We Believe in...

 

  • The Bible as God’s inspired, inerrant Word

  • The Holy Trinity of the Godhead

  • The virgin birth of Jesus as the Son of Man and the Son of God

  • The death and resurrection of Jesus as God’s atonement for sinful human nature

  • The need for each individual to respond to God’s grace by faith

  • The sanctifying presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all believers

  • That all Grace Encounter leaders and trainers should live lives that reflect the life-giving principles and behaviors described in the Bible.

Goal

Moving toward recovery of the “real you,” enabling you to both give and receive love; discovering a life of grace and truth based on God’s Word and Christ’s love.

Realization

Removing the masks you wear; identifying and overcoming lies you’ve believed about yourself, God, and others; discovering the joy and freedom of being who God made you to be.

Accountability

Realizing you’re not responsible for what happened to you, but you are accountable for how you respond: deciding not to remain a victim, choosing to forgive, and embracing the truth of God’s perspective.

Community

Developing trust and openness with others in a confidential setting, while empathizing with each other’s unique journeys; building supportive continuing relationships.

Experience

Experiencing Christ’s love and taking it into your home, workplace, and church; modeling authentic Christianity; using the tools you’ll receive to experience lasting change.

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Grace Encounter One Day Workshops

Transform Your Story

Have you ever heard or asked “Where was God when?" The Bible shows us it’s okay to ask questions, especially when confusing, hurtful, or traumatic events happen. Yet how do we connect the God Who Sees us to our stories of pain? Transform Your Story workshop is an opportunity to do that. Each of us has so much to unpack and examine in our lives, yet we so rarely give ourselves the space, dignity, and honor of writing our story and having it heard.  Stories shared unburden our souls. Pain witnessed compassionately by others heals. Many of us have unpacked part of our life's history, but likely there is more. Come and walk with others through this sacred ground of the stories of our lives.

  • Learn how to unpack, process, and grieve your story

  • Find some new meaning in the paths we’ve walked

  • Biblically-based model using how God designed our hearts to incline toward Him

  • Prayer and guidance from the Holy Spirit to center and ground each person’s story

  • Intimate small groups invite compassion to hold one another’s story 

  • Facilitators trained in story work to guide and coach

 

What happens during the workshop? We dive in with an introductory teaching, then using the Holy Spirit’s guidance we write a 600-900 word story from our lives that needs to be told. After reading and processing the stories in small groups, we finish with dinner at a local restaurant (optional). Typically allow 9am - 5pm for the workshop.  Lunch is included.


Transform Your Story is designed to be done in partnership with the local church in the context of community. The church congregation as the Body of Christ provides a powerful healing force when we learn how to hold one another’s stories with careful compassion. This workshop will teach church teams, groups, members, and leaders how to listen and walk with one another, to hold and heal one another’s stories. 

 

Understanding Personalities

Why does the Body of Christ suffer with division? Paul compares the church to the human body in 1 Corinthians 12 giving us a picture of completeness, but how does it work in practicality when we are all created so very differently? Understanding Personalities workshop is an essential tool to reveal how our personalities affect the way we see the world and how we tend to behave. We’ll experience many “AHA!” moments in this workshop. We’ll see the everyday challenges of getting along with co-workers, bosses, friends, and relatives with new eyes. Come and gain insights essential for marriage, work, parenting, and life. Bring your spouse and find out how your personalities mesh and conflict. Use these insights to accept church members, leaders, and teams. See how God created all of us uniquely and as His image bearers.

 

  • Practical tools designed to facilitate unity in the Body of Christ

  • Powerful group exercises demonstrate how different personalities filter the world

  • Acceptance and grace flow as a result of appreciating God’s created differences

  • Skilled personality and relationship facilitators will instruct, guide, and coach


Understanding Personalities is designed to be implemented in the context of community, in partnership with the local church. God has truly designed each of us uniquely and these differences create equally unique challenges within the Body. Members of the Body can operate from a place of wisdom regarding how personality affects the way we behave and see the world. Leaders, groups, and teams can more easily facilitate from a place of grace and unity when we learn to see and appreciate the differences in one another. 

 


Emotional & Spiritual Intelligence

What does the Bible have to say about emotions? Biblical language about emotions is summed up in the word heart, and God has lots to say about our hearts!  We hear about guarding our hearts. We ask God to search our hearts. We are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. Luke tells us that a good person produces good treasures out of their heart. Because the Bible mentions the word heart so often, we can believe this is an important subject to Him. Translating what the Biblical authors meant into modern language, the heart is that spiritual part of us where our emotions and desires dwell. Emotional & Spiritual Intelligence workshop focuses on deepening our emotional intelligence as a way to deepen our relationship with God since He loves to meet us in our emotions. Emotions are not a curse but a gift from God and a part of His image created in us for a reason. The stories in the Bible show how God met each person emotionally and brought forth change. Take as examples: Hannah crying out for a child; Gideon hiding in his fear; and Jesus joining Mary and Martha in their grief. Come and learn more about our emotional life, its messages, its needs, and allow God to meet and transform us there.

 

  • Biblical pathway to dive deep into the workings of our hearts

  • Emotional intelligence = heart language

  • Group activities and discussions

  • Learn how to work with our emotional lives and incline our hearts towards God

  • Counter misplaced, un-Biblical ideas about emotions 

  • Learn how we can increase our emotional passion for God

  • Facilitators skilled in emotional intelligence will guide and coach


Emotional & Spiritual Intelligence is designed to provide church leaders, members, groups, and teams with a Biblical lens for understanding emotions. Within the church community, this workshop gives language to a deeper understanding of how God meets us in and through our emotions. Passion and insight into the heart of God will be stirred as congregations ponders together the thought-provoking discussions in this workshop.

Living From Your Values

What are values? Values are the deepest beliefs, purpose, and meaning of our lives. The contemplation of values is one of the highest endeavors we can pursue. Articulating our values can help us put life in order, helping us make our long-term decisions and small, day-to-day, moment-to-moment actions. The Christian with well-ordered values has a Biblical map of their world. They know where they are going and are constantly making progress, adjusting their course. They feel peace and calm as well as exhilaration and challenge. Values-based living is a future orientation that fills each moment with hope and purpose. Living From Your Values workshop will challenge us to apply what God says about how we are to live out His purpose for us. 

  • Be energized with new hope and purpose

  • Reconnect with our values

  • Pray and listen to God as He speaks about His purpose for us

  • Group activities and discussions

  • Find out how value categories help us live out our values more fully

  • Skilled facilitators in living from values to guide and coach


Living From Your Values workshop is a perfect way for leaders, teams, groups, and church congregations to gather and learn how, when God’s values infuse our lives, we live with a deep sense of meaning and purpose. The workshop is designed to be implemented in partnership with churches so that as a whole, and as individuals operating within that larger community, we can learn how living from values is a powerful, hopeful way of life.

GE’s the most significant event of my life.
Even in difficulties, I have more peace and joy than ever.
Grass is greener; birds are sweeter. My life is richer and
more worthwhile than ever.

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