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November 2022
Next month:
January 2023

13 entries from December 2022

Two Recommendations

Hello SUM Nation:

Lynn Donovan here. I feel a GREAT expectation for 2023. 

Almost everyone I've spoken to in the past year has shared that they have experienced tremendous challenges. One after another tell me their difficult circumstances far surpassed the warfare and hurdles of any other season. 

I'm one of them as well. 

But my dear friends, I NOW feel hope settling. There is indeed a shift happening right now in the spiritual. Our God is setting many things into place. People have been shifted, moved, relationships changed. All of this has been by His divine hand to bring you into greater alignment with His purposes, specific to your life.

SO TAKE HEART. TAKE UP HOPE. Our Father is good.

As we move into 2023, I will offer you two suggestions that will help grow your maturity in Jesus. And becoming His disciples is our high and holy calling. 

First, read the Bible. Get in the Word and pray daily. I can't express this enough.

Also, if you haven't made a donation to receive the training I'm offering regarding the power of Mark, chapter 11. Any recurring donation and you are invited. Read more here. THIS teaching I lived out in real time this year and it's straight from the Bible. It's true and it works. MOVE YOUR MOUNTAIN 

86474396_10159328771248332_6081245126414303232_nSecond, for the spiritually mismatched, pick up and read, Marching Around Jericho. This book will change you, your marriage and your faith. Truly.

OR, if you want a tremendous 90-day devotional to start the year, pick up, Kingdom Conversations. This book is like Jesus Calling and filled with affirmations of our identity and God's purposes for your life. 135037970_10160494802758332_8777818351789899330_n

Okay, we are on our way into another year. Ready or not. Let's walk this together. Because united SUMite Community scares the crap out of the devil!

Hallelujah!! AMEN

Love you all, Lynn

Start 2023 in Greater Freedom and Healing

Healing PrayerTestimony from a Healing Prayer session:

I didn't know what to expect with my healing session. But I'm sure glad I went through it. I shared my heart about my upbringing as a child and my relationship with my mom. I cried because I never had an experience vividly like this where I could truly feel Jesus holding me and helping me heal from anger I had with my mom. I know it's not going to be a perfect journey, but I feel that this was the breakthrough that Jesus wanted to show me.

I feel that having Lynn guide the prayer helped too. I truly feel that Jesus is with me now more than ever. I always knew He was, but sometimes having that encouragement from another can help strengthen that truth. I shared this experience with my sister and just want to continue to share with more friends.

I believe coming across Lynn's ministry was not a mistake and that God used that moment to help connect me to her. I'm truly grateful and feel more at peace and leaning more on God more than ever now. Not just with healing but with my family, finances, dreams and everything else in my life. - LT

MY Q1 BOOKING CALENDAR IS OPEN. Book your Healing Prayer time or Spiritual Development/Coaching time now before the slots fill up. I'm honored to be a tiny part of your faith journey. Hugs, Lynn

There Once Was A Man Who Didn't Believe

There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays, like Christmas. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.

Snow_church One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come, but he refused.

"That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!" So she and the children left, and he stayed home.

A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet.

When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside.

The geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the house and came back out with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumbs trail leading to the barn, but they still didn't catch on.

Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.

"Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?" He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human.

"If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud.Geese winter

Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn - and one by one the other geese followed it to safety!

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind:

"If only I were a goose, then I could save them!"

Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!"

Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese - blind, lost, and perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized!

As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ had come.

Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer:

Mangercross "Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!"

~Author Unknown


Christmas Break

Hi SUM Nation,

The writing team will be taking a break over the next two weeks. However, we will be back January 1. We will be prepping for our successful fast the week of January 9-13th. Plan to join. We will share more about how to fast and what our focus will be starting on the first.

We love you. You are covered in pray. You walk in the Spirit of the Lord. 

Have a blessed and holy Christmas. Love, Lynn & Ann and the entire team.

Christmas 2022

I Declare the Surgeon Won't Find the Cancer!

By Ann Hutchison

A few years ago, I was witness to a miracle that will stay with me forever. I tell quite a few people about this miracle as it's truly remarkable. Jess and Ann 3

I have a good friend called Jess. She lives close to me in Auckland, we met at the church I used to attend, and she reads this blog sometimes. She's my age, well a teeny bit younger, and has three young kids.

One day Jess came to a church evening event looking devastated. She'd been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. 

Her kids were preschool and primary school age at the time, and she was in her thirties. You can imagine.

I'm not sure what the prognosis was - She knows I'm writing this, I'll have to ask her -- but she needed surgery. She had already had a biopsy that had revealed it was cancer, and now this surgery was to cut it out. Naturally, she was completely traumatized.

Our pastor, Cam, had a particular love for encouraging people to pray for healing in our church. So, one Sunday shortly after Jess had been diagnosed, he gathered a few people together while they were chatting after the service, and said, "Let's pray for Jess."

The group gathered around and prayed for her. 

As they prayed, Cam said this: "Jess, I pray that when the doctors open up your throat, they will take the thyroid out, cut it up, not find any cancer, and be confused ."

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven (Matthew 18:19, ESV).

Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:20)

We always prayed beautiful prayers in that church, and there were big hearts of love for Jess amongst those who gathered around her. And that was that. She went home and duly awaited the operation.

The time came for Jess's operation. She's like me, she hates medical procedures, and so this was dreadful on the highest scale of dreadfulness. I don't know how she coped, actually; well, she told me she didn't.

The doctors put her under, opened up her throat, and removed the thyroid. Jess sleepily came to, and went home. Then it was time for her follow-up meeting to find out what the doctors had discovered.

The doctor frowned as Jess entered the room and sat down in front of him. "Umm.. We took the thyroid out, cut it up and couldn’t find any cancer. We were thoroughly confused.” 


Sorry what?? Jess nearly fell off her chair. Was she hearing things right? Yes she was. The surgeon told her later that he had a pathologist meeting board discuss her case along with others that needed reviewing and they compared the before and after slide to make sure there was no mistake. They had more than one pathologist identify that the first slide showed cancer so they had no choice but to remove the thyroid but the second slide showed nothing.  

So, Jess was discharged from any further treatment and declared completely cancer free. Say what??

She now has a wicked battle scar across her whole throat, from left to right, to prove what she went through. She wears that scar with pride and tells the story to people. Some love the story, some reject it, some even get offended by it. But this is my friend, and I know it to be true.

Praise God, is all I can say!

Jesus, name above all names.


God's Provision of People

SUM family Tiffany and Ann

It's Ann here, and on the theme of miracles I want to share a little about how God has provided for this ministry.

This story is about Tiffany, actually, and it's a way of honoring her as we recently said goodbye to her after five years of her writing on this blog.

I want to share the story of how Tiffany came to write on this blog, because it was a little miracle, and for me it has become a moment of awe.

Before I was a writer here, Dineen and Lynn led the ministry together for years. Many of us were there and remember this, they did everything as a pair. Then -- surprise -- Dineen stepped down in September because she had been called to a new ministry at the Healing Rooms of Manatee. Shock! But God does that. He closes down seasons for people and sometimes moves them swiftly. We have to be willing to let go.

I didn't have that heavenly perspective at the time, and as a reader of the blog I was very attached to it in its current form (i.e., 'Lynn and Dineen'). So, when I read that Dineen was leaving I ran to the nearest armchair, threw myself into it in a ball and wailed 'NOOOO!!'

It was a genuinely bad day. Except it wasn't a bad day, this was the day the Lord had made. It's just, I couldn't possibly see beyond the present.

Lynn was then left running that ministry by herself, which I'm guessing was hard. She too had let Dineen fly. Anyway, helpers came out of the woodwork quickly and she found herself surrounded. But Tiffany wasn't in that number; God had a little miracle up his sleeve there. 

On 16 November 2017, a few weeks after Dineen left, I had a dream:

I dreamt of a SUM book. Well, it was like a handbook. And it was full of blog posts. I was among the contributors. And Tiffany Carter had written a lot in it. I saw this book as we were preparing to fly, going back and forth to the airport.

Now I didn't know Tiffany, so it was random that I dreamed of her. She had commented a few times on the blog, that's the only way I knew her name, but she wasn't a prolific commenter and, as she has shared before, she was really struggling at that time. 

I mentioned the dream to Lynn, and she immediately discerned that Tiffany was to write. Behind the scenes, she knew Tiffany. And so that's how it happened. Tiffany joined the writing team because of a God dream, and that was five years ago.

Over the course of five years Tiffany sure did write a lot of blog posts for our 'SUM handbook' (i.e., our blog). What's more, God knew what she would bring and why he wanted her to do it. When Tiffany wrote she often seemed to bring out comments from people we don't normally see. She would write raw things that she was wrestling with, and people would pop up: "Thank you, Tiffany, I badly needed that today."

I have since come to know Tiffany and see that she had the right heart to do this job. I got to meet her in 2019 and I found her to be such a comforting soul. 

But there's another interesting part to the dream above. In that dream we were writing SUM posts while preparing to fly. And in the end Tiffany was asked to fly, given a very different commission, and asked to go and do new things for God. 

This is the day the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24)

The date of my dream was 16 November, 2017. Well, that just so happens to be the very same date that Lynn announced Tiffany's departure a few weeks ago, with the title 'congratulations Tiffany.' It was 16 November 2022, five years to the day after the dream.

So I say congratulations Tiffany, all over again, and thank you to God for providing for this ministry, which he does constantly. It's not just about provision, though: He uses this ministry to springboard people into other things -- That is, to get them to fly. 

Lord God, thank you thank you thank you for the provision, the gifts, the wonder, the people in this SUM community! We love you, we praise you, we say you are faithful, thank you for being our good Dad and provider. 

With love,


The Throne of His Heart



Hey there SUMites! Amanda her, I am so excited to share something God revealed to me weeks ago that really rang my bell! 

 For several years my husband struggled with an addiction to alcohol. He was never violent or dangerous, but it was still slowly taking over his life and becoming a top priority. Drinking was what he looked forward to the most at the end of every day and the start of every weekend, it truly was his idol for many years. 

One night we were reminiscing about things and he started to talk about drinking. He spoke of it fondly, and admitted to missing it. That hurt my heart in more ways than one. Suddenly, while he was talking I heard God. Now, when I say I heard God I mean I HEARD Him, loud and clear! God said to me, "Can you handle him loving ME like that? Can you give me ALL the space that I will take up in his heart?". My head was actually buzzing, it felt like someone had rang a gong in my head. I cannot remember the rest of the conversation with my husband because God was so loud in that moment. I don't think God has ever spoken to me quite like that before. I had to shake my head to regain focus on my husband and continue our conversation.

I mulled this over a lot in the days afterward. The truth was, God had caught me in a heart issue. I am a fixer, when there is a problem I want to fix it myself. I like to be the one to make people feel heard, seen, and wanted. Most of all, I like being the number one source of comfort for my husband. The more I looked into my heart the more I realized I was NOT prepared! I had not been preparing myself for what would come when Daniel got saved.

You see, when Daniel takes an interest in something it consumes him. He has been that way since we were teenagers. When he was 16-18 it was The Beatles. We have every album (CD's and vinyl), a book of the complete music scores, pictures, shirts, ect... When he was 20 it was another musician named Gotye and Daniel learned a new instrument because of him. When he decided he was an atheist, he dove head first into that as well. He was listening to and reading from every atheist influencer he could find. He would spend hours researching and arguing his point to anyone who would listen. Daniel is an all-or-nothing man, so it is very clear why I would need to have my heart prepared for when salvation comes to him!

I know without a doubt in my heart that when God does reveal himself to Daniel my house is going to be turned on it's head! What a glorious day that will be! But I have had to face that, while glorious, it will also come with challenges. As God moves on to the throne of his heart, everything else has to take a step down! I will have to share him with the Father in a way I have never had to do in the 14 years we have been together. I will no longer be his main source of comfort and peace. He won't run to me first, he will run to Jesus! The dynamic of our relationship will shift, there will be a third party we are now both aware of! His views and opinions will change and grow as he changes and grows. He may want to try a new church, change what we watch, wear, and listen to. As for me, I have been the soul spiritual leader of our children for 10 years! You can bet that will not be easy for me! I like being in charge haha!

God has started this work in me slowly. This year has taught me a LOT about giving God control, about what it means to actually "give it to God". It has been no easy task, this heart change. BUT it is exciting! Because for God to speak to me in such a drastic way, it must mean that things are getting close to changing, and I better be ready!


Have any of you ever thought about the challenges that a newly saved spouse might bring? Has God ever spoken something so loudly to you? Drop a comment so we can talk about it! :)

The Theme of Miracles This Month

By Ann Hutchison Christmas graphic

On Wednesday, Ian led us into Advent so nicely. And, continuing on that theme, in today's post I want to mix a little of advent and SUM together.

What I want to do this month is look back on some miracles from our community, and perhaps some other miracles too.

I want to do that because the nativity story is a story of miracles. Crazy things went down that year. The characters involved must have thought 'What on earth is going on?' 

A feeling of holy awe would settle on the people involved, and they were bowled over in wonder. 

Sometimes in this SUM ministry we've had moments of holy awe too; that is, moments where we've sat back wide-eyed because God's hand has been on something. In fact, the journey this whole the SUM community has been on over the last sixteen years is a story I want to curate.

Yet, as Ian said on Wednesday, us SUMites also have long and difficult periods of longing. There are things that happen that are glorious and things that happen that are bittersweet for us. 

Bittersweet often can be part of a glorious move of God. For example, when Jesus was a baby, a man called Simeon prophesied to Mary "A sword will pierce through your own soul."

Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." (Luke 2:34-35)

There is often a rawness behind any given miracle, and here at SUM we see that. We go through raw things that pierce our soul... Yet in those very things lie seeds. There's always a feeling that 'What will God do next?'

Holy awe.

Zacharias was told by the angel Gabriel that his barren wife, Elizabeth would bear a son. He said "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years." And so the angel told him he would be mute until the time that these things would be fulfilled (Luke 1:18-20). Zacharias's family and friends later talked to him using signs, so it seems he was deaf and unable to speak. Can you imagine the trauma of that? 

Yet, the minute Zacharias declares that his miraculously born son is to be called John (the baptist), immediately his mouth is opened and his tongue loosed. And at that point, scripture says:

"Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying "what kind of child will this be?" And the hand of the Lord was with him. (Luke 1:65-66, NKJV)

Holy awe. I can just imagine that feeling of awe descending, everyone looking at each other wide-eyed and acknowledging, 'This was a moment; and God was there.'

Have you ever seen something you would describe as a miracle?

Love you all


(p.s. I am travelling this coming week, so may take a few days to reply to comments!)

Advent - A Season of Longing!

Photo courtesy of lil artsy from

Hello, Ian here from sunny Sydney. It’s summertime here and we’ve had a lovely few weeks of great sunny weather. It’s incredible how quickly the year has passed as we’re now only 2.5 weeks away from Christmas.

For many of us 2022 has been a tough year, perhaps another year in a long season of tough years. As a result, many of us may be simply pushing through to Christmas with gritted teeth, avoiding the shops by making their purchases online, and hanging out for the beginning of a new year wishing for a brighter new start in 2023. It may be a real struggle to experience any real joy at present.

If this is you, may I encourage you to take some time out. Close the door behind you or go out for a walk, sit on a rock looking at something beautiful, and simply reflect on how you’re feeling. Invite God to make His presence known. He’s there with you, just waiting for you to say hi and ask Him to be present with you.

Don’t deny your weariness, it’s okay …. and invite God to be near and ask Him for the strength to walk forward. One step at a time. Remember, His words in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness” Ask for His strength, not your own.

Advent and Longing

Advent started two Sundays ago. Like Lent at Easter, it’s a season of waiting and hoping. Advent simply means ‘arrival’ or ‘coming’ and alludes to both comings of Jesus, the one of 2000+ years ago when he became like us, born in a manger, and the second where we await his promised second coming.

It's a season of longing. Longing for Jesus.

For those us feeling exhausted and beaten down by life, we long for rest, for an end to the struggle. Most of us would be longing for something. We SUMites especially long for our spouses to find Jesus, don’t we? We long for many things, healing, peace in our homes, a wayward child settling down and more.

Others of us, like myself are in seasons of transition, seeking a new beginning. I’m not far off sixty and having spent the last few years caring for my parents who have both passed in the last 12 months, I am now wondering what’s next. I long for God to give me a nudge or even a BIG shove that helps me see what He’d like us to do together in this next season of my life. It’s a season of excitement wondering what might be ahead and a little frightening for the same reason.

And we long for Jesus. For the joy of the true message of Christmas that a saviour has come, and that Jesus would come again in His victory march upon the earth.

What do we do with our Longing?

A few ideas:

1. Share it with Jesus while sitting on that rock I mentioned earlier. Invite Him into it. He knows we have such a longing.

2. Share it with another. A ‘safe’ other. Someone who will listen and not just hump to ‘solve’ your longing. And who will pray with and for you.

3. Hope. Besides being a season of waiting and longing, Advent is a season of hope. I love what Kate Bowler says about hope:

“But hope isn’t wishful thinking. It’s an anchor in the future.”

Our hope has a name. Jesus. Declare this hope over yourself and your future.

4. Stay close to Jesus. Remember all the ways Jesus has been faithful to you in the past.

An old Christmas Carol

I love Carols. It reminds me of my teen years when my youth group would walk the local streets near our church on Christmas Eve and stop at houses to sing a carol or two.

In the past week, I’ve heard/read of this one written by Charles Wesley that I wasn’t familiar with. It’s a wonderful carol/hymn that expresses our longing. I thought we could ‘pray’ the lyrics as a prayer.

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou long expected JesusBorn to set Thy people free;From our fears and sins release us,Let us find our rest in Thee.Israel's strength and consolation,Hope of all the earth Thou art;Dear desire of every nation,Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,Born a child and yet a King,Born to reign in us forever,Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.By Thine own eternal SpiritRule in all our hearts alone;By Thine all sufficient merit,Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

By Thine all sufficient merit,Raise us to Thy glorious throne

In Jesus’ Loving Name. Amen

Wishing all the SUMites a very blessed, joyous , peaceful and hope-filled Christmas.

Grace and peace.

Get Back to Basics -- Guest Post by Lisa MacFarland

Today we have the blessing of a guest writer. Many of you will recognize Lisa MacFarland from the comments over the years, she has been such a solid encouragement to many, and we're so happy to have her hop on and write for us today. Over to Lisa --


Hello, my name is Lisa MacFarland and I’ve been in a SUM relationship for 35 years. I have been
following the Spiritually Unequally Marriage ministry for over 10 years and I am so privileged and
honored to be a guest writer. I pray that you are encouraged by this post as much as I was when writing it. Thank you for the opportunity to share. Lisa Macfarland

Over a year ago, I wrote the phrase, “get back to the basics” and posted it on my desk corkboard at work. Lately, this phrase has been weighing heavier on my heart; sensing a strong need to get back to the basics. In many churches of today, I feel we confuse experiencing God’s love in a raw, basic way. Churches create chaos with so many programs, beautiful features, incentives, themes and hoopla to get people into the doors of church or to keep them engaged. People leave church with lessons on forgiveness or who God is but they are still empty.

Individually, we cram our own lives with constant activities, to dos, and overall chaos so we don’t have to stop and face what might be really going on in our lives. Sadly, this keeps us from truly experiencing God’s love. We miss finding our identity in Christ, true joy, and our authority given to us as heirs to the throne. This lifeless chaos will cause many to lose their passionate heart connection with Christ, missing out on the blessings He wants to give us.

Between the world, our churches, and ourselves, we can find ourselves remaining in a cycle of brokenness that keeps us from a deeper, more authentic connection with the Lord. Our hearts and mind need to be cultivated into fertile soil to that the roots of our salvation grow deep and strong. When spiritual battles; storms of life come, and they do and will, WE WILL NOT BE SHAKEN!

Revelations 2:5: So remember where you were before you fell. Change your hearts and do what you did at first. If you don’t change, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Colossians 2:6-7: You accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, so continue to live following him. You must depend on Christ only, drawing life and strength from him. Just as you were taught the truth, continue to grow stronger in your understanding of it. And never stop giving thanks to God.

John 15:9-11: I have loved you as the Father has loved me. Now continue in my love. I have obeyed my Father’s commands, and he continues to love me. In the same way, if you obey my commands, I will continue to love you. I have told you these things so that you can have the true happiness that I have. I
want you to be completely happy.

I know my heart longs to get back to the foundation upon which our salvation is rooted. I don’t want to just go through the motions, or get stuck in a cycle of busyness but I want to get back to the fundamental basics and cultivate my heart soil through daily prayer, reading God’s word, serving, and sharing my story. Even when we don’t feel like it, keep showing up and eventually you will experience breakthrough of peace, authentic joy, and deep connection with God. It’s then that God can truly bless us with the fullness He created us for.

About Lisa: I’ve been married for 35 years and together with my husband, Cameron, for 36 years. Funny story…met my husband in a bank robbery! I was a bank teller that was held up and he was my knight in shining armor, aka, police officer that responded. 😊 We have 4 adult children, 1 grand baby and 2 more on the way! And I can’t forget about my empty nest 10-year-old puppy, Marley, a Chihuahua in a Rottweiler’s body, haha. I mostly was a stay-at-home mom but then started working for my church over 20 years ago as the Lead Pastor Assistant and, a few years ago, I took over as Finance Director too. I was born and raised in church, started out in a Pentecostal Assemblies of God and now the church I’m part of is Southern Baptist. I love to read, crochet, walk, swim, fish, kayak  and just plain relax. After raising 4 children, I’m finally getting to enjoy all of it. 😊

A Snapshot of Our Community

Dear SUMites Our church

We often describe ourselves as a church without walls -- Isn't it amazing how we manage to gather like this online? I love it!  Anyway, today I wanted to tell you a little bit about who is in our church.

As you know, we did a SUM community survey recently. Reading through those responses it was so good to see your names and a little more about your lives. 

So I thought you, too, might like to hear a little more about who your friends at SUM are. Below, I'll share a few of the questions we asked in the survey, and what the answers were.

Where does our community live?

All over! Most (70%) live in the USA, followed by a decent proportion in Europe. We have a smaller number in Australia and New Zealand, and some in Africa.  I can't express how much I love that spread -- it's so beautiful. 

And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations (Matt 24:14, NKJV)

How did our SUM community members become spiritually mismatched?

Here's what our community said:

My spouse lost their faith: 6%

I became a Christian after marrying: 27%

I thought my spouse was a Christian before marrying, but perhaps they weren't: 20%

My spouse and I have experienced different rates of spiritual growth to each other: 6%

I married a non-believer: 36%

Other: 5%

There is such a range of stories there and each of the above has its own distinct challenges, but I hope it makes you feel less alone seeing that there are at least some out there with the same story as you.

Do our spouses attend church?

About 20% of spouses do attend regularly, and a further 22% occasionally. But the rest don't, so if your spouse never attends with you, you're in good company.

How many of our spouses say they're Christian?

I was surprised by this one: 30% of spouses actually do say they're a Christian, which means that the couple is mismatched even though both are nominally Christians. The rest of the spouses, of course, don't yet say they're Christian, and we do know that quite a few spouses currently say they are atheist. I say 'currently' on purpose. These things change.

Are the spouses supportive?

Here's what our community said: 

A lot: 30%

Moderately: 40%

A little: 20%

Not at all: 10%

Again, I hadn't realized so many were that supportive. But clearly there is a need for our ministry even if an unbelieving spouse is supportive. The loneliness of the walk likely makes it so. For those whose spouses are not yet supportive I am praying for you specifically right now.

What kinds of churches do we attend?

Our community attends all kinds of denominations. The most prevalent is non-denominational or Baptist. After that, about 10% attend protestant denominations (Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Church of Ireland), 10% Pentecostal, and about 10% don't currently attend church.

How long have our people been with us?

About 15% of our readers found us less than a year ago. If that's you, welcome! This tells us it's important that we keep writing about some of those common issues such as attending church alone and raising kids in faith. However, almost half of our readers have been with us for more than five years, and many for more than ten years. Amazing! We are a community that has been together a long time.

And finally.... What does our community look like, faith-wise?

This last section really opened my eyes. We asked two questions here: Do you have regular time alone with God, and how often do you read the Bible? The vast majority of our readers said they spend daily time alone with God, and daily time reading the Bible.

That tells us something about our specific church. We are not lukewarm, we're the opposite. We are all passionate followers of Jesus Christ, and that's exactly why we need this ministry and why we gather here.


My friends, there's more to the survey and I'll share more eventually, but I hope that gave you more of a picture of who's here. 

What else would you like to know about us and this community? Pop any questions in the comments and I'll answer them.

We all love you!

Ann (and team)