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'The 5 Love Languages' author coming to New Castle

By DONNA CRONK - dcronk@thecouriertimes.com

Dr. Gary Chapman, bestselling author of “The 5 Love Languages” will be in New Castle to speak at a relationship conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. The conference is at and sponsored by First Baptist Church, 709 S. Memorial Drive.

Half-price tickets are available through 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 at the church at $20 for a single or $30 for a couple. At the door the day of the conference, starting at 8:30 a.m., tickets will be available at full price of $39.95 for one or $59.95 for a single. For details and tickets, call 765-529-2687.

Event coordinator Cindy Kurz said that so far, more than 200 tickets have been sold to the conference.

“We really are excited about it,” Kurz says of the sponsoring church. “It is an honor to have him here because he is such a well-known author. He is very prominent and very encouraging.”

Lunch is not provided, but those attending will be able to leave for lunch and come back for the afternoon sessions, or bring their own food to the church.

Kurz says that Chapman presents a simple truth that relationships grow better when people understand each other. She said everyone is different and each person gives and receives information differently.

Chapman’s background is in marriage counseling and he has a nationally syndicated radio program on Moody Radio Network with more than 400 affiliate stations. The conference information is designed to apply not only to marriages but “it’s basically about communications for all,” Kurz says.

She said if people understand where others are coming from, communications can become better.

First Baptist Family Life Pastor Ken Durham says that the conference applies to marriage, singles and workplace relationships.

“It’s all relationship based,” Durham says of Chapman’s teachings.

Chapman will speak on the following topics, summarized in a handout provided to The Courier-Times:

• Communication 101: Honest and healthy communication is essential ...  Discover your own tendency to be a “babbling brook” or a “dead sea” and how to deal with its implications. Chapman presents anecdotes depicting practical advice that couples can use to enhance communication.

• Understanding and expressing love: What should couples do when those exciting feelings of love seem to be long gone? Learning your spouse’s “love language” and choosing to act out of love are the steps to renewing your relationship. Chapman explains how to rekindle those emotions with some easy strategies that couples can utilize to express love ...

• Initiating positive change: Chapman demonstrates how the model of the Godhead is the key to thriving marriages. While stressing the value and significance of both partners, he will help couples gain clarity in their quest toward a unified, God-honoring marriage. You will receive advice on how to handle strong disagreements, power struggles and poor decisions.

• Making sex a mutual joy: What better place to address misconceptions, talk about difficulties and explain God’s intention for sex than a biblical seminar ... Chapman has over 40 years of experience in marital counseling and can candidly focus on this important issue.

• How to share the things that bug you: Chapman will teach you ways to lovingly accept your spouse while letting your voice be heard. Learn the delicate art of constructive criticism and the emancipation of laughter with your spouse.

Durham says as Christians it’s important to be able to speak life into others.

Kurz said the public is encouraged to attend the Oct. 19 conference. “We’ve been planning it now for months,” she says.

“The 5 Love Languages” is one of the author’s most popular books, and has been on the New York Times Best-Sellers List since 2007.

Bringing the famous author to New Castle is made possible through a Lilly Endowment Grant, specifically, a Pastor Clergy Renewal Grant which is paying for a sabbatical for Senior Pastor Jerry Ingalls. Part of the grant includes funds to help provide for the church during the pastor’s absence.

While the conference is the highlight of special plans for the congregation during the pastor’s sabbatical, the church also had a family camping event, ventriloquist Joe Bruce and on Nov. 10 will have speaker Dan Bushow on mentorship and discipleship.