The Dwell Counseling Department is offering a new YouTube workshop called “Better Conflict through Better Friendship,” aimed at helping couples have both less conflict and to handle it more effectively when they do. It’s taught by Dwell counselor Nick Hetrick, who ­­says if couples work at improving their friendship—especially the amount and nature of their positive interactions—they can reduce conflict and lessen the strain it puts on their marriage.

Nick says it’s a critical issue these days, with the pandemic putting stress on marriages and the married population in Dwell growing rapidly. The premise of this video came from a marriage counseling class Nick took through the Gottman Institute that offered helpful insights on working with couples and a number of concrete, easy-to-apply strategies for strengthening marriages. One of the founders of the Gottman Institute is John Gottman, author of The Relationship Cure and The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.

Nick offers this quick tip from the teaching: “If you want to fight less and fight more productively when you do, make an effort to build a quality friendship before you focus directly on conflict resolution. You do better work and take feedback from your friends better when there's a generally positive rapport between you. In the same way, when you have a characteristically warm and appreciative relationship with your spouse, a lot of conflict won't come up in the first place—and the conflict that does come up will be much easier to handle.”

While the video is aimed at married couples, Nick says the material is also useful for anyone wanting to encourage and help married friends. And Nick says it’s good for anyone who wants to grow in his or her ability to build positive rapport with friends and to navigate conflict more successfully. “Specifically, I encourage people who are prone to overlook the impact of everyday interactions, like simple expressions of gratitude, and people who struggle to listen well, to watch the workshop.”

Child at Christmas

This Sunday Dwell's children's ministry, Oasis, will be offering gift bags for all the children it serves, with fun and spiritually enriching materials for Christmas. The bags will be tailored to the child's age (toddlers through 5th grade), and will include toys, crafts, a Bible lesson, and prayer packet for families to use together.

Oasis Director Jeff Risley says they're doing this to connect with kids and provide an avenue for them to do something with their parents that's spiritually beneficial and fun. "On the fun side, we're including coloring books, stuffed animals, and a 'build your own' gingerbread house, as well as different toys for older students. On the spiritual side of things, each packet has a Christmas lesson and prayer requests for our global partners." He says they hope families integrate prayer for our missionaries and global partners this holiday season, with the goal of continuing those prayers throughout 2021. 

The bags will be available for drive-through pick-up (from staff in masks and gloves) this Sunday, December 13th from 10:00 am-12:00 pm at Dwell's Main Campus entrance (1390 Community Park Dr., 43229). Your family can drive up and request your child's age-specific bag. If you can't make it then, you can set up a time the following week (Dec. 14th-18th) to pick up a gift bag at the main office--email Jeff at

Jeff says these bags come with much love and care from the Oasis ministry. "We wanted families to know that we are thinking of them, care about them, and are praying for them. We miss serving them in person, and look forward to having them back at CT, Discipleship Cafe, HOP, Parent Meeting and the after CT Playgrounds."

From the Dwell Missions Staff

Ethiopian Crowd

We have seen throughout history and scripture that God works in the middle of challenging situations and discouraging circumstances to reveal His glory. And it is in just these sorts of places that some of our partners find themselves. Please join us in prayer for Bethel Church in Ethiopia and our partners in Côte d’Ivoire:

Bethel Church Ethiopia: There has been a long history of tension among the various ethnic groups of Ethiopia. This tension has bubbled to the surface throughout this year and has reached a breaking point in the last week. The federal government is now in active conflict with a militia group TPLF. This violent conflict is taking place in the Northern part of Ethiopia and has now spilled over into the neighboring country of Eritrea. Not only does this violence threaten the stability of the country, but potentially the whole Eastern region of Africa. 

Please pray for Bethel church as there are many church plants in the Northern part of the country where it is most violent. Pray for the protection of the congregations and church leaders. Pray for wisdom on how to proceed in an unstable environment. 

Pray also for our dear friends Lou and Genet Kassa--they are both sick with COVID. There has been a particular concern for Genet, as she has preexisting health problems--praise God that she is now recovering! Pray the Lord sustains them and that they can continue to lead well in this trying time.

Côte d’Ivoire crowd
Distanced classroom

With its first quarter now finished, Calumet Christian School Principal Tyler Wriston says its efforts to safely hold classes in-person are working great. He says, with 98% of the students attending in-person, they've had zero confirmed COVID cases among students and teachers.

Many parents have expressed their gratitude for the school's efforts: Katie Himsworth says, "I really appreciate all the things you have implemented and feel really confident sending my girls to school. They love it!" Another parent, Rachel Yensel said, "I am overwhelmingly grateful for the care, preparation, prayer, consideration, and wisdom that the teachers, admin, and staff have all contributed to make the first quarter of school safe, welcoming, and enjoyable. Too many answered prayers to even keep track of."

One particular highlight--Tyler says 100% of students, including those attending remotely, have completed all parts of the standardized MAP test.

Click here for a video on Calumet's safety plan.

By John Montgomery, Dwell Grief Ministry

Holiday grief workshop

The end-of-year holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve) can be the most  wonderful, joyous, and hopeful times of the year. Often, it's the time spent with our family and friends that gives the holidays special meaning. So after the death of a loved one, holiday celebrations can go from joyous occasions to tedious events that must be survived.

But there is hope! The Dwell Grief Ministry will provide a 90-minute workshop, Navigating Holiday Grief, that will help individuals not only to "survive the holidays," but to find strength, healing, and tools to move forward through the deep pain of grief.

The workshop will be “in-person” on November 14th at 1:30pm in the Dwell main campus cafe’. Masks will be required and social distancing practiced. An encore presentation will be offered on Wednesday, November 18th at 7:00pm on Zoom.  

Grieving takes energy and you may not be up to the physical and mental challenges of the many activities in which you usually participate during the holidays. You may find yourself in social situations that now are uncomfortable because of your different circumstances. During this workshop, you will learn ways to minimize stress and lessen the likelihood that you will be caught off guard by difficult situations.

While no simple guidelines exist that will make the holidays painless, this workshop provides many practical, hope-inspiring ideas to help deal with the many challenges that come this time of year. The workshop presents a Biblical perspective on grief, suffering, and trust in God. It features practical suggestions and reassurance through interviews with counselors, grief experts, and others who have experienced the pain of losing a loved one.

This event can be a great opportunity to reach out to your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members who are in grief. It allows people in the local community to be aware of the kind of practical care they can receive from our fellowship. The true meaning of Christmas is explained in a seeker sensitive manner. If someone you know would benefit from this workshop, please consider coming with them for support.

There is no cost. To register or ask any questions, please email


Missions night October 28

The Dwell Missions Division invites you to its quarterly Missions Night October 28th at 7:00 pm.

Because of COVID restrictions the event will be online using Zoom. Amy Condon with the Missions Division says the format has worked well, giving people the ability to participate from home, but also giving them the chance to hear directly from missionaries in other countries, since the missionaries can join the meeting remotely.

She says about a hundred people have been joining these online events, and encourages you to take part, even if you haven’t been involved with missions in the past. She says it’s a great antidote to the problem of feeling somewhat useless during this time of social distancing. “Many of us have felt discouraged and unsure of what meaningful contribution we can make when we cannot be with other people in the same way we once were. But one thing remains the same, prayer is an amazing privilege that God has given to us, and through it we can affect eternity.”

And she says it’s also a way to overcome the sense of being disconnected from the larger Dwell community. During the Missions Night, you’ll not only join with others to hear from missionaries, but you’ll also pray with a group of people in a Zoom breakout room.

If you’re interested in participating, send an email to Amy at, and she will send you details.