Being single is a blessing
Saphire Faith International Ministries will host its first summit for singles next week.
Its aim is to bring singles of the Christian faith together for fellowship and empowerment.
The event was organised by mother-daughter duo Marlene Flynn and Shaunte Simons.
The couple created Saphire Faith International Ministries last year with the vision of enhancing the lives of men and women locally and internationally by assisting them in finding and living their purpose.
It is not a church or a denomination, but rather a ministry that meets the needs of individuals both within and outside of the church.
Both Marlene and Shaunte have a passion for Christ and for empowering people in their faith.
Outside of this ministry, Shaunte is also the creator and host of the podcast Pray, Plan, Slay.
Since its launch last September, it has been streamed in over 28 countries and six continents, and has been listened to by more than 2,500 people; in October, Apple Podcast rated it the most listened to faith podcast in Bermuda.
Marlene is a co-host of The T Talk Show on Channel 82, an active member at New Testament Church of God, Glory Temple and former president of the Jamaican Association (Bermuda).
She and her daughter have hosted two local events within the Saphire Faith International Ministry to date: the Bermuda International Ladies Start Your Year Strong conference in February and the God is My Source conference in August.
Bermuda 2020 Singles Summit is the first event specifically tailored to single Christians.
Saphire Faith International hopes that this will be a step towards developing a vibrant, non-denominational singles ministry island-wide.
“[It] seeks to bring Christian singles together from churches on the island regardless of denomination, for a day of empowerment, friendship and fellowship,” said Marlene.
“While there are a lot of ministry activities within the church that cater to families — husband, wife and children — there are not many activities that are geared towards those who are single and especially those who are without children.
“Quite a few singles yearn to build a community of people with like minds with whom they can have fun and build relationships in a healthy atmosphere.
“The Bermuda 2020 Singles Summit will be the beginning of creating such a community.”
She and her daughter hope the summit changes the way singles view themselves and their season of singleness.
Single ministry leaders and relationship counsellors will be on hand.
There will also be an opportunity for singles to mingle, learn how to develop healthy relationships and build each other up.
“As I chatted with my daughter, Shaunte, she mentioned to me that there were no events that catered to having candid conversations about Christian singleness in the community — at least none that she has come across,” Marlene explained. “When discussing the situation with other singles, they expressed a sense of tiredness of the same old conversations where the bottom line is usually the same: you are a Christian, you are single and you don’t have sex, full stop.
“There isn’t much conversation around the purpose of singleness — how to become whole, as a person, rather than looking for someone to make you whole; the purpose of dating and how to know God’s choice for you.
“Prayerfully, I want attendees to walk away knowing that God has met them at the summit and that He has provided a fresh anointing for them to walk boldly in their kingdom purpose understanding that their singleness is not a place of brokenness.
“They are not waiting to be rescued because they are not lost.
Marlene added: “They are needed — they bring life and they add life and should never give themselves away at a discount.”
Marlene and Shaunte will serve as co-hosts of the event.
Philip Phinn, the former president of Word of Life Ministries and the current presiding bishop of No Limit Ministries in Brampton, Ontario, Danette Ming, an ordained minister and co-facilitator of the singles ministry at the New Testament Church of God and Langre Carroll, whose book The Single Heart was released last year, will all speak on the topic “Worth the Wait”.
They’re also part of a panel discussion with Shaunte, Lynne Landy, Blanche Burchall and Carla George. Inspiration for the theme comes from 1 Corinthians, chapter seven.
“Paul teaches on singleness and marriage,” said Marlene. “He encouraged the believer that singleness is not a burden but rather it is a blessing.
“Paul describes singleness as a holy and blessed lifestyle. He encourages us to take full advantage of our singleness for as long as we are able to.
“Don’t put your life on hold and don’t miss out on life. Live the life that you are in.
“Pursue your dreams, cultivate friendships, serve the church and the community, practise the hobby you love. Live with a sense of vision.
Marlene continued: “Know your purpose and live intentionally. Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter three, tells us that there is a time for every season,” she added. “We need to commit to whatever season we are in and submit ourselves to all that it has to offer in order to experience full contentment. It is indeed worth the wait.”
Added Shaunte: “Saphire Faith International Ministries have carefully crafted a curated experience for Bermuda’s singles to come and learn more about their single season, develop in the season that they are in and build community with each other.
“We realise that if one does not understand the purpose of the season of their singleness, they can believe that they are being punished and that is not God’s intention.”
• The Bermuda 2020 Single Summit takes place next Saturday from 10am to 4pm at Grotto Bay Beach Resort. Tickets are available on ptix.bm/singlesummit or on 704-1045. Early bird tickets are on sale for $99 until Monday and will increase to $125 thereafter. The summit is open to single males and females including those who are divorced or widowed
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