Sat, August 06, 2005
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08/06/05

Jan Findley column

Singles together join for Praise Rally for Christ

Singles from 17 area churches joined one another last Saturday evening in a Praise Rally for Christ at the Suncoast Worship Center on River Road.

They sang, they prayed, they were moved by live, soft rock music and lyrics. Following the music, a rousing talk was given by the Rev. Milton Bradley. This in turn was followed by a terrific meal, fellowship and door prizes.

The Praise Rally was put on by a group named "Singles Reaching Singles Through Christ." This was their first visit to Englewood, and from the number of attendees (more than 60) and their reactions, it likely won't be the last.

Singles Reaching Singles Through Christ (SRSTC) was founded in 1977 by home health care specialist Gerry Gallicchio and became both her mission and her ministry. She formed the original group in her local church and continued to mentor and lead it until 1989, when growth indicated it was time to incorporate and establish recognition as a nonprofit 501-C-3 organization. Today, churches around the state of Florida actively partner in Singles Reaching Singles Through Christ.

Gerry Gallicchio's goal in initiating the SRSTC was (and remains) to see singles become complete in Christ and fulfill their potential while they reach out to others to become likewise fulfilled. She is most definite when she says, "It is not a dating service. While some people get that idea, they are soon disabused of it and we don't see them again."

Gallicchio also says SRSTC is Christian and non-denominational. Doctrine is focused on belief in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The group encourages and supports single missionaries serving in various locations around the world. Currently, SRSTC supports missionaries in Peru and the Philippines.

The main source of income for SRSTC is the annual retreat held each fall. This year will mark their 28th such retreat. The Fall Get-Away and Retreat will take place at the Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center in Leesburg, Fla. A beautiful spot. The dates are Oct. 21, 22 and 23. It is being promoted as "Single or single again, this weekend is for you!"

There will be sessions covering things like personal relationships, single parenting, Christian living, healing, surviving separation, finances, singleness. This year's main speaker will be the Rev. Brian Colby, who currently resides in South Africa -- having ministered previously in India, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the United States -- plus several South African churches.

There's a range of prices based on lodging choice. If you take the dormitory option, it's $125 and you bring your own linens. If you go for the two-in-a-room motel option, it's $162. If you prefer to stay solo, figure $256. These are strictly "for instance" figures and may not be the final total for the whole weekend.

If you're interested call Gerry at 941-925-0987 ... or e-mail Gerry at:

gerrysrs@juno.com.

If you'd like to read more about the group and its activities, Google your way to the web and punch in: www.singlesreachingsingles.com.

Jan Findley is a columnist for the Englewood Sun and Englewood Herald. You can e-mail her at burkefindley@verizon.net. The Spirit of Englewood runs every Saturday.

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