At the end of January, I was gravely ill with heart issues and pneumonia and had to be hospitalized.  I had no idea that my Seekers Sunday School class had mobilized on my behalf.

Their prayers began almost as soon as I got to the hospital.  I believe that those prayers immediately began to influence my condition; the hospital staff noted how well I responded to treatment.

In a few days, as I began to improve, prayer was followed by cards, visits, offers to sit with me, flowers and other gifts.  When I returned home, prayers, cards, and  visits continued, and food began arriving in amazing quantities.  For over a month, my refrigerator was filled with mouth-watering dishes.  Wonderful food, visits, offers to shop, and prayer continue as I continue to improve.

What did I do to deserve this?  Nothing–it was freely given without my asking for it.  My fellow Seekers, full of love and concern for a class member, were following in Jesus’ footsteps.  They were loving their neighbor and doing unto others!  They were instruments of God’s grace, whether they knew it or not.

Being the recipient of so much care, compassion, and love has changed me for the better.  Knowing how much I was cared for makes me want to care for others.  As I was comforted and loved, I intend to be a comforter and to express my love for those who are ill and in need.

The love from my fellow Seekers reinforces the message we have heard from the pulpit and from our Methodist leaders: the small group experience can deepen our faith and is a means for spiritual growth.

Dottie Anklam, Toni Gilboy and Cherry Mills enjoy the lively discussions the group has each week, small groups, church, baton rouge

Dottie Anklam, Toni Gilboy and Cherry Mills enjoy the lively discussions the group has each week.

Sunday School groups are one element of the Conferencing Wedge of the Means of Grace, Christian Small Groups, FUMC-BR

Sunday School groups are one element of the Conferencing Wedge of the Means of Grace.

Willie Irwin addresses the Seekers Sunday School Class, Small Group, Baton Rouge, First United Methodist Church

Willie Irwin addresses the Seekers Sunday School Class.


Married to Josh DeCuir, and is a new mom to nine-month-old twins, Lillie Grace and Fletcher. Ellen is a middle school counselor.

What do you feel is the essence of the CORE mom’s ministry?

This ministry reaches women who are navigating the demands of our many roles while focusing on keeping Christ at the center and being open to his presence in our lives. Restoring ourselves with his grace and mercy as well as new friendships encourages us to live and love abundantly. This ministry helps moms build a network of support within FUMC that will last for years to come.

What have you learned about God’s love through this ministry?

God gives us grace daily and calls us to show His love to those around us. I have learned to be present while in our small groups in this ministry and allow the support of other moms to nourish and uplift me each week. And also coffee!

How have you experienced or shared God’s love through your relationship with these moms?

I feel that building relationships with other new moms is God’s love shared with me. These new friendships are such a gift as I begin my motherhood journey and each week I leave feeling supported, inspired and touched by God’s grace. God’s love is present when we meet each week to happily share stories of the (brief) moments when we feel like rockstar moms and also appreciate empathy and encouragement when we share feelings of being overwhelmed and exhausted.

In what ways has this ministry enhanced your faith?

This ministry gives me intentional time with God. Being surrounded by women in various life stages who are striving to strengthen their relationship with God for themselves and their families is inspiring, especially as they share creative ways they make time to bring God into their day.

Visit our Adult Group Studies & Classes page to see current C.O.R.E. groups and meeting times.

Childcare is provided for children ages 6 weeks – Kindergarten

CORE Ministry for Moms Baton Rouge