Single moms, group strength

Church hosts ministry for single moms seeking support

November 20, 2010 

Members of a single moms group, from left, Ashley Ayers, Teresa Prusia, Stacey Brewer, Dawn Moriarty-Odom and Karleigh Cook, say a prayer Nov. 10 before their dinner, which was prepared by the men of Grace Community Church, at the church on Hilton Head Island.

JAY KARR/THE ISLAND PACKET

  • A single moms group meets at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Grace Community Church on Hilton Head Island. Child care and meals are provided.

    Details: Dawn Moriarty-Odom, 843-681-6698

Dawn Moriarty-Odom is a busy woman. In addition to working two part-time jobs and attending college full-time, she is raising a 9-year-old boy by herself. But thanks to a single moms ministry at Grace Community Church, she doesn't feel so alone.

Moriarty-Odom started going to the group meetings four years ago and loved it so much she took over as facilitator this year.

"Sometimes you feel very isolated," she said about being a single mother. "Coming into the single parents' group you can be with other moms that understand how you feel."

The group of single mothers meets at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the prayer room of the Hilton Head Island church. They enjoy a free meal prepared by church members, bond with other women and learn how they can heal and grow with God's guidance.

The studies are biblically based and focus on the unique challenges single parents face. For Moriarty-Odom, the challenge is juggling work, school, parenting and all the other usual responsibilities of life.

"The bonding with the other moms is huge," she said. "It's good to be with other people who are sharing similar struggles or have walked similar paths."

The group is finishing a study called "Life's Healing Choices," an eight-week lesson that Moriarty-Odom said offers hope and transformation to the women. She hopes more women will join the group, which is open to all single mothers. She said it has had a huge impact on her life and offers hope and healing for others in the group.

"I think it is so important that people know that there's hope, that you don't have to stay down," she said. "And I've been down; I've been way down before."

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