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Writing an Article for Breaking Free

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Writing an Article for Breaking Free

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Breaking Free Journal is a group of blogs (articles) on our UCG website. It was started in 2007, and we commonly refer to it simply as “Breaking Free.” The direct link to it is www.ucg.org/blogs/breaking-free. I encourage our members to look it over to see the types and variety of articles that are included.

As the title indicates, this journal is dedicated to giving help and encouragement to people who want to “break free” from problems such as:

Addictions, bad habits, dysfunctional behaviors, mental problems, etc.

The mental and emotional scars from past abuse or other bad experiences.

Some articles offer understanding and encouragement to people who endure serious challenges in stressful relationships, such as being a caregiver for a family member. Articles that educate readers regarding temptations and dangers to avoid are also helpful.

The Breaking Free articles are in addition to many helpful sermons, articles and ucg.org, plus three valuable study aids, Overcoming Alcoholism, Overcoming Pornography Addiction and Why Am I Suffering?

Of course, it is not always possible to completely “break free” from a problem, but an article can still be very helpful. It is valuable when it offers understanding, sympathy, empathy, encouragement and/or coping strategies.

The influences in today’s society are rapidly becoming more and more dysfunctional, dangerous and diabolical! People who are seeking to have healthy and happy lives will certainly benefit from some additional light in this dark world!

The policy for Breaking Free is that we only accept articles that are written by members of United Church of God. There are countless professional sources of knowledge and advice, and we certainly recommend consulting them. But in addition, reading a personal “story” from a fellow Church member can be very encouraging and helpful. Breaking Free is a service by which we can help and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ plus others!

Most articles are written by members who have had a serious struggle themselves or lived with a family member with one. When a member has suffered a trial in the past, he or she has gained understanding, wisdom and compassion to share with others. He or she can express not only sympathy but also empathy for those who are suffering a similar trial. It’s like saying, “I’ve been there, done that, so I want to share a little of what I’ve learned that might be helpful to you.”

If you write this type of article and it is posted on our UCG website, you are serving others in a wonderful way. A guiding scripture is Galatians 6:10: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Once an article is posted in Breaking Free, it will be there to continually enlighten, encourage and empathize with our brothers and sisters in Christ, plus others outside of our Church who access our website.

For several years, many of our members were aware of Breaking Free. Some members read and others wrote articles for it. Lately, I think most members have not been aware of its existence. As its managing editor, I admit that it has been some time since I reminded members about Breaking Free. Furthermore, over the years, our Church has added more and more features to our website. Hence, if a member is not looking for Breaking Free, he is less likely to accidentally come across it.

An article titled “How Breaking Free Began” was published in United News on Dec. 18, 2011. The article is out-of-date so the links are no longer correct, but it relates the early history of Breaking Free.

If you have an idea for an article that would be helpful, especially for certain people, please write it! Please know that you do not need any past experience in writing or knowledge of grammar. When you send an article to me, I will proofread, edit and send it back to you. Then you will have the opportunity to tell me where you agree with the edits (the new wording) and where you disagree. You and I can send the article back and forth until you are satisfied with the wording. The main goal always will be to clearly communicate your ideas.

As the author of an article, if you prefer to be anonymous, that is perfectly okay.

Regarding a title for your article, it is preferable for the title and/or subtitle to clearly communicate the main subject. In that way, a person can glance at the title and know whether the subject is one that he or she is interested in reading about.

Once we approve the final wording, I will post it at www.ucg.org as a blog. Once the reviewers have approved it, it will be posted within the Breaking Free Journal.

The best way to send an article is as an attachment to an email message that is addressed to me at don_hooser@ucg.org. Otherwise, the article can be sent in the body of the email.

So, if you write about an experience you have had, and the article could be enlightening, comforting or encouraging to someone else, you will be serving others in a valuable way. Please consider doing this!

Note: When a person types “breaking free” in the ucg.org search bar, this leads to many breaking-free-type articles but not to the Breaking Free Journal. Besides using the direct link, the other pathway to Breaking Free is this: At www.ucg.org, click on “Menu,” “Beyond Today,” “Menu,” “Blogs” and finally, “Menu,” and you will see “Breaking Free.” Click on “Breaking Free” and you will see the full list of articles that have been posted there. UN