Over the last 21 months of monthly strain and alarm, crises everywhere in families and upsets in lives, no one has remained unscathed. For many of our congregational sisters and brothers, the strains have been repeated without ceasing, and some have been rocked back on their heels by losses, unexpected death and long illnesses ending in death. We need to talk. We need to find a listener who will listen to us say things hiding in our unhappy thoughts. Airing those thoughts sometimes, when a listener, unconditionally accepting and non-judgmental hears us, can be the key that unlocks the "rooms" we shut ourselves into and we come out letting go of the nightmares there. That listener can be a Stephen Minister, trained to listen, committed to being open and accepting, being a friend, clean of our own agendas our best friends sometimes can't be, even though they love us.
Over the months of COVID especially, when we haven't been able to train new Stephen Ministers, our seasoned ministers have kept attending care receivers who make requests. These "troops" can be relieved by new training volunteers to step in to new classes, hopefully this coming January. If you would like to enhance your personal relationship skills with Stephen Ministry "arts", here is your New Year's challenge! Ask a Stephen Leader about this ministry, look at the application for service, find out what to expect. The training not only sharpens your ability to be an empowering friend. Everyone who has taken the training is amazed how it has most. positively enabled them to be better at family, marriage, and their own relationships. New patience grows ln us. Understanding deepens compassion for others and brings new peace when things seem most chaotic or troubling. That peace, perhaps, is what Jesus intended us to treasure most ... God's peace ... renewing our faith that it's there for each of us. Talk to us, we invite you!
Leaders: Kathleen McGuinness, Tim Shepherd, Rob Hoyt, Julie Gorrell