God’s Love In Action
The risen Christ told his followers to teach, heal and give hope to people wherever they met them. As Disciples of Christ, we are directed to do likewise. St. Paul said we should bear one another’s burdens. That’s more than a mere suggestion for today’s Christian men and women.
Here at Lakeview we care for people until we say a final goodbye to them. There may be a misperception that older people don’t need much help, that they’ve already arrived in life. But the challenges of aging and loss are very, very difficult. As a wise person once said, “Growing older is not for sissies!”
Stephen Ministry was created to provide ongoing comfort for people left to suffer in silence. An important goal of the program is to ensure that the lay ministers caring for people in spiritual and emotional pain do not make matters worse by saying the wrong thing. Since 1975, when the Rev. Kenneth C. Haugk linked his psychology training with Christian concepts and deputized nine people to minister to others in his Lutheran congregation in St. Louis, more than 500,000 have been trained as Stephen Ministers. Their reach covers most Christian denominations in this country and overseas.
Stephen Ministers receive fifty hours of preparatory training, as well as ongoing training and supervision. At Lakeview, Stephen Ministers journey along with their brothers and sisters according to the needs of the individual. Sometimes, people’s needs are brought about by a personal crisis; sometimes, a person just needs companionship.
Most of us have known times in which it would have been a great comfort to have someone who would walk alongside of us and just be present for our feelings and thoughts, comforting us by their presence and encouraging us by their faithfulness. It is a great gift to have someone nearby in times of
difficulty to help us resolve our problems. These people who wait upon others are Stephen Ministers. They do not come into our lives to heal us or cure us. They are caregivers, not cure givers. Only Christ is our Cure Giver.
Join us as our new class begins on October 17. For more information, please contact Pastor Linda or Pastor Ross at 623-974-5821.