by Lynn Armstrong
Stephen Ministry is an international organization whose mission is to equip lay people to care and support hurting people. Dr. Kenneth C. Haugk, founder and executive director of Stephen Ministries, St. Louis recently sent the following letter to those registered with the organization concerning the difficult times and challenges our country is experiencing.
“Dear Friends in Ministry, This is a difficult time for us as a nation and as a people of God. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought disease to so many, and touched our lives with disruption, fear, anxiety, and loss. Now, another sickness commands our attention. Recently, we've seen a continuation of the history of violence against Black Americans at the hands of police officers and private citizens. … Whether recent, or sustained over generations, the wounds of racism are deep. And while we yearn to come together to support and care for those who are hurting right now, many churches are closed or operating at a limited capacity due to concerns over the coronavirus.
… The simple act of genuine, respectful listening can start the healing process. Listen, empathize, and validate the suffering person's feelings, remembering that the anger and pain people of color may be expressing now is rooted in hundreds of years of denial and neglect. From the thousands of people who participated in my research for the book Don't Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart: How to Relate to Those Who Are Suffering, I learned something important:
‘The very best gift you can offer a suffering person is a heart full of understanding, eyes filled with tears, and ears ready to listen.’
In Christ, Rev. Kenneth C. Haugk, Ph.D.”
The mission of our Stephen Ministers is to show God’s love to one hurting person at a time. Stephen Ministers are not strangers to life’s difficulties. They are people, like you, who have faced challenges in life.
If you are going through a difficult time our Stephen Ministry can be a valuable resource for you. To request the care of a Stephen Minister, contact any of our Stephen Leaders or the church office.
Christ Caring for People