Stephen Ministers January 2021
by Penny Brill
This month's newsletter is part of an article from the Stephen Ministry CareMail that was in the Williams Herald in Franklin, TN regarding the Stephen Ministry Program at Brentwood Methodist Church:
“….As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many people are experiencing an unexpected effect of the crisis: pandemic fatigue. Pandemic fatigue is the mental and emotional exhaustion stemming from the stress and challenges of COVID-19. As time goes on, more and more people are feeling worn down by the crisis and need care. There is aid from Stephen Ministry, a ministry providing care, compassion, community and a listening ear.
...The care they provide is highly confidential, and the lay members who serve as caregivers, called Stephen Ministers, are very well equipped to provide that care. Stephen Ministries is a not-for-profit, interdenominational, Christian education organization founded in 1975 and based in St. Louis. Congregations and other organizations use resources from Stephen Ministries to strengthen and expand their caring ministry. Individuals use them to improve their ability to relate to and care for others, grow in faith, and journey through life crises.
The reasons individuals need care from a Stephen Minister really haven’t changed. However, the pandemic has brought with it a whole new layer of emotional stress - working from home, balancing work life with children at home learning virtually, worrying about aging parents, especially those in nursing homes and long-term facilities. The list goes on and on.”
...Hal Bumbalough, one of the Stephen Leaders at Brentwood UMC, said, “As human beings, we are meant to live in a community, but COVID-19 has driven a wedge between many families and friends. Pandemic fatigue is real, and many don’t recognize it until it sneaks up on us, affecting how we relate to others.” Individuals can meet with Stephen Ministers in person when it’s safe to do so. They can also connect by FaceTime, Zoom or simply a phone call. Stephen Ministers have a true gift for listening and praying, and they ask for nothing in return. With Stephen Ministry, congregations equip and empower a team of laypeople—called Stephen Ministers— to provide one-to-one, Christ-centered care to people experiencing grief, divorce, serious illness, unemployment, hospitalization, spiritual crises, or other life difficulties...”
For more information about First Christian Church's Stephen Ministry Program, you can call the church office at 228-4189. Help is just a phone call away. If you feel called to learn about being a Stephen Minister, please reach out to Alan Parsons.
The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the works of ministry for building up the body of Christ ~Ephesians 4:11-12
Christ Caring for People