It Has Begun!
In an underground corner of our building in the dark of the evening on three Sundays out of four, a group of unassuming persons gather for special training. Seven women (Sherri Bader, Lori Brekke, MaryLee Kersten, Laura Kramer, Lora Kramer, Pam Lippert, Sandy Trampe) and five men (Blaine Bader, John Bear, Dale Hartman, Maury Hyde, Gary VanderWilt) have enlisted for two years to serve as Stephen Ministers. Their enlistment begins by attending 50 hours of training in 20 sessions between September and March. They are being trained by a cadre of instructors who also signed up for two years to be Stephen Leaders. Jenny Anderson, Janet Folkerts, and I try to keep them engaged as we learn about listening, empathy, emotions, and the power of Christian caring.
Their mission, should any of you choose to receive them, is to listen carefully to hurting people as we follow Jesus further. Their vision is that no one in our congregation will hurt alone. It requires courage and skill to enter compassionately into other’s pain, but that is what these men and women have volunteered for. They have already completed over one-fourth of their training, and to this point we have had perfect attendance. This article includes some rare photos of the training in action. Please keep all of us in prayer so that we might provide helpful care for hurting people as they heal.