Leaders: Carolyn Barnes, Karolyn Dawley and Josh Fagan
This program is designed to help those who go through difficult times, such as loss of a loved one, loss of a job, illness, aging difficulties, pregnancy and childbirth issues and other life challenging problems. Many times people just muddle through their difficulties, but would benefit if they had someone to talk to in a confidential manner.
Volunteers, called Stephen Ministers or care givers, receive fifty hours of training in topics such as making the first contact, listening skills, empathy with feelings, confidentiality and information on specific difficulties people encounter. A one-on-one relationship is established between Stephen Ministers and those who need a caring listener. The relationship is confidential and non-judgmental. The visits are generally one hour a week. The relationship lasts as long as the care receiver needs, which can be from a few weeks to several years.
Stephen Ministers meet regularly for continuing education and peer support. Details of the relationship are not discussed but the feelings and challenges for the care giver are explored.
If you or someone you know is interested in exploring having a Stephen Minister, please contact one of the leaders or the church office.