Dear Friends and Members of Ark and Dove,
This Sunday we will be highlighting an important ministry of Ark and Dove. The Stephen Ministry is a group of caregivers in our congregation who have been trained to accompany people through the difficulties of life. They are studied and practiced in a unique form of care. Not pastors, counselors, therapists, social workers, or advice givers, they are perhaps best described as partners. Stephen Ministers are skilled partners, uniquely able to listen and simply be with a person going through difficulties great and small.
Laurie Barrow, the leader of our Stephen Ministers, describes these caregivers as the "after people," as in the people who are there after the diagnosis, after the papers are signed, after the funeral, after the baby is home, after the grief group has concluded, and after the friends and family members stop being so attentive. I would add that Stephen Ministers are "after the last 20 months people." They are ready to be there for those of us who have suffered loss in this pandemic, lost friends and family over political strife, or lost a sense of optimism and even hope through these months. Stephen Ministers are ready to partner with us, walk alongside, and be there in the necessary silence. They keep things in confidence too.
I hope that you will take a Stephen Minister up on their special ministry. You did not have to go through a major life crisis to qualify. It is my assumption that, after these last several months, we could all use someone who can really listen and love as a Stephen Minister can. Please contact me, Pastor Tim, or Laurie Barrow (firstname.lastname@example.org
) and we will partner you up with a minister.