Pastoral Care

Stephen Ministry

(This blog is a repost from our "old" site, as the information is needed and we hope it remains helpful to you).

Life happens.  Perhaps you have experienced the recent loss of a loved one.  Maybe you’ve lost a job.  Are you dealing with a divorce, a terminal illness or hospitalization?  Do you simply need someone to listen?

Life happens.  And with it come stresses and challenges. Often people suffer silently, not requesting or receiving the level of care they themselves need.  In the midst of a challenging season, it can be extremely helpful to have someone come alongside us to provide stability, understanding, encouragement and hope.  

At Ascension, your clergy are dedicated to walking with you on your life’s journey.  But with a limited number of clergy for a congregation of our size, you can quickly see why it’s impossible for us to meet every single need of every single person.  This is why we are excited to offer Stephen Ministry here at Ascension.  It’s Christ helping people through people in an amazing, intentional ministry of care.

Stephen Ministers are not counselors.  They are not “know-it-alls.”  They are not individuals who try to fix everyone’s troubles.  They simply provide love, care and support when we need it most.  A Stephen Minister is an individual who can help us navigate our present situation in the strictest confidence, and with the deepest compassion.

Perhaps you, a friend, or a family member would benefit from this kind of help and support.   Starting in January 2018, we will be offering a comprehensive, 50-hour training course here at Ascension for those who wish to become Stephen Ministers.  And we will be assessing folks in our church family who might benefit from being a care receiver.  Because life happens.

Are you called to this caring ministry of presence?  Are you already a Stephen Minister who wishes to get back in the game?  Want to find out more?  

Mark your calendars for an informational workshop, Saturday, October 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Richardson.  The workshop will be facilitated by our own Laura Warner Gilmer, a national trainer with Stephen Ministries.  Come and discover how you can make a difference in someone’s life.

Please call Mother Marci, Stephen Ministry Leader/Coordinator, at the church (214-340-4196) for more information.

Rector's Reading: "Option B"

My dad sent me a copy of "Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy" a few months back.  This isn't unusual, my dad sending me books.  He knows that I tend toward those things that have been recommended, giving even higher priority to books that he recommends (maybe because he also sends me copies).

I finished it last night.  As I began, I wondered what I'd really get from it.  I have read other accounts of people overcoming hardships and loss.  I have read other works meant to build our pastoral understanding and response.  However, the further I got into the book the more I found it helpful.  It is personal and touching.  It is helpful to anyone who wants to be supportive of others who have suffered loss, particularly the loss of a spouse, maybe even more so the loss of a spouse "before their time".

I found myself telling Sarah (my beloved) that she needs to read it, particularly if I die.  That may have been what I said, "When I die, you should read this..." she is accustomed to odd instructions at this point.  I do believe the book offers a great deal for anyone who wants to support their friends and family.  It steers us away from those things that aren't helpful and toward both practical and emotional supportive means.  If you need a copy, mine is available for lending.