Camille May shares how childhood lessons from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood still ring true in her adult life:
Mr. Rogers from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood taught me many things as a child including weaving paper placemats, the care and feeding of fish and that it is cool to have a favorite sweater. As an adult, I have a growing appreciation for his sentiment on looking for the "helpers" in our world. Mr. Rogers calls us to slow down and take note of the caregivers in our midst in times of crisis and tragedy.
This week I am attending Stephen Ministry Leader Training. Incidentally, the conference began in deep prayer for the recent shooting of Dallas police officers and the events leading up to the attack. What better time than this to recall that indeed we are surrounded by helpers? What better time than this to be reminded that we all need help? What better time than this to be reminded that as Christians, we are all called to help? Paul reminds us of this responsibility in Galatians 6:2, "Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
Stephen Ministry is one of presence, active listening, and confidentiality. A Stephen Minister is one who is called to journey alongside someone who is facing suffering in any of it's many forms. Did you know that sometimes pastors have their own Stephen Ministers? Yes, anyone in need of a listening ear during a difficult season of life is a potential candidate for having a Stephen Minster.
This week has reminded me, once again, of what a caring congregation Trietsch is. We have a myriad of helping ministries in our church. Sunday School classes, Bible studies, and other small groups minister to one another in prayer and listening. Grief Seminar facilitators, homebound visitors and convalescent callers, support group leaders, Where to Turn leaders, hospital visitors, and the like minister to others in specialized ways. We are a caring congregation and for that I am grateful.
Let us continue to live into our mission, vision, and values that hinge on relationship with God and one another. Stephen Ministry as well as our other Caring Ministries are available to anyone who may need help. Indeed, Trietsch is full of what Mr. Rogers would call helpers in our midst. Perhaps you might feel a call to live into a ministry of care giving. If so, I invite you to contact me and let's discover what might be a good fit for you.
Be on the lookout for a new book study The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen. This four week study will be offered in the fall and is a great way to learn more about our call as Christians to be helpers and burden bearers.