Stephen Ministry

stephen ministry

Chestnut Memorial UMC is a Stephen Ministry church. A Stephen Minister is a member of our congregation who is trained to listen, care, encourage, pray, and walk alongside you during difficult times. It's confidential, free and very helpful.

We all face challenges in our lives. Some we cope with more easily than others. Are you facing one of life's difficult challenges? A death in the family, divorce or separation, loss of a job, a difficult pregnancy, chronic illness, terminal illness, hospitalization, loneliness, aging, relocation or some other life crisis? If you think you would benefit from having someone visit you once a week, listen to you, encourage you, and pray for you, then request a Stephen Minister. You can ask for one by telling our spiritual leader or any Stephen Minister or Stephen Leader at Chestnut. Once you have made your request, one of the Stephen Leaders -- who are Cathy Southwell, Sharon Petitt and Michele Grossenbaugh -- will contact you and give you more information and assign you a Stephen Minister. Everything you say to a Stephen Minister is strictly confidential; no one else will know your "business." Having a Stephen Minister means you won't have to bear your burden alone.



THE GIFT OF LOVE

BY SHARON PETITT
“No one has ever seen God, but if we love each other, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”
-- 1 John 4:12

“God loves each of us as there were only one of us.”
-- St. Augustine

“Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love...”
-- Jerry Bridges

In last month’s Lamplighter our hard-working editor, Becky Stewart asked for stories about hymns that get you through the day, the week, or even your whole life. It has been an unsettling week in many ways for many of us. The hymn that comes to mind today is “The Gift of Love”. This beautiful hymn is most certainly inspired by 1st Corinthians 13. It says so well what I need to hear and feel right now.

THE GIFT OF LOVE
Lyrics by Hal Hopson, 1972

Though I may speak with bravest fire,
And have the gift to all inspire,
And have not love, my words are vain,
As sounding brass, and hopeless gain.

Though I may give all I possess,
And striving so my love profess,
But not be given by love within,
The profit soon turns strangely thin.
Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control,
Our spirits long to be made whole,
Let inward love guide every deed,
By this we worship, and are freed.

I became a Methodist in 1982 when I joined Chestnut Memorial UMC. I chose this denomination because of its diversity or pluralism, if you will, of accepting many different ways to believe in God and how He works in the world and still reach the same conclusion. That conclusion being that there is only one God, a God who loves us all, and that Jesus is God Incarnate. The Methodist motto, “Open hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors” appealed greatly to me. I chose Chestnut over other Methodist churches closer to my home because their literature said, “Rooted in Faith, Reaching Out in Love.” And it was here at Chestnut that I finally achieved what I had longed for, which was a personal relationship with God. In the Stephen Ministry, I found a way that I was able to serve God in a meaningful way. At the end of each Stephen Ministry meeting when I give the Benediction, the last line is always “Let each of us be a blessing to those whose lives we touch.” That is what Stephen Ministry is all about. So if you would like a Stephen Minister for yourself – to paraphrase a Diana Ross song that Chappy mentioned in a sermon a few weeks ago – “just call us and we will come”.

And Jesus said, “And a new command I give you, Love one another as I have loved you...” John 13:34

Next two Stephen Ministry meetings:
* Monday, Mar. 25, 7 p.m. in the library
* Monday, Apr. 29, 7 p.m. in the library