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 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.

For more information or to ask for a Stephen Minister, talk to or call one of the Stephen Leaders who are Michele Grossenbaugh and Nell Twiggs. Our phone numbers are in the church directory and on the Stephen Ministry pew cards in the sanctuary. You can also tell Chappy or talk to any of the Stephen Ministers you see around church and they will pass on your request to us.

The following was adapted from the book Keep Calm and Trust God, by Jake Provance and Keith Provance, Word and Spirit Publishing, 2014.

The British government coined the slo-gan "Keep Calm and Carry On" in 1939 as the threat of World War II loomed. In the event that Hitler's army invaded England, the posters were to be distributed to Eng-land's general population in an effort to galvanize their resolve to resist German aggression. Should Germany invade across the English Channel, it would be one of the darkest times in world history. Under the shadow of Nazi air raids and bombing runs, death and destruction, and a world thrown into chaos, the British knew the people would need encouragement. And in those dark times, believers everywhere prayed fervently.

Our lives seem to be under constant assault. Worry, fear, stress, tragedy, and anxiety make war on many of us daily. Our society has accepted depression and discouragement as common social ailments. Anxiety threatens to immobilize us, as unfulfilled dreams, loss, divorce, sickness, death, failures, mistakes and criticism seem to rain down on us like bombs. So where do we turn in these trying times?

Isn't it empowering to know that God is not the author or cause of such destructive atrocities? The Bible clearly states in John 10:10 that it is Satan who is the enemy who comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. Jesus came that we might have life - and life more abundantly. When adversity comes, simply keeping calm may not be enough. We cannot fight with just a slogan. Nor can we "carry on" in our own strength. Certainly, we need to rely on and gain our strength from God. We need to trust in Him completely and totally (pg. ivvi).

But sometimes our hurt is deep and we need someone to be there, even if just to listen; we need a Stephen Minister - someone who can provide seemingly small bits of care with a lot of love for hurting people. Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." A visit or phone call from a Stephen Minister may not seem like much, but to the person who is suffering or in pain, that visit or call offers connection, hope for a new outlook, and a caring presence through their darkest journey. Let us be there for you. Realizing someone else is willing to help carry your burden makes it lighter.

For more information or to ask for a Stephen Minister, talk to or call one of the Stephen Leaders, who are Michele Grossenbaugh and Nell Twiggs. Our phone numbers are in the church directory. You can also talk to Chappy or one of our Stephen Ministers you may know. Let them know you would like a Stephen Minister and they will pass your request on to Michele or Nell.

By Michele Grossenbaugh