The God of the psalmist always provided companionship for heavy-laden pilgrims traversing the valleys of life. This month, six Stephen Ministers are in training to better become equipped to offer care to folks in various transitions. The 50 hours of training invite these new caregivers to make five issues a priority in relationships. Perhaps you may want to assess these five descriptions of care in reference to your daily friendship relationships. In summary:

  1. Compassionate: A caregiver brings a deep personal interest and presence to the relationship of care, offering the capacity to “feel with” someone in their journey of change
  2. Faithful: The belief and faith of the caregiver provides a foundation of stability and hope for a person going through challenges and adjustments
  3. Trusted: The person who attends a relationship in care offers confidentiality, safety, and a sense of privacy in the sharing of experiences
  4. Skilled: The caregiver knows how to listen attentively, set boundaries in expectations, and participate in a meaningful  and realistic companionship
  5. Centered on Christ: Employing the model of fidelity and encouragement that Jesus Christ shared in relationships, the caring visitor approaches  conversations with a sacred focus on others

With gratitude for the rich and responsible sources of love assembled as members of this church, I continue to celebrate what the Body of Christ here offers in the journey of healing and hope, through moments of shadows, to the next place of faith.