Posts tagged Stephen Ministry
Support during the Holidays- Grief Resources from Stephen Ministry
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Christmas is a busy and joyous season, but can also be a lonely, confusing, and sad time of the year for some people. Grief, heartache, or mental illness can sneak up on us at the holidays when we think we “should” be cheerful. Our Stephen Leaders have provided these resources- both events available in our community and printed resources you can consult at any time.

Local resources:

Beating the Holiday Blues at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, led by a speaker from the Affiliated Sante Group. This program will be offered at our Senior Ministry Potluck, but all are welcome to come for the informational speaker. Tuesday, Nov. 19th, at 12:30pm in Shepherd's Hall. For more information, contact Carole Butler at

Family Nights provided by CaringMatters – ( ).  Offered free of charge, several times each year before major holidays to help families who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Families share a meal with other families and participate in art activities and conversations to help them plan for the holiday, while honoring the absence of their loved one.

Winter Blues – provided by Montgomery Hospice.  Register to attend – limited availability; call 301-921-4400 and speak to someone in Bereavement.  Free to the Mont/PG County residents and employees.  December 9th 1 -2:30 pm.  1355 Piccard Dr. Rockville.


Written Resources:

A book that was recommended by Bunny at Montgomery Hospice, a former Stephen Minister with another congregation: The Empty Chair by Thomas Dotson.  The Empty Chair is my heartfelt story of learning to heal and trust the process of grief through the love of Christ.

Articles provided from Montgomery Hospice:   There are several articles related to the holidays provided in English and Spanish.

Deepening the Bench- Communion Ministers’ Training

What is so important that almost 30 people, including many die-hard Nats fans, would come out to church on the night of Game 2 of the World Series?

Stephen Ministry and Communion Partnerships, of course!

Last night (Wednesday Oct. 23) we had a room full of people who are so passionate about loving God and loving neighbor that they would be willing to miss the first pitch— all to learn more about the sacrament of Holy Communion. We gathered to kick off our new Communion Ministry to bring the sacrament from our worship to those who cannot be present with us in person due to physical limitations.

This baseball season has pointed out just how important it is to deepen the bench. Our pastors provide care and visits for many people each month who can’t make it to worship. This program will help us to deepen that ministry and reach even more people in need, even more often. We want the light of Christ to shine in every dark corner.

When you see these little black communion kits on the altar, please pray for those who will receive home communion. If you have an extended illness, please let us know so that we can arrange for someone to bring communion to you.

Stephen Leaders Amy Schultz, Brenda Kessler, and Don Wernly

Stephen Leaders Amy Schultz, Brenda Kessler, and Don Wernly

This night was also a momentous celebration for Stephen Ministry. We celebrated 15 years of this program of love and support here at Good Shepherd. Brenda Kessler has been there since the very beginning in 2004 as a Stephen Leader. We give thanks for her faithful leadership these many years. Brenda and Ernie are soon moving to Frederick so she will not continue in the same role, but we know they will remain very active participants at Good Shepherd. It is so inspiring to be with this uplifting group of committed Leaders and Ministers. Thank you for your good and faithful work in Christ!

PS- Most people were home by the beginning of that exciting 7th inning, so they didn’t have to sacrifice too much. Go NATS!


To truly listen is one of the greatest gifts you can offer another person. Over the last year, we have been training a new group of people to serve as Stephen Ministers.  They have gone through a year of learning what it means to be a Christian caregiver.  They’ve learned how to listen, pray, and accompany someone who may be dealing with some sort of personal change or struggle.   Most of our Stephen Ministers meet with their care receivers on a weekly basis. They keep the relationships confidential so that trust can develop and so it’s a safe place for those in need.  As a result, they really help us extend the care of the church.  Let me say that again- “Stephen Ministers really help us extend the care of the church”.


On Sunday, September 22, we will commission the following to be our newest Stephen Ministers. I am excited for them and for our church as they all are kind, caring, and incredibly faithful. They will do a terrific job for us and those in need.   Please give thanks and praise for:


Carolyn Bridgett

Elise Bowman

Rhoda McKenzie

Mark Walters

Sharon Besel