Everyone needs Christian friends, people who care, who love, who pray, who help us find joy and meaningful ways to serve even in the difficult times of our lives.
Some Christian friendship happens spontaneously, such as through the visits and calls of family, neighbors and long time friends. Friends and family, for example, help their loved ones participate in opportunities for worship and the Lord’s supper. They also notify the pastor or church office when special needs arise.
Much of the same kind of care happens through the Befriender I Ministry, a cooperative program of ministry to and with our elders and those dealing with handicaps. About 20 people are now serving as befriender volunteers — about 20 more are needed.
The befriender volunteers make contact with one or more of our people who need or appreciate visitors and/or are unable to attend regular worship. Some of the people who are served by this program are nursing home residents. Others live more independently but face various challenges. Others just need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ in a personal way.
Befriender ministry helps us reach out. Because of befriender volunteers, more people receive the tender loving care they need. Through this program, church members reach out in spiritually meaningful ways, allowing them to grow in their own faith.
Befriending (level I) is usually done through monthly visits and daily prayer. When special needs arise, those participating in the “Befriender I” program help as they can and notify the pastor or the church office about the need.
Sometimes, for example, a befriender learns that their adopted friend has not able to get to worship. The befriender contacts the pastor or the church office to discuss how that need can best be provided for. Sometimes it’s transportation that’s needed. Sometimes it’s a special worship opportunity in an accessible location. Sometimes the befriender shares the Lord’s Supper with their special friend and family members and/or the pastor.
The goal is to assign a befriender to each of those we discover who might benefit. There are still quite a few people who need a befriender. If you think you might be interested in learning more, contact parish nurse Nancy Anderson or Pastor Thorson.
Training and instruction is being done on an individual or small group basis here at the church. More in depth and formal teaching is offered by the “BeFriender Ministry” (also known in our church as “Befriender II”). This is a national, ecumenical program that provides leadership training and program support. Nancy Anderson, Becky Sorenson and Pastor Thorson were trained at the BeFriender Foundations Workshops in early 2006. For more information go to www.befrienderministry.org or call 866-468-8708.