By Katie White, Stephen Minister
One of the greatest gifts we have as Christians is God’s unconditional love. I believe this love is so strong that we cannot help but share it. Our Church is incredibly blessed with so many opportunities to share this love. This Sunday, we celebrate Congregational Care Sunday, an opportunity to acknowledge so much of the caring that takes place in our community. We take this moment to thank those that give of their time, to let others know that these opportunities exist in case they need it, know someone else who may need it or if they would like to participate. The gift of giving can always use more hands.
Caring takes all forms. It can be a one-hour commitment, a one-day commitment or something that continues throughout the year. From helping at funerals or wedding services, to bringing a meal to someone in need, sending a card to a member that can no longer come to Church, or making a phone call. Sharing God’s love by caring for another is one of the greatest ways we can share our love and God’s love with others.
Did you know that you can come and cook for an afternoon with friends to make meals for the Care Guild to distribute? You can also sign up to be one of the friends that drops off a meal to a family or friend coming home from the hospital who may be facing a challenge and needs a meal and a hug from the church. You pick the time that works for you. Did you know that our Caring Connections group reaches out to congregants who are no longer able to attend worship each quarter with a card or a phone call or a visit when appropriate? I know so many people helped deliver Easter tulips with their children, this is the same thing, just continuing to do it in your own way each quarter. We have a Knitting Ministry at Kenilworth Union that creates bereavement blankets and prayer shawls that are gorgeous and offer such strength to families in need, who literally wrap themselves in love. This gift is done with the group at Church as well as by knitters at home on their own time. They have built a significant relationship with the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab as well as several local hospitals. Take a look on Sunday at a sample of their work on display.
Our Stephen Ministers are individuals who walk with those in need on a more regular basis. As a Stephen Minister, I cannot tell you what a gift it is to walk with someone and feel God’s love working through you both. (Stephen Ministry will train a new class of Stephen Ministers in the fall. Prospective Ministers need to fill out an application and have an interview to become better acquainted with how the program works—including 50-hours of required training. We urge any interested folks to contact Jo Forrest at firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday, June 1.)
Did you know that every Tuesday, a Mid-Day Prayer Service is held in the Schmidt Chapel at 12:15 p.m. for 15 minutes? We are praying for every member of the church, highlighting a group each week. If you are ever in the area, it is such a moment of peace to stop and pray and you are back to your day in literally 15 minutes but with a new breath of fresh air. Our Fellowship—from welcoming new members, to Tables for Eight Dinners, to celebrating on the first Wednesday of the month at the First Wednesday Luncheons with those members who are age 70 plus—each offer a chance to be together sharing with each other. The opportunities are many and so meaningful.