The BeFriender Ministry embodies the caring presence of God, brings comfort, is a connection to the community of faith, and serves as a tangible reminder of God’s love and grace. BeFrienders (volunteer lay ministers) provide pastoral care to people in difficult and transitional situations, such as illness, loneliness, or loss of a loved one. They embody the caring presence of God and of the community and serve as a living reminder of God’s love. By providing spiritual and emotional care, BeFrienders provide an opportunity for those they befriend to make choices and to grow.
If you feel a BeFriender could offer the support you desire, please contact:
Pastor Jon Larson – (651) 738-3110 or email@example.com
Dave Roseen – (651) 380-5025 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Eunice Haagensted – (651) 731-0988 or email@example.com
What is BeFriender Ministry?
BeFriender Ministry is a lay pastoral care program. Trained lay persons enter into caring relationships with those in need of pastoral care, providing emotional and spiritual support.
How do BeFrienders do this?
BeFrienders provide a non-judgemental listening presence to those they visit.
How much counseling is involved in befriending?
BeFrienders are not counselors and do not give advice.
Are BeFrienders expected to solve problems?
BeFrienders listen; they do not solve problems or impose solutions. BeFrienders also discern with the people they visit whether referrals to professionals or agencies are appropriate.
How long is training?
A BeFriender candidate receives about 20 hours of training and serves a short internship before becoming a BeFriender.
What topics are covered in training?
The training addresses issues such as grief and loss, spirituality, listening, and confidentiality. Many of the skills learned are applicable to any relationship in a person’s life in addition to BeFriender relationships.
Being a friend seems natural, so why is training necessary?
Being a friend does come naturally to many people. However, skills such as active listening and offering respectful, non-judgmental responses can benefit from training. BeFriender Ministry training enhances gifts and qualities the person already has. And God always has more in store for us to learn!
Is there ongoing support for BeFrienders?
Yes. BeFrienders meet regularly in supervised small groups for reflection on their ministry and continuing education.
As a volunteer; I want to grow personally and spiritually. Does BeFriender Ministry provide opportunities for growth?
Yes. BeFrienders learn to appreciate both the commonality and individuality among people. Respect for others is deepened, as is awareness that we are all called to be fully present to each other, not only in this ministry but in all parts of our lives.
BeFrienders often gain a deeper understanding of unity in Christ by learning to more deeply value the experience and perspective of each person they encounter. BeFriending demonstrates how Christ calls us to be together in our joy as well as our pain.
What do BeFrienders do?
BeFrienders (volunteer lay ministers) provide pastoral care to people in difficult and transitional situations, such as illness, loneliness, or loss of a loved one. They embody the caring presence of God and of the community and serve as a living reminder of God’s love.
BeFrienders are trained to provide a listening presence to others, not to be experts in whatever situation they might encounter. The core concepts and skills learned enable a BeFriender to enter into any situation and provide compassionate, empathic care. BeFrienders can be called upon in crisis situations just as they would be in non-crisis situations. Whatever the circumstances of the person being befriended, a BeFriender can be a companion.
BeFrienders accept people as they are without telling them how they should be, listen with compassion without giving advice, and allow others to make their own decisions without trying to decide for them. By providing spiritual and emotional care, BeFrienders provide an opportunity for those they befriend to make choices and to grow.
We believe that we are all members one to another and that therefore if one member suffers we all suffer together (1 Corinthians 12:26). We also believe that everyone in the community of faith has gifts that help us to be the hands and feet of God in the world and that some among us have the gifts of compassion and mercy for providing care to those who are hurting and lonely in our congregation.
Our Visitation Ministers have been trained and commissioned to provide such care to those in our congregation who are home bound, living in a care facility, or are in the hospital.
Visitation Ministers are available to:
• Share the love of God with those who are hurting and lonely
• Pray for you
• Read scripture with you
• Keep people connected to the congregation
• Be a friendly and comforting face
Contact: For more information on the Visitation Ministry, contact Pastor Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone who likes to knit or crochet shawls is encouraged to join as well as those who would like to learn how – we have many able teachers, instruction books, and materials. There are few more tangible and lasting ways to show someone how much God loves them than with a shawl crafted by prayerful, loving hands as a warm embrace whenever they need it.
When: First Thursday of every month from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: The Holy Grounds Cafe
Who: Anyone who likes to knit, from experts to beginners.
Contact: For more information on the Prayer Shawl Ministry, contact LeeAnn Behling at email@example.com or 651.756.7899.
Contact: Interested in becoming a prayer minister? Contact Mary Ann Holton at firstname.lastname@example.org.