All of our P.R.I.S.M. youth and their friends are invited to join us for Gingerbread House building on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Kits are $5.00 ea. Contact Carey Pellerin by Nov. 7th to reserve yours!
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
Through our summer worship we’ve been paying attention to Jesus’ teaching in the parables about what the kingdom of God looks like.
In the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15), Jesus reminds us of the generosity of God, the sower, who scandalously sows the seeds of the kingdom. Precious seed falls on good soil that produces an abundant harvest, as well as in places where conditions seem unlikely to produce anything.
In the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus reminds us that our neighborhood’s a lot bigger than we think. He tells us that in God’s kingdom the good neighbor sacrifices and crosses boundaries to reach out in love to help and care for the person that everyone else avoids.
In the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21), Jesus warns against allowing our wealth to insulate us from the poor. He invites us to give God our anxieties about our personal wellbeing, which blind us to the needs of neighbors near and far. In God’s kingdom we belong to God and to one another.
Jesus also speaks of the kingdom of heaven being like a hidden treasure buried in a field. Over the past year or so, we’ve caught a glimpse of God’s kingdom through the hidden treasure of a field in the midst of the Cass Community Social Services in Detroit. The field sits next to a transitional housing structure for homeless women and children. God is bringing beauty and new life to a community through a field formerly considered to be worthless.
Servants of Christ from First Presbyterian- Saline are working tirelessly to transform an ugly, overgrown, trash strewn field. Where it was once thick with weeds, there now sits a raised vegetable garden. Where there was formerly trash and dead trees, there’s now a welcoming open field, perfect for picnics. Where cars used to overshoot an off-ramp,
landing on the field, now there’s a protective berm to keep people safe. Signs of the in breaking of God’s kingdom!
September 15th we are invited to participate in celebrating what God is doing as we hold our church picnic on this treasured field, along with the women and children who live next door. We’ll expand the boundaries of our neighborhood, to meet and break bread with our new neighbors in Detroit. Together we’ll celebrate the new community that God is building between us. On that field of dreams, we will meet Jesus in one another. And as we stand together we’ll say to each another, “Surely God is inthis place!”
Grace and peace,
On Sunday, September 8th, we will launch our Sunday morning Christian Education classes for the coming year. Please note a change to the meeting space of the P.R.I.S.M. (middle school) class. P.R.I.S.M. will now meet on the lower level of Summit House. We are offering a new adult learning opportunity (F.I.L.L.: For Interested Leaders and Learners). This class will meet on the lower level of the main building in the former P.R.I.S.M. room. Look for signs in Fellowship Hall for guidance!
Open Door Ministries is excited to announce that we are now in the process of updating our website! View some of the new posts below and keep watching for more. Additions or corrections can be addressed to Debra Manchester (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Group Leaders, don’t forget that you can post new information to the website at any time.
What Is Stephen Ministry?
Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NRSV).
Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry. Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.
How Stephen Ministry Works
The best way to understand how Stephen Ministry works is to learn about three groups of people involved in this ministry: Stephen Leaders, Stephen Ministers, and care receivers.
Stephen Leaders establish and direct Stephen Ministry in a congregation. They—
- build awareness of Stephen Ministry within the congregation and community
- recruit and train Stephen Ministers
- meet with potential care receivers to assess their needs
- match care receivers with Stephen Ministers
- provide Stephen Ministers with ongoing supervision and continuing education
People learn to serve as Stephen Leaders by attending a Leader’s Training Course—a one-week conference that introduces the resources used to lead Stephen Ministry, develops key skills, and gets people excited about this caring ministry. Stephen Ministers. Our Stephen Leaders are Mike Liemohn, Peg Woehrle, John Guess and Karen Collins.
Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Once a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education. We currently have 6 active Stephen Ministers.
If you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister, you may be interested in the videos on the Stephen Ministries website: www.stephenministries.org/SM.
Care receivers are people—congregation members and others in the community—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. These are people struggling through a difficult time in life—experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or some other life crisis. Check out the videos on the Stephen Ministry website to hear what people have said about experiencing God’s love through their Stephen Minister.
Some important guidelines for this caring relationship protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister:
- The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential.
- Men are matched with men; women with women.
- When a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can provide, the Stephen Ministry team makes a referral to an appropriate mental health professional or other community resource.