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Laypersons lay hands on hurting people

Posted: October 30, 2009 10:19 p.m.
Updated: October 31, 2009 4:55 a.m.
A mom is dying. A child is sneaking out and taking drugs. A husband wants a fast car and a younger wife.

Life events like these are common, but finding themselves in a maze of problems, many people are unable to find a way out.

“They are focusing on their pain,” said Pastor Bill Barnes, minister for First Presbyterian Church in Newhall. “Sometimes you need someone with you who can refocus you on the solutions.”

Stephen Ministry is a complete system geared to provide one-on-one Christ-centered care to hurting people. First Presbyterian is starting a Stephen Ministry program, and the first step is gathering dedicated laypersons to be Stephen ministers.  

The church is sponsoring an informational meeting at 12:15 p.m. on Nov. 8 and 15 at the Market Street house, a white with red trim house located on the church campus.

“We plan to answer questions concerning how Stephen Ministry works, about the training, and commitment to helping people in crisis,” Sandy McIntosh, First Pres’ Deacon Moderator. “After this meeting ... each one of us will have to decide if this program is something we can and want to commit to do.”

The course for Stephen Ministry is 50 hours of training over five months. The Stephen Ministry at First Presbyterian starts January 13, 2010 ­— meeting two hours each week — and ends mid May 2010.

During this period, the training will include one Saturday half-day work and study retreat, approximately five hours.  

“We need this program in our church for our church family because we, like everyone, are hit by heart rending problems,” Barnes said. “We need someone to walk beside us and say, ‘it will get better.’ We need someone to give us direction.”  

Stephen Ministers are trained to help in numerous types of crisis, including loss of loved one, hospitalization, divorce, loneliness, spiritual crisis, unemployment, terminal illness, incarceration, chronic illnesses and recovery from an accident.

Stephen Ministries is a non-profit Christian educational organization. For more information on Stephen Ministry and to sign up to attend the informational classes, call the church office at 661-259-0555

The church is located at 24317 Newhall Avenue in Newhall.


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