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We all need a friend. A friend we can talk to, a friend who will listen. Someone who will empathize with what we are experiencing, who won’t judge us. Sometimes, we all just need someone to be there.

These are the gifts that a Stephen Minister brings to someone who might be lonely, someone who might be depressed, someone who might be fearful, or someone who might be worried.

Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system. Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.

If you have ever considered becoming a Stephen Minister, First United Methodist Church of Allen is now registering participants in this extensive training program for anyone who has wanted to know what it takes to be that special person for someone in need. This training requires a time commitment as well as a willingness to learn and to stretch beyond yourself.  It also means accepting that you don’t have all the answers, but you have an understanding that God does the answers and He truly is the great healer.

We all have callings on our lives and our purpose is to see others as Jesus does and to love them where and how they are in that moment in time. Do you see yourself as someone who could love like Christ and offer a heart of love to one of His children? Come join Stephen Ministry and see how God can use you to help someone in need.

Registration is now open online at  Classes will begin on Thursday, September 8, and will meet every Thursday from 6:45pm–8:45pm through May 11, 2017.  A $55 registration fee covers the cost of materials.  Scholarships are available.

Contact Ruth Swingle at First United Methodist Church of Allen for more information.

Stephen Ministries is a not-for-profit Christian education organization founded in 1975 that produces training and resources known for their excellence, practicality, psychological integrity, and theological depth. These resources cover topics such as caring ministry, assertive relating, spiritual gifts discovery, grief support, spiritual growth, and more. Congregations and other organizations use these resources to strengthen and expand ministry. Individuals use them to improve their ability to relate to and care for others, grow in faith, and journey through life crises. The national offices are based in St. Louis, Missouri. Learn more at their national website:

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