The Pastoral Counseling Ministry of Christ Church exists for the purpose of journeying with those persons who are involved in the experience of change and movement toward wholeness within their particular season of life. A pastoral setting of care and support is provided to encourage persons to own and utilize their strengths, abilities and gifts which can enable them to more richly experience themselves and others in life.
The following issues are some of the ones that can be addressed through pastoral counseling:
- Marital and Family Conflict
- Communication Issues
- Religious Inquiry
- Single Parent and Separated Families
- Remarried Families
- Children and Adolescents
- Divorce Recovery
- Self-esteem Issues
- Pre-Marital Counseling
Pastoral counselors are bound by the ethical code of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors Inc. and the laws in most states which include privileged communications and confidentiality.
This Pastoral Counseling Ministry is available to you as a member of Christ Church and to your family members at no charge. While there is no fee, this ministry depends on your financial support of the church through tithes and offerings.
If you need counseling, contact Dr. John Edgar at 893-2201 x230.
Our mission is to minister to families of special needs children and adults through love, comfort, support, prayer, mentoring, resources, worship, training and fellowship in order to nurture a growing knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
All people are created in the image of God.Genesis 1:27
God is sovereign, even with our disabilities.Exodus 4:11
We serve Christ by serving others.Matthew 25:40
We need to look past the disability to the person God has created.1 Corinthians 12:27
- Sunday School
For children who are able to participate in typical Sunday School activities, they will be paired up with an adult buddy who will assist them specifically. For children who cannot participate in a typical Sunday School setting due to the severity of their special need, they will attend a special Sunday School class designed for one-on-one attention and love from adults who desire to share God's love with them.
- Worship Services
Christ Church has several ways of allowing children with special needs to be included in worship.
For those who have difficulty with seeing or are visually impaired, we offer large-print bulletins, as well as Braille bulletins and Braille music for choir members. In addition, transportation for these persons is available by volunteer members.
For handicapped persons, there are handicapped-accessible stalls in each bathroom, as well as special locations in the Sanctuary and Chapel for these persons and their families to sit together.
For children who may experience oversensitivity to their environment, there is a room adjacent to the Sanctuary that includes the following elements:
- Large one-way window for viewing the worship service. No one from the Sanctuary can see in.
- Carpeted floors.
- Glider rockers.
- Canned lights with dimmers.
- Piped sound with volume control.
The Committee on Special Needs has taught Sunday School classes on the types of special needs within our congregation, as well as what members can do to assist these families. We have also trained our Stephen Ministers to equip them with the resources they need to deal with families with special needs.
- Christ Church Cares Day
We make special accommodations for people with any kind of disability to participate in our annual day of service, known as Christ Church Cares Day.
The Special Needs Ministry cannot be a success without self-less, compassionate volunteers. There are many opportunities to serve the Lord through this Ministry. If God is leading you toward working with the Special Needs Ministry contact Patty Groot.
Stephen was the first deacon in the early church, commissioned by the apostles to care for the community's needs. - Acts 6:3-6
Stephen Ministry equips lay persons to provide distinctively Christian one-to-one care to those who are experiencing all kinds of life needs and circumstances, both in our congregation and community. Stephen Ministers are committed Christians who express God's care for others through their lives.
- Receive 50 hours of initial training in caring ministry skills and concepts
- Are commissioned as Stephen Ministers after completing their initial training
- Visit those in need regularly and dependably to offer Christian support and care
- Participate regularly in groups for support and supervision
- Are committed to preserving the confidential nature of the caring relationship
- Serve for at least two years
- Receive continuing education and skill building throughout their years of service.
Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry. Those receiving care can be sure that their identity and what goes on in the caring relationship will remain private.
How does someone receive the help of a Stephen Minister?
If a person is in need of Christian care, their situation will be brought to the attention of one of our Stephen Leaders, Rev. Rebecca Heid or Lynn lhlenburg, either from the person directly, from a staff person or from a friend, but always with the person's permission. The Stephen Leader contacts the person to talk about Stephen Ministry. With permission, the Stephen Leader assigns a Stephen Minister to meet regularly with this person.
Once initial contact is made, Rev. Heid will discuss this ministry with you. If you decide you would like to be assigned a Stephen Minister to assist you, one will be assigned to you and will contact you promptly. The Stephen Minister assigned to you will be of your gender and the two of you will decide the best schedule for your meeting together. This Stephen Minister will be there for you as long as needed.
There are times when each of us needs the care of another person to help us through a difficult phase in life. A Stephen Minister might help those who are experiencing:
- Terminal Illness
- Grief Over a Death or Serious Loss
- Being Homebound or Institutionalized
- A Job Crisis
- Challenges due to Aging
- Challenging Life Transitions
- Separation or Divorce
- Birth or Adoption of a Child
- Spiritual Crisis
For more information about Stephen Ministry, please contact the Stephen Leaders:
Rev. Rebecca Heid, 893-2201 x263
Lynn Ihlenburg, (812) 923-7525