The Befriender Ministry
The Befriender Ministry is a lay pastoral care program. That means that specially trained lay persons respond to the needs of others by visiting with them, by being with them, and trying to provide emotional and spiritual support. Befrienders visit with people with many different kinds of needs, trying to provide emotional and spiritual support to them. It is not just a social visit.
If one I love has a Befriender visiting, does that mean that I am not meeting the needs of my loved one? Not at all. A Befriender cannot take the place of family or friends in the life of someone. But for many, a Befriender is a new friend who can be trusted and who will visit regularly, lending an ear and caring.
Will everyone in the community know all about my concerns after a Befriender visits? Maintaining confidentiality is an important value for Befrienders. Befrienders do receive ongoing supervision at meetings with the pastor. Some visits may be discussed during supervision without using names.
How often will a Befriender visit? The frequency of visits will be determined by the people who are visited and the Befriender. A visit may last for half an hour or an hour, every week or two, or every month.
Befriender Ministers are trained lay people who enter into caring relationships with others at times of special need:
- Nursing homes or the home-bound
- After hospitalization
- The grieving
- Separation or divorce
- Lonely or depressed
- Terminally ill
- Life style changes of older persons
- New to the community
- Welcoming a new baby or family member
- Financially stressed
- Persons with mental or physical disabilities
- Recently retired
- Other times of change – times of joy or challenge
If you would like a Befriender visit, please contact the Pastor at 715-479-8501.
Qualities of a Befriender:
A person who can listen to others
A person who can allow others to express their own feelings without telling them how they should or shouldn’t feel
A person who is willing to sit quietly with others when they can’t put their feelings into words
A person whom others can freely confide, knowing that confidentiality is a priority on their list of values
A person who can ask how others are doing without feeling an obligation to tell them what they should be doing
A person who can hear others without telling them they know what’s best for them
A person who can accept others as they are, rather than the way that person thinks others ought to be
If you or a loved one, or someone you know, would like a Befriender visit, please contact the pastor or the church office. Your referral will be held in confidence.
Trained Befrienders of Our Congregation
Arlene Turk, Chairperson
Mary Anne Biggs, Pastor
Glen Lea Steger
More on the Befriender Ministry
To learn more about the nationally recognized program of the Befriender Ministry, click here.