If you or someone you know would benefit from the outreach of one of our care ministries, contact Debbie Vihstadt.
Pastoral Care Coordinator
AGAPE GRIEF SUPPORT
- Arrange for Pastor visits at home and in care facilities, including grief and loss conversations
- Individual consultations with our funeral coordinator and pastors to plan the service
- Fellowship meals the days of the funeral, provided by our volunteer AGAPE team
- Confidential prayers through the congregation’s prayer chain
Support during times of transition including meals, new baby gifts, prayer shawls and cards
Visits or calls by the Pastoral Care Coordinator or a Care Team volunteer
You may choose to serve on one of these teams and/or receive care from one of these teams. In either case, please contact Debbie Vihstadt or call the church office. We want to help you in the challenging times and remind you that you’re a valuable part of our faith community.
PASTORAL CARE OUTREACH
Our pastors are available for visits and email or phone conversations regarding loss, stress and difficult life experiences. We also have a Stephen Ministry program (see below) with many caring Stephen Ministers available to walk with you on whatever journey you are on. You may also find a need for the prayers of the congregation during these times. Contact Debbie Vihstadt at Debbiev@countrysideucc.org to set up a meeting with a pastor or to be paired with a Stephen Minister.
Stephen Ministry is a peer-based, compassionate and confidential outreach program. Members of Countryside are intensely trained to provide Christian caregiving to those adults who are in the midst of grief, loneliness, serious illness, or a crisis in job, marriage, or family. Care recipients benefit because they receive prayer and support throughout the crises they face. Stephen Ministers benefit through spiritual growth they experience from being involved in meaningful ministry. Our church as a whole benefits because this ministry enriches and expands our mission, creating a more caring culture.
Stephen Ministry began in 1975 when Dr. Kenneth Haugk, a Lutheran pastor and psychologist in St. Louis, saw that there were many more needs for care in his congregation than he alone could meet. Dr. Haugk drew from his background in pastoral care and clinical psychology to train nine of his parishioners to provide biblically based, psychologically sound, one-on-one care. Today more than 8,000 congregations from 100 denominations are involved in Stephen Ministry. Stephen Ministry at Countryside began in 1986 and remains a vital dimension of Pastoral Care.
If you would like to speak with a Stephen Minister or want more information on becoming a Stephen Minister, contact Debbie Vihstadt, Pastoral Care Coordinator.