What is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry was founded in 1975 in St Louis, Missouri with the goal of training members of the congregation to provide care for people who are hurting or suffering due to a life’s challenge. People usually relate to this as grieving due to a loss of a loved one. Although this is part of Stephen Ministry, it also includes the loss of something for any reason or even a transition from the normal to a new situation. Some examples can be a health issue such as a major diagnosis, family matters, a job related issue, moving into new living arrangements, or challenges of everyday life. The Stephen Ministry organization provides non-denominational training materials for folks providing care for all types of situations that are currently being utilized in more than 13,000 congregations throughout the world.
What is Stephen Ministry at Deerfield Community Church?
We have a team of Stephen Ministers that have completed the 50 hour training program designed by the Stephen Ministry organization and they have continued to acquire additional skills and support in bi-monthly meetings. These Lay Ministers are ready to provide the gift of walking with anyone who is hurting or facing life’s challenges. You and the Stephen Minister would typically meet privately for about an hour a week, where the conversation can stay private and focused. The Stephen Minister is there to be a trusted listener who will not try to fix you or anyone else, but simply assist you in exploring what you are feeling and provide the opportunity for you to speak freely without expectations or judgement.
Who is Stephen Ministry ready to support?
Whether or not you attend Deerfield Community Church, we are available to anyone in the Deerfield area to provide emotional support and walk with you through life’s challenges. We believe your needs come first and we are not there to sell religion. We are open to your thoughts and conversation.
To inquire about connecting with a Stephen Minister for yourself or someone you know, please contact the church at (603) 463-7734 or send an email to [email protected].
On every first Sunday of the month when Holy Communion is celebrated, envelopes are inserted in our worship bulletins for a special offering made to the Benevolence Fund (formerly the Deacons Fund). Our pastor oversee this modest fund, which is judiciously used for anyone having unexpected difficulty paying bills related to medical expenses, housing, travel, or other needs. This assistance is intended for short-term, specific financial hardships not covered by the town or any governmental agency. Decisions about whether to make a Benevolence Fund distribution are made solely by our pastor. Issued checks are never made out to a private individual, but are written directly to a company or organization issuing a bill.
Anyone who would like to donate to the Benevolence Fund may write a check made out to DCC Benevolence Fund and either place it in the offering plate on a first Sunday morning or mail to Deerfield Community Church, P.O. Box 420, Deerfield, NH 03037.
Every October and early November, families in town needing assistance with purchasing holiday gifts may submit requests to the Christmas Wish Stars program. An extension of the Deerfield Food Pantry, this program is available for any Deerfield child or youth age 16 or younger.
The Christmas Wish Stars Gift Request Form is available at the Deerfield Food Pantry and The Forum.
Families who request assistance are assigned a number which is written on a paper star along with the child’s age, gender, and item wished for. Stars typically are available in mid-November in our church’s Great Room, at the Philbrick James Library, and at other locations around town. Wish Star gift donors may select a star, purchase the item, and return it unwrapped with the star attached. Volunteers also are needed to help organize and wrap the gifts before pick-up by the requesting families.
Any questions about the Christmas Wish Stars program can be directed to Faith Barry at (603) 463-7800 or Noelle Clark at (603) 303-7513.
Our congregation participates in various mission programs through the United Church of Christ.
First, a portion of Deerfield Community Church’s operating budget goes to the UCC’s Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM). Sixty percent of this money supports the New Hampshire Conference of the UCC, making us partners in its ministries,
Forty percent of our OCWM contribution allows our congregation to engage as a partner in the national and international ministries of the UCC, which include:
Additionally, DCC takes four other offerings throughout the year:
One Great Hour of Sharing, usually taken in March, supports efforts to provide clean water, food, medicines, shelter, healthcare, education, sustainable development and so much more.
Strengthen the Church taken on Pentecost funds initiatives for leadership development, new churches, youth ministry, and innovation in existing congregations.
Neighbors in Need is taken on the first Sunday of October. NIN supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States.
Christmas Funds taken the first week of Advent. This offertory helps are for active and retired clergy and lay employees of the UCC< providing emergency grants, supplementation ofsxall annuities and health premiums.
Checks for these annual offerings can be made out to Deerfield Community Church, with the name of the offering written in the memo line, and mailed to P.O. Box 420, Deerfield NH 03037.