Last month, First Church’s Stephen Ministry team invited Rev. Peggy Files, pastoral care manager at South Shore Hospital and occasional guest preacher in our pulpit, to lead a continuing education program on the topic of loss. Rev. Files, who is also a trained Stephen Ministry leader, challenged the group to consider all the types of losses, in addition to the ultimate loss of death, that people can experience as they grow older. Among those that the group came up with were losses related to: divorce, losing a job, moving, serious illness or disease, reduced mobility, children leaving home, friends moving away, and the loss of long-held hopes and dreams for the future. All of these losses result — in varying degrees — to feelings of grief, a normal, universal reaction to loss.

Rev. Files also shared a number of resources with the group that we are happy to pass along to you. To that end, we will be filling a binder with various resources–articles, brochures, phone numbers, etc.—as we come come across them. The binder will be on the table in the narthex and you are invited to look through it and photocopy or borrow (please let a Stephen Minister know) anything you find of interest.

As a reminder your Stephen Ministers are Lori Cahill, Helen Healey, Derith Meyer, Sue Hussey, Sarah Sloat, Ginny Wandell, Nancy Williamson and Penny Winn. Ginny and Penny are also trained Stephen Leaders. If you or someone you know is struggling with grief — or any sort of challenge — and you think a caring listener could help, please see Pastor Matt who can refer you to our Stephen Ministry program. This is a completely free and confidential program offered to all members of our congregation.