When you or someone you know needs someone to listen…
Our Brainerd Lakes Catholic Church BeFrienders is a ministry that exists to expand the pastoral care extended by the church. Trained Lay people respond in the name of the church to the emotional and spiritual needs of individuals by bringing a caring presence and a living reminder of God’s love. The BeFriender Ministry is not so much a “doing” but rather a “being”, a ministry of presence, and quiet listening.
Ministry Principles: BeFriender Ministry principles guide the ministry and characterize the pastoral care a BeFriender brings to others. Honoring these principles supports and strengthens the befriending relationship.
· God is Present: BeFrienders are aware that they are in God’s presence when befriending someone and that the time shared is a blessing to both the person befriended and the BeFriender.
· Caring not Curing: BeFrienders accept people as they are without telling them how they should be, listen with compassion without giving advice, and allow others to make their own decisions without trying to decide for them.
The care offered by BeFrienders provides an opportunity for those they befriend to make choices and grow.
· Nonjudgmental presence: BeFrienders provide a sacred and safe space for someone to talk about their experiences, thoughts, and feelings without being judged or criticized.
· Active Listening: The value and healing potential of having one’s story heard is profound. BeFrienders actively listen by using communication skills that create an environment of respect and dignity.
What is a BeFriender? A BeFriender is a listener. The BeFriender Ministry is a group of trained lay volunteers commissioned by Brainerd Lakes Catholic Churches (BLCC). They offer emotional and spiritual support to those experiencing grief or loss by being a listening presence and a companion on the journey through difficult times.
How will a BeFriender help me? BeFrienders are not counselors and they wouldn’t tell you what to do, but they will listen as you sort out your thoughts and feelings. BeFrienders do not take the place of family and other support systems, but often it is helpful to have someone who can be more objective, someone who you don’t have to protect or measure your words with. BeFrienders are often on the listening end of stories that would otherwise go untold.
How do I request a BeFriender? Family members who have experienced the death of a loved one who is a member of BLCC will be contacted by a BeFriender to see if they would find visits helpful. BeFrienders also reach out to those experiencing other losses such as divorce, serious illness, job loss, or transitional life events. Anyone can request a BeFriender or make a referral for someone in need by calling the Brainerd Lakes Catholic Churches office at 218-822-4040 or 218-829-1340.
How often will my BeFriender visit?: Your BeFriender will contact you to set up an initial visit. The frequency of visits or phone contact will be determined by you and the Befriender and be reevaluated as needs change.
Will my information be kept confidential?: BeFrienders maintain a strict policy of confidentiality. A BeFriender is a friend who can be trusted to keep anything shared in strict confidence and your privacy respected.