Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Lay Counseling is one-on-one counseling in a non-clinical environment. Volunteer leaders are trained and taught the principles of counseling in order to offer loving care towards others. We currently have nine lay counselors who lead support groups and as well as counsel. The goal of our counseling is to promote Christian maturity through developing a deeper relationship with God. For more information, email Janice Bilger.
How Can Lay Counselors Help?
Providing a healthy mental framework for processing life situations
Helping to improve relationships with others
Facilitating behavior change
Helping to develop healthy coping mechanisms
Providing guidance on important decisions
When people are facing difficult situations—depression, anxiety, a failing marriage, grief or loss, infertility, sexual addiction, substance abuse, domestic violence, family discord, broken relationships, job loss, sickness, cancer, child rearing, and other challenges and crises—they need a network of support from both clinical professionals, the church, and the broader community. A lay counselor program plays an integral role in weaving together the comprehensive support system and providing a safe space for people to bear one another’s burdens in a biblical, loving way.
What Can I Expect in a Lay Counseling Session
With lay counseling the first few sessions should be dedicated to discussing and aligning on the goal of counseling—in other words—what does the client hope to gain from meeting with a trained lay counselor? As counseling is a collaborative effort between both the lay counselor and the client, goal setting will serve as a guide for the ongoing communication through therapy.
Support groups provide a warm, caring and confidential environment where heart issues can be shared and explored. It is an oasis where biblical concepts provide the foundation for healing. The following Support Groups are, or soon will be, meeting at SPC.
Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors is a support group that offers the hope and power of the gospel to women who have experienced emotionally destructive relationships with men. It provides ongoing support for women who are currently in relationships and marriages or recently separated or divorced. While it is not designed to take the place of formal counseling, it does provide a safe and empathetic place to share, encourage, offer hope, and find other resources when they are needed. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Meeting schedule: currently meets twice a month
Changes That Heal
This support group helps people recover from wounds from their past and grow more into the image of God in community. It gets to the real work of the growth path, and builds community in the process. People will learn the steps, changes, and shifts in thinking and behaving that are needed to get well. Contact: Janice Bilger
Meeting schedule: Stay tuned for details
You don’t have to go through it alone. Most people will tell you that separation and divorce are the most painful and stressful experiences they’ve ever faced. It’s a confusing time when you feel isolated and have lots of questions about issues you’ve never faced before. DivorceCare groups meet weekly to help you face these challenges and move toward rebuilding your life. Each session has three distinct elements: Personal study, support group discussion and video. Contact: Janice Bilger
Meeting schedule: Mondays / March 1 – May 24 / 7:00 to 9:00 PM
It may be hard for you to feel optimistic about the future right now. If you’ve lost a spouse, child, family member, or friend, you’ve probably found there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel. This can be a confusing time when you feel isolated and have many questions about things you’ve never faced before. GriefShare groups meet weekly to help you face these challenges and move toward rebuilding your life. Each GriefShare session has three distinct elements: Personal study, support group discussion and video. Contact: Hank and Peggy Graeser / 804-638-7061.
Meeting schedule: Mondays, February 1 – April 26 / 7:00 – 8:30 PM. SIGN UP HERE.
United Marriage Class
God intended for married couples to enjoy very special blessings. Through United, you and your spouse learn how to make your marriage all that God wants it to be. Over nine weeks, this enlightening course takes couples through a series of life lessons in Scripture to explore the spiritual and emotional elements of a lasting, loving relationship. Contact: Janice Bilger
Meeting schedule: Due to COVID-19 guidelines, check back for next course offering
Would you like to build a food-life that is sane, balanced, and healthy? Be liberated from emotional eating, diet rules, body anxiety, and food preoccupations. Come join us, in-person socially distanced with masks, and learn to eat foods you enjoy and live in a body you love. Contact: Lori Dalton
Meeting schedule: Thursdays, April 1 – June 24 / 9:30 – 11:00 AM
Suicide Awareness at SPC
Anxiety and Depression are not respecters of persons. Their ultimate end, left untreated, can result in suicidal thoughts and possibly suicide. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 34. One in five adults experience mental illness each year. At SPC, we are working to demonstrate the love of Christ as we help those within our church and community who deal with depression, anxiety, self-harm, addiction and suicidal thoughts.
The twelve suicide warning signs are (according to cdc.gov):
feeling like a burden,
feeling trapped or in unbearable pain,
increased substance use,
looking for a way to access lethal means,
increased anger or rage,
extreme mood swings,
sleeping too little or too much,
talking or posting about wanting to die, &
making plans for suicide.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
Ask the people around you who are exhibiting one or more of these signs how they are feeling and if they are contemplating suicide. Studies have shown that asking at risk individuals if they are suicidal doesn’t increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or actual suicide. Keep them safe and find out if they have a specific plan. If you can, remove firearms and medications from their reach. Be there and offer support. Help them connect and follow up. VisitBeThe1To.com for more information. Contact Janice Bilger for counseling and referrals.