Our Summer Get-Together brought together people who know each other mostly, or even only, online, and this included the Renovation Lay Counselors group.
Renovation Lay Counselors are trained volunteers who provide lay counseling to Woodland attendees under the supervision of professional mental health providers. Each lay counselor goes through a rigorous nine month program, usually in-person, but this was the first class to move online, expanding to non-local students.
During our recent Summer Get Together weekend, the Renovation ministry had their first in-person meetup since the beginning of the pandemic, getting together at Care Pastor Rob Kistler’s house for food, fun and games. There are five non-local counselors, and two of them, Mark Orluck and Jane Bateman, traveled to be there in-person.
For Mark, lay counseling gives him the chance to see people make big strides in their lives. “Each week there have been new discoveries and understandings related to emotional life and how Jesus is central to fulfillment and meaning. I love seeing Jesus in action in these counseling sessions.”
Jane sees being a lay counselor as an opportunity to help people heal and grow. “I have seen some pretty significant changes as people begin to realize that the Spirit is in them, and that Jesus loves them.”
As out-of-towners, it was nice for Mark and Jane to see people in-person, but also do it in a fun environment, not just a learning one. “We spent seven months together in class, but now we could just talk about normal things like kids, families, health and activities.”
Rob says that this group is special because of the level they connect at. “They really care for one another. They do it really well online, but it was great to have a chance to be in-person.”
May next year’s Get-Together bring even more getting-together!
If you are interested in our counseling ministry, you can learn more on our website here.