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BeFrienders, a Listening Ministry of Lay Pastoral Care, began nationwide in 1983. The BeFriender Ministry is rooted in Christians’ baptismal call to ministry. Lay ministers embody the caring presence of God and of the faith community. A BeFriender is a trained lay person, who visits a person who is going through a life challenge such as divorce, death of loved one, job loss, financial difficulties, diagnosis of severe illness, changes/loss of independence, family crisis, etc. to provide support through being with the person and listening to them.

In September of 2016, Zion Lutheran Church hosted BeFriender Training, conducted by Barbara Schwarz, the National Director of BeFrienders. At this 3-day workshop, over 20 people from across the country, representing both Roman Catholics and Lutherans, completed the Train-the-Trainers curriculum.

Pastor Dave Daubert, Tim Fraas, John Bradburn, Joann Hartmann and Beverly Breskovich were Zion’s first trained in the BeFriender method. Since that time, additional Befrienders have been trained and now provide a listening presence to others within the congregation. Zion is blessed to also have Chris Wargo, Harold and Catherine O’Connell, and Jeanne Meyer on its BeFriender team. But as the needs grow within Zion and with the surrounding community having the Housing Authority of Elgin and nearby nursing homes, we hear a call to provide support through the BeFrienders Ministry to them too.

Below are some questions you may have:

1. What does the training consist of?

Training consists of 10 modules. Each training session is about 1½-2 hours in length and covers 1-2 modules. So, the total number of training sessions is usually a total of 8 to 9.

2. How often will we meet for training?

The training sessions will be set up for convenience of the BeFriender students. In the past, we have held 2 sessions per week. But if the students prefer meeting once a week that certainly can be done.

3. When will we meet?

We will meet whenever it is best for the candidates. The instructors are flexible and will make every effort to accommodate the Candidates schedules.

4. What is expected of me after I become a Befriender?

You will be encouraged to attend a monthly meeting, lasting 1 hour.

In addition, you will be matched to a person who either requests a visit or has been identified by Pastor Dave as being a person who could benefit from a BeFriender visit. Of course, Pastor Dave obtains permission prior to setting up any visits.

5. How often would I visit and how long are visits?

Visits are usually once or twice a month, depending on the situation. Visits last up to one hour but may be less.

If you have other questions or are interested in becoming a BeFriender, please contact:

Beverly Breskovich:  847 612-0170 or