Imagine churches intentionally reaching out into the lives of families impacted by cancer. Imagine trained volunteers offering companionship and hope in the midst of a person’s cancer journey. Imagine a Christ-centered ministry called Cancer Companions making a difference in how churches reach out and support someone faced with cancer, either personally or in their family. This expanding national ministry is being launched in two NCC churches this fall. Farmville Cancer Care Ministry held its first open house at Farmville UMC, August 2015; White Plains UMC commissions its first trained Cancer Companions volunteers on October 25, 2015.
Cancer Companions, a not-for-profit nondenominational Christian ministry, was developed by Karen Tripp, LMFT, public speaker, and author of the God is Bigger book series, designed to help people that are suffering move closer to Christ. After leading cancer support groups herself for many years, Karen felt God was calling her to launch a new ministry “which equips, trains, and supports peer counselors in churches to run their own cancer ministry in their community.” Since 2011, Cancer Companions has expanded to 12 states.
For Those Looking for Individual or Group Support
Cancer Companions offers Christian one-on-one peer counseling and group support to persons undergoing or post cancer treatment and to family members impacted by cancer. Volunteer counselors receive seven hours of initial training, with ongoing training and supervision. For those looking for individual or group support in your area, please see Find a Cancer Companion.
For Pastors and Others Who Want to Learn More About Starting a Cancer Ministry
A team of regional support personnel, web seminars, and training materials assist churches in launching and sustaining locally based ministries. Regular web seminars are offered free of charge for anyone interested in learning more about Cancer Companions, how to start a cancer ministry, and how to expand the outreach into the community. A 30 minute Introductory Web Seminar, available anytime on-line, explores the needs of individuals and families experiencing cancer, the type of support provided by Cancer Companions volunteers, and the materials and training offered by Cancer Companions. Two live web seminars, Six Steps to Get Started and Community Outreach, are regularly offered on-line and require 24 hour preregistration. All North Carolina support groups and seminars are listed on the Cancer Companions Event Calendar.
Upcoming dates for the Six Steps to Get Started Web Seminar include:
- Weds, Oct. 21, 2015, 6:30 – 7:45 PM
- Thurs, Oct. 29, 2015, 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM
- Mon, Nov. 2, 2015, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM
- Tues, Nov. 11, 2015, 1:30 AM – 12:45 PM
Upcoming dates for the Community Outreach Web Seminar, which explores expanding a cancer ministry into the community, are as follows:
- Weds, Oct. 21, 2015, 3 – 4:15 PM
- Thurs, Oct. 29, 2015, 6:30 – 7:45 PM
- Mon, Nov. 2, 2015, 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM
- Tues, Nov. 17, 2015, 6:30 – 7:45 PM
For more information about Cancer Companions, please contact Mary Clayton, Eastern NC Regional Representative, at 919-612-8313 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.