Side-by-Side Ministry to Offer Training for New Mentors

The Sewickley-based ministry is partnering with Adoption Connection PA to provide free training to women desiring to mentor pregnant and single mothers.

Recognizing that parenting is a tough job to go at alone, St. Stephen's Side by Side ministry has provided mentoring and other resources to single mothers in the Sewickley and Beaver valleys since 2009.

Now for the first time, according to member Jenni Bartling, the Sewickley-based ministry is partnering with Adoption Connection PA to provide training to women desiring to “come alongside” pregnant mothers, and those who are raising children alone.

The class will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 at St. Stephen’s Church.

“We refer to our mentors as ‘sidekicks,’ ” said Bartling, member of Side By Side. “And we do so, because we consider the moms we serve to be super heroes. Many single mothers come from difficult circumstances. We think it is an extraordinary thing to choose to give a child up for adoption or raise them on her own.”

Adoption Connection is a full-service agency providing adoption services in the Pittsburgh area. Side by Side was created in 2009 by Andrea Zimmerman, the wife of the then assistant rector. Zimmerman felt single moms were underserved and wanted to empower them with dignity. Mentoring is just one facet of the program, which also includes the Side by Side Boutique and Sidebar - once-a-month dinners and presentations. 

Saturday's training is open to all interested women, and will cover topics such as Communication Styles, Active Listening, Cultural Diversity and Connecting with Community Resources.

There is no cost for the class. Snacks will be provided, though lunch will not be. Pre-registration is helpful, but walk-ins are welcome.

To register or learn more, call St. Stephen’s Church 412-741-1790 or email sbs@ststephenschurch.net

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