Spiritual Support

A Prayer for Benjamin House

The following is a prayer that was written to be used in private or corporate worship by the Rev. Rickie Steenstra, former Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Elizabeth City, NC.

Gracious God, we give you thanks for the many gifts you give us and the many tasks to which you call us: Bless us as we seek to use these gifts for the building of Benjamin House. Take what we offer and multiply it, we beseech you, that your love for the world may be proclaimed through all that we do, all that we say, and all that we are. Above all, bless the ministry of Benjamin House that it may be a beacon of your hope and hospitality to all people. We ask this through your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Benjamin House is truly God’s house because He led the path to make this “Dream” become a “Reality”. It is this very fact that leads us to start our day at Benjamin House with worship and praise, and to do the same at day’s end. Residents are encouraged to attend chapel, but it is not mandatory.

We offer a morning chapel time at 8:20 each morning, led by the staff. We also offer an evening chapel time each evening at 7 pm, which is led by someone from various churches in our community! There are several churches represented by its members, and sometimes it is the priest or minister who comes to lead chapel time and sing “praise and worship” songs with our residents. The churches currently being represented for this are: Cann Memorial Presbyterian Church, McBride United Methodist Church, Christ Episcopal Church, Church of the Redeemer Anglican, Salem Baptist Church, Woodville Baptist Church, Woodland United Methodist Church, First United Methodist Church and Amen Ministries.

Adult Bible Study for the Benjamin House

The following is an adult Bible study lesson that was prepared by the Rev. Rickie Steenstra, former Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Elizabeth City, NC.

Part I Hebrews 3:1-4

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also ‘was faithful in all God’s house.’ Yet Jesus’ is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)”

  1. Have you ever watched a house being built? What do you think is the most important part of building something?
  2. The passage from Hebrews claims “the builder of all things is God.” Do you agree with this statement? If so, how do you think it applies in your own life?

Part II Luke 5:17-20, 24-26

“One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting near by (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you…but so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the one who was paralyzed—‘I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.’ Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’”

  1. Read the story of Benjamin Hughes. Discuss the ways in which his friends helped him. Do you think they were as dedicated as the friends in the story from the Gospel?
  2. The church teaches that Christ’s healing comes to us in many ways. Can you think of ways in which healing has come to Benjamin?
  3. Have you ever had the experience of helping a friend in need? How did this affect your life?

Part III John 21:1517

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time Jesus said to him, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’”

  1. In reflecting on this passage from John’s Gospel, why do you think it is important for us to take care of other people?
  2. How do you think Benjamin House will fulfill Jesus’ instructions to Peter?
  3. Can you identify ways in which you can help Benjamin House in its ministry for people with special needs?

The following is a Bible study lesson that was prepared by the Director of Christian Education at Christ Episcopal Church in Elizabeth City, NC.

Church School Materials for the Benjamin House

Part I Hebrews 3:1-4

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also ‘was faithful in all God’s house.’ Yet Jesus’ is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)”

  1. In Hebrews 3:1-4, we read that “a house has more honor than the house itself.” Draw a picture of your house.
  2. Who lives in your house (parents, siblings, pets)?
  3. What is special to you about your house (family photos, a comfy couch, good smells from the kitchen)?
  4. Do you have a favorite place in your house (bedroom, TV room)?

Part II Luke 5:17-20, 24-27

“One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting near by (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you…but so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the one who was paralyzed—‘I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.’ Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’”

  1. In the story from Luke’s Gospel, Jesus heals someone who is paralyzed. Act out the story.
  2. Why do you think Jesus cares about people who have special needs?
  3. Ask your teacher to tell you about the life of Benjamin Hughes. What are Benjamin’s special needs?

Part III John 21:15-17

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time Jesus said to him, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’”

  1. Jesus tells Peter to “Feed my sheep.” Jesus didn’t mean for Peter to go to a farm and literally feed animals. What do you think he was trying to say to Peter?
  2. Why is it important for Christians to take care of people who need help?
  3. Discuss with your teacher how Benjamin House will help people with special needs.
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