Over the past year, a Stephen Ministry training Class has been held weekly to equip our first group of Stephen Ministers. A total of 50 hours of training were required. Pastor Jim Splitt, a trained Stephen Leader, provided the instruction.
Stephen Ministry is a new program in our church The Stephen Ministry program is a complete system of training and organizing lay persons in the church for caring ministry in and around our congregation.
Stephen Ministers provide care to a Stephen Ministry Care Receiver in a confidential relationship as a spiritual friend. They meet with their care receiver at least once a week for a period of time that serves a specific need.
A Stephen Minister can be partnered with persons who are:
• Lonely or Discouraged
• Facing a life threatening illness
• In a job/employment crisis
• Facing a spiritual loss or crisis
• Separated or divorced
• Facing a difficult pregnancy
• Affected by an accident or disaster
• New to the church family
• Dealing with incarceration
• Empty nesting
• Coping as a single parent
• Facing any type of stress or crisis.
There are many ways a Stephen Minister may be of help. Everyone goes through periods of difficulty or crisis at times. Having someone who cares enough to listen can ease these experiences of confusion, stress, or loneliness. No problem is too small or insignificant to receive care. This is Christ-care from the heart of the church that is effective, intentional, and appropriate.
Anyone desiring a Stephen Minister should contact Pastors Jim or Kathleen to discuss this possibility because Stephen Ministry and pastoral care work hand in hand. The Stephen ministry relationship is confidential.
Once a Stephen Minister is assigned to someone, that relationship continues as long as there is a need and draws to a close when the Stephen Minister and the Stephen Care Receiver agree.
The Commissioning Service will affirm those in our congregation who have been called by God to serve in this special role and who have devoted themselves to the training and preparation required.
OUR FIRST CLASS OF STEPHEN MINISTERS
September 26, 2010 – Worship Service
To equip the saints for the work of ministry,
and to build up the Body of Christ.
Richard “Moose” Haney
Carol Lue Weaver
Pastor Kathleen Splitt also attended the classes.