STEPHEN MINISTRY: CHRIST CARING FOR PEOPLE THROUGH PEOPLE
WHAT IS STEPHEN MINISTRY?
Stephen Ministry is a program that is grounded in Jesus’ command to love one another. It equips people to provide one-to-one caring relationships to those who are experiencing all kinds of life needs and circumstances.
- Is life more than you can handle alone right now?
- Is your health, your attitude, or your relationships suffering?
- Are you adjusting to a new job, a change in marital status, a serious illness, the death of a loved one, a recent move?
- Would you like to have someone in your life that really cares?
Stephen Ministry Meets the Needs of People. Stephen Ministry is for anyone who needs support during a difficult time in life. We all have those “speed bumps” in our road of life, times when we are lonely, confused, hurt, frightened, grieving or questioning our faith. These needs include, but are not limited to, facing life transitions, new members of the parish, looking for a spiritual companion, hospitalized, bereaved, serious illness, job crisis, disabled, lonely or aging.
In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us such crises can be opportunities for personal growth, but as we who are in Christ experience suffering of one sort or another, we also experience comfort through Christ. One way we receive this comfort is through others who have likewise received comfort and care through Christ (II Corinthians 1:4-6).
Who can be referred? Any member of Holy Infant Church may refer themselves, a family member, friend, neighbor, church member or non-member. Minor children are ineligible. Stephen Ministry is one-on-one support. Couples are not assigned as a couple, nor a family as a group. Each individual can be assigned their own Stephen Minister. Women are only assigned with women and men assigned with men.
HOW DOES THE REFERRALS PROCESS WORK?
- A person — you, a relative, or a friend — is hurting and/or in need of Christian care.
- The Stephen Ministry Leader learns about this need for care—from you, the pastor, or a friend, always with the person’s permission.
- The Stephen Leader meets with the person to talk about the Stephen Ministry.
- With the person’s permission, the Stephen Leader assigns a Stephen Minister who will contact the person and arrange for a meeting.
- The Stephen Minister continues to provide distinctively Christian care for the person in strict confidentiality. Their identity and what goes on in the caring relationship will remain private. Only one Stephen Leader, the Stephen Minister, and the person receiving care are aware of the caring relationship.
- Patricia Foley, 636-227-0802 Option 3 or email email@example.com
- Gene Bestgen, 636-527-5385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mary Emke, 636-751-5051 or email email@example.com
HOW CAN I REQUEST A STEPHEN MINISTER?
- You may request a Stephen Ministry referral by calling Holy Infant Rectory at 636-227-7440. You may also speak to a Priest or to any Stephen Minister. They will pass the request directly a Referral Coordinator.
- When you ask for help from a Stephen Minister, a Referral Coordinator will contact you to talk more about Stephen Ministry and what it can mean to you.
- If your needs can be best served by a Stephen Minister, you will be matched with someone who will support you through this tough time.
- The Stephen Minister and the Care Receiver will discuss the issue(s) of concern and decide upon a regular meeting schedule, usually once a week.
- The Stephen Minister will provide support as long as the care receiver wants the caring relationship to continue.
- Confidentiality is a top priority for Stephen Ministers.
WHAT IS A STEPHEN MINISTER?
A Stephen Minister is…
- a caring Christian friend who really listens,
- someone who expresses God’s care to others through their lives,
- a lay person who has received 50 hours of training in how to provide distinctively Christian care,
- a lay person who is committed to preserving the confidential nature of the caring relationship.
A Stephen Minister is not…
- a counselor or therapist
- a problem-solver
- a casual visitor
- a spiritual director
WHAT DOES A STEPHEN MINISTER DO?
- A Stephen Minister gives one–to–one lay Christian care.
- One-to–one: Stephen Ministers meet privately with one care receiver of the same gender, once a week for one hour.
- Lay: Stephen Ministers are trained and supervised by lay volunteers, not professional counselors, therapists, pastors or physicians.
- Christian: Stephen Ministers are Christians who care in the name of Christ. They are willing to talk about spiritual issues but will not force them.
- Care: Stephen Minister care by listening, supporting and encouraging, praying, being dependable and trustworthy, and maintaining confidentiality in their caregiving.
Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the Stephen Ministry program. Stephen Ministers and Leaders are committed to maintaining the highest level of confidentiality possible to protect the Care Receiver’s privacy. Only the Referral Coordinator, the assigned Stephen Minister and sometimes the Pastor will know the identity of a care receiver.
Stephen Ministers never identify an individual as their care receiver.
Care Receivers are free to disclose to anyone they choose that they have or have had a Stephen Minister.
BECOMING A STEPHEN MINISTER
Holy Infant’s ministry started in 2005 and 44 members have been trained in our first 5 years. There are currently 25 active ministers.
Stephen Ministry training classes are started each October and Commissioning is held in March of the next year. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Stephen Minister watch for announcement in the bulletin or call the rectory (636-227-7440) for more information.
WHO ARE OUR STEPHEN MINISTERS?
Deacon Dan Henke
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT OUR CONGREGATION’S STEPHEN MINISTRY?
- Pray for our Stephen Leaders and Stephen Ministers as they provide Christian care to others.
- Pray for all who are receiving confidential care through the Stephen Ministry.
- Tell Stephen Leaders about those who might benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister—be sure to get that person’s permission first.
- Tell others in or outside of our community about the availability of our Stephen Ministry and the care it can provide.
- Receive Stephen Ministry when you are in need of supportive Christian care.
- Enroll in training to become a Stephen Minister.
Contact: Patricia Foley
Phone: (636) 227-0802 option 3