Exciting things are happening in caring ministry at Union Presbyterian Church!
We are now a part of Stephen Ministry system of lay caregiving
that’s being used in over 13,000 congregations worldwide.
What is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is confidential, one-to one Christian care to people who are going through a difficult time. It’s for anyone in our congregation or community who is experiencing a wide range of life needs or crises: the death of a loved one, divorce, hospitalization, loss of job, a terminal illness, a relocation, the birth of a child, an empty nest, the transition into retirement, a spiritual crisis, loneliness- the list goes on and on. With Stephen Ministry, a team of well-trained Christian caregivers provides care in these situations.
What do Stephen Ministers Do?
Stephen Ministers meet with their care receivers once a week in a private, one-to-one setting for about an hour. Stephen Ministers give care for as long as the care receiver needs it. The Stephen Minister’s role is to listen, accept, care and walk with a person who is going through a difficult time. They stand by the person who is struggling and minister to their emotional and spiritual needs as God works through the relationship to bring hope and healing to the care receiver. A central idea in Stephen Ministry is that Stephen Ministers are caregivers, while God is the Curegiver.
Who Stephen Ministers are?
In short, Stephen Ministers are caring Christians who want to make a difference in the lives of those going through difficult times. They are members of our congregation who have received 50 hours of initial training in how to provide distinctively Christian care. After they finish their initial training, they continue to participate in a regular support and supervision under the guidance of a trained Stephen Leader. They are trustworthy ministers who will keep everything the care receivers say and even their identity, confidential.
Who Stephen Ministers are not?
Stephen Ministers are not counselors or therapists. They are not casual visitors. They do not give advice or tell people how to solve their problems. They are not social workers. They are not there to run errands, do shopping, cook, clean or provide transportation.
How can Someone Become a Stephen Minister?
First, pray about the opportunity to serve as a Stephen Minster. Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance and consider how God might be calling you to ministry.
Then, consider joining our church’s Stephen Ministry training class starting in September 2021.