Each of us has times when we are lonely, grieving, hurt, or in need of care. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes that when we suffer and are troubled, we find comfort through Christ (2 Corinthians 1:4–6)—and one of the ways we find this comfort is through other caring Christians.
Our congregation has a group of people skilled in caring for those facing challenges in their lives. These people, called Stephen Ministers, have undergone over 50 hours of training to develop and nurture their caring skills. Our Stephen Ministers work with individuals who are experiencing many kinds of crises or going through a difficult time, providing confidential, one-to-one Christian care. Potential care receivers first meet with a pastor or Stephen Leader, who assesses their needs for care and matches them with a Stephen Minister. Stephen Ministers will meet weekly with their care receiver for about an hour to listen, care, encourage, pray, and provide emotional and spiritual support for the person. Caring relationships last for as long as the person’s need persists.
Who might receive care from a Stephen Minister? Care receivers may be hospitalized, grieving the death of a loved one, separated or divorcing, homebound, unemployed, adjusting to the birth of a child, or experiencing many other kinds of life difficulties. They may be members of our church, or friends, neighbors, and co-workers without any church home
Think about your life and the lives of the people around you. Are you, or is someone you know, going through a time of crisis or challenge? The care of a Stephen Minister may be exactly what’s needed to help bring Christ’s healing.
If you have questions about Stephen Ministry, feel free to contact The Rev. Bob Gay, Deacon or Evie Braukhoff, Stephen Ministry Leader. Consider whether you know of someone who needs their care and offer to connect them to this ministry. And remember our Stephen Ministry in your prayers.