What Exactly Is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is a ministry in our congregation in which trained and supervised lay persons, called Stephen Ministers, provide one-to-one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties. We are caring Christian friends who listen, understand, accept, and pray for (and with) care receivers who are working through a crisis or a tough time. We are not counselors, but trained lay caregivers. Our role is to listen and care—not to give advice or counsel. Stephen Ministers are also trained to recognize when a care receiver’s need exceeds what they can provide. When that happens we work with care receivers to help them receive the level of care they really need.
The name Stephen comes from St. Stephen, who was the first lay person commissioned by the apostles to provide caring ministry to those in need as recorded in Acts 6. Stephen Ministry has been around since 1975, when Kenneth Haugk, a pastor and clinical psychologist, began it to multiply the caregiving in his congregation in St. Louis, Missouri. If you or someone you know could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, you can talk to Rev. Haley or one of our Stephen Leaders. Any of our Stephen Ministers would also be happy to help you through the process. (If you want to talk about Stephen Ministry for someone else, make sure you get his or her permission first.)
We always welcome new members who would like to serve as a Stephen Minister. Stephen Ministers engage in 50 hours of training in Christian caregiving, including general topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness, and using Christian resources in caregiving. In addition, their training covers specialized topics such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved, and aging. Let one of your Stephen Ministers know if this is a ministry in which you would like to serve.
Our Stephen Ministry Leaders are: Sandra Foster (814-227-7797), Suzan Hahnfeldt (814-229-3807) or Barb Krupnik (814-229-2723).
For more information, please contact our church office.