About Stephen Ministry at Faith Episcopal Church
Stephen Ministers are lay members of our congregation who receive special training to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support to people who are facing a crisis or going through tough times.
Some examples of difficult situations are grief, loneliness, divorce, serious illness, disability, job loss, and supporting family members with life challenges. The care you receive is confidential and free.
Why Lay Ministry? Stephen Ministry is based on the idea that all Christians are ministers and have the responsibility for passing on God’s love. Stephen Ministry is a way people with special gifts for caring ministry can use those gifts to bring Christ’s love to people in need.
Why Stephen Ministry at Faith Church? We have many needs for care in our congregation: people experiencing divorce, grief, terminal illness, loss of a job, relocation, empty nest, retirement, hospitalization, loneliness, and many other stresses or challenges. Often people with needs suffer silently or do not request or receive the level of care they really need. With only one priest for our large congregation, it is easy to see why it would be impossible for our clergy to meet every single need of every single person. Stephen Ministry expands the care that Faith Church can offer by equipping and organizing lay members to provide Christian care.
Who are the Stephen Ministers? Stephen Ministers are members of Faith Church who have gone through 50 hours of training to provide high quality Christian care to individuals who experience a crisis or challenge. A Stephen Minister is assigned to a care receiver and meets with that care receiver for about an hour a week. This caring relationship will last for as long as the care receiver needs it.
How does Stephen Ministry work at Faith Church? When someone requests a Stephen Minister, Linda West, our Care Coordinator, will meet with the person, explain what Stephen Ministry is, and help determine whether Stephen Ministry is the kind of care that person needs. The Care Coordinator matches that person with one of our available Stephen Ministers. Men are matched with male Stephen Ministers and women with female Stephen Ministers. The Stephen Minister will then call that person and begin meeting with him or her for about an hour each week for as long as the need is there. Everything a care receiver says to his or her Stephen Minister is kept confidential. The Stephen Minister doesn’t try to solve problems: rather he or she listens, cares, prays, and helps the care receiver find his or her path to healing and wholeness.
How do I request a Stephen Minister for myself or another person? To explore more about how a Stephen Minister might provide care for you or another person, you can contact the Care Coordinator, Linda West. You also can contact one of the Stephen Leaders – Sandy Sweet, Tom Sweet, and Jim Willoughby. Our priest Fr. Sean Cox also would be happy to discuss Stephen Ministry with you. If you are requesting a Stephen Minister for another person, be sure to secure that person’s permission first.
Jesus said: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34b