St. Paul’s Memorial Episcopal Church is a Stephen Congregation!
You can download an application to become a Stephen Minister here.
WHAT: Stephen Ministry is a lay caring ministry begun in 1975 by Dr. Kenneth Haugk, pastor and clinical psychologist. Today, over 10,000 congregations in 150 Christian denominations in North America have developed active Stephen Ministries.
Types of care offered include:
- crisis care: Stephen Ministers can be present in times of acute suffering such as loss of a loved one, divorce, accident or other trauma, diagnosis of serious illness
- follow-up care: people often need more care than pastors can deliver
- chronic care: in situations that are not likely to improve
- preventive care: for those approaching major life transitions such as retirement, childbirth, moving, empty nest
- supportive care: caring for caregivers
The Stephen Ministry team is comprised of:
Stephen Leaders: clergy and laypersons who take a week-long intensive leadership course in order to train Stephen Ministers in their congregations.
Stephen Ministers: laypersons who receive 50 hours of training in caregiving skills such as listening, bereavement, boundaries, crisis care, when and how to refer to professional help, etc.
Care Receivers may be people in need from within or outside the congregation, and may be self-referred, or referred by friends or clergy.
HOW: Once equipped with training, the Stephen Ministers are carefully matched one-to-one with “Care Receivers” and the confidential caring relationship is begun. This relationship typically involves 1 hour per week of time devoted by the Stephen Minister to the Care Receiver in supportive listening oriented to process, not results (i.e. caring but not “fixing”). Bimonthly supervision of the Stephen Ministers by the Stephen Leaders assures continued health of the caring relationship while maintaining strict confidentiality.
WHY: The ministry of caring for others who are suffering may be led by clergy in a congregation, but is the responsibility of all baptized Christians as ministers in the Body of Christ. While clergy provide pastoral care in crisis, Stephen Ministers can complement and extend that care in a unique way – offering 1 hour per week of listening and support to someone in need, for as long as they need it.
WHEN: St. Paul’s Church enrolled as a Stephen Congregation in 2010, and our first Stephen Leaders were trained in January 2011. These Leaders, The Rev. Dr. Ann Willms (then associate rector for pastoral care), Anna Askounis, and Margaret Haupt (lay leaders) built awareness of Stephen Ministry in the congregation, and worked together to recruit Stephen Minsters and to identify potential care receivers. The first group of eleven trained Stephen Ministers was commissioned on Sunday, March 25, 2012 and began their active ministry.
STEPHEN MINISTRY IS DISTINCTIVELY CHRISTIAN CAREGIVING which means that the ministry is modeled on the servanthood of Christ, and may utilize prayer, scripture, or other Christian resources, depending on the needs of the care receiver.
We recognize that we are the caregivers, and God is the “curegiver.”
WHAT STEPHEN MINISTRY IS NOT:
Stephen Ministry is not therapy, professional counseling, or proselytizing. Stephen Ministers are specifically trained to recognize when referral to a mental health professional may be warranted.
For more information, or if you are interested in this exciting new ministry, please contact
Last Updated on Monday, 30 July 2012 10:31