Trained Stephen Ministers are available to persons in the congregation who are in need of support during difficult times in their lives (grief, illness, change), to listen, be a friend and a prayer support. For more information about becoming a Stephen Minister or receiving care, contact Diaconal Minister, Pat Engel at email@example.com or by calling 317-251-1481.
What are Stephen Ministers?
Stephen Ministers are named for Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr who cared for the poor. Parishioners are recruited and interviewed by the pastor, then trained to offer one-to-one care to people in and around their congregation. They commit to be available as needed for two years, but many serve longer.
Stephen Ministers study specific situations, like dealing with grief and divorce. But Stephen ministers are not counselors, so they also learn when to call in professional help from a pastor or therapist. Their work is supervised at the parish level, and if a care-giving relationship doesn’t work out, which does happen sometimes, either party can be reassigned.
Kenneth Haugk started Stephen Ministries in 1975, when as pastor of a church in St. Louis he found he just couldn’t do it all. So drawing on his background as a clinical psychologist, he enlisted and trained a handful of lay people to offer confidential care to their fellow parishioners. And the ministry has since spread.
When a person allows you into their life and shares their feelings and their hurts with you, they are giving you a fantastic gift, and when you listen to them and when you accept their feelings and when you love, share Christ’s love to them, you are giving them a similarly powerful gift.
Can I become a Stephen Minister?
If you are interested in serving God and others through Stephen Ministry, please contact Diaconal Minister, Pat Engel at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 317-251-1481.
I am going through a difficult time. Can I speak with a Stephen Minister?
Yes! Stephen Ministers are available at Epworth nearly every Sunday from 9:45-11:00am in the church office to speak with you (no appointment necessary). You may also contact Diaconal Minister, Pat Engel at email@example.com or by calling 317-251-1481 to schedule a separate time to meet.