Stephen Ministries at Grace Church
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Who is a Stephen Minister?
A Stephen Minister is a member of our congregation who has been trained to provide one-to-one care to people experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, loneliness or separation due to military deployment. They are not a counselor or therapist or someone who is there to solve your problems. Stephen Ministers are there to be with you – to be available regularly to listen and to care, to encourage, to pray, and to walk alongside you during difficult times. Receiving support from a Stephen Minister is confidential, free, and very helpful.
Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life. Their commonality? A passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need.
Grace Lutheran Church has been providing Christian care through Stephen Ministries since 1993. Stephen Ministry is grounded in Jesus’ command to love one another. Through one-on-one caring relationships and other services, those who are hurting receive Christian love and encouragement at times when they may find it difficult to cope with life’s challenges.
Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of initial training and then participate in regular monthly supervision and training. Stephen Ministry leaders, as well as Grace’s pastors, are available to provide Stephen Ministers with additional guidance as needed.
Times when you might need a Stephen Minister
• When life is more than you can handle on your own.
• When your health, attitude, or relationships are suffering
• When you are struggling to make a major adjustment to a change in life--a new job, a change in marital status, a serious illness, the loss of a loved one, or a recent move.
• When you are lonely, in a spiritual crisis, or looking for a caring Christian friend.
Other Stephen Ministry services
• The first Sunday of each month, Stephen Ministers are available in the atrium after the 8:30 a.m. worship service to talk with those needing support and encouragement or information about Stephen Ministry.
• Care Notes, booklets on a variety of topics like loneliness and grief, are available on the table in the narthex. Parishioners are encouraged to take them for their own use and to share them with others.
• Four short books in the Journeying through Grief series are provided over the course of a year to people who have experienced a significant loss.
Requesting a Stephen Minister
If you would like to request a Stephen Minister, please contact Pastor Faulstich.
Becoming a Stephen Minister
Training classes for new Stephen Ministers are held in alternate years. The next class begins in January, 2015. If you are interested in being a Stephen Minister and want to learn more, please join us for lunch at our Taste of Stephen Ministry on Sunday, October 19, 2014. Contact Robert (Bob) Jandeska at firstname.lastname@example.org or Loretta Lattyak at email@example.com.
About Stephen Ministry
Since 1975, St. Louis-based Stephen Ministries has been helping congregations equip God’s people for spiritual growth and Christ-centered practical ministry in the world. Stephen Ministries was founded by the Reverend Kenneth C. Haugk, Ph.D., a pastor and clinical psychologist, after he saw that individuals in his congregation and community needed care that far exceeded what he alone could provide. You’ll find Stephen Ministry in congregations from more than 160 Christian denominations, across the U.S. and Canada and in 24 other countries. Stephen Ministry programs have been implemented in more than 12,000 congregations and more than 600,000 laypersons have been trained as Stephen Ministers. More than one-and-a-half-million people have had a Stephen Minister to walk with them, providing one-to-one Christian care during tough times.