Stephen Ministry

We are care-givers, Christ is the cure-giver

Are you, or someone you know, going through a challenging time in life, such as the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a job loss, a terminal or chronic illness, a fractured relationship, an empty nest or the birth of a baby? You don’t need to struggle alone: There is help available through Stephen Ministry.

Stephen Ministers are lay church members who are trained to provide confidential one-to-one care and who walk alongside someone who is hurting. They are available for First Pres covenant partners and community members.

What is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen ministers are the “After People.” We are ready to walk with you on these journeys and provide comfort and support for as long “after” as we are needed. After the doctors have said, “There’s nothing more we can do.” After the baby has arrived, putting more demands on you than you ever dreamed possible. After you find the pink slip inserted with what is now your final paycheck. After the divorce papers have been served and the bottom falls out of your life. After the nursing home director says, “Welcome to your new home.” After you have washed and returned the last casserole dish. After your family and friends have heard your story one too many times, but you still need to talk it out.

A Stephen Minister is...

a lay person who walks beside a hurting individual; a caring Christian friend who listens, cares, prays, supports and encourages; a church member who has received training in how to provide distinctively Christian care; someone who will “be there” for their care receiver, meeting faithfully for about an hour each week, for as long as there is a need.

A Stephen Minister is Not...

a counselor or therapist; a problem-solver; a casual visitor; someone who runs errands or helps with chores.

Stephen Ministers are Called to be Caregivers

Stephen Ministers find their calling in the Bible’s teachings about concern for each other. “Encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone,” I Thessalonians 5:14b says. And Galatians 6:2 says Christians should “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Stephen Ministers Believe God is the cure-giver

Stephen Ministers recognize that when we cast our cares on God, he will care for us (Psalm 52:22a). Jesus himself said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Why Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is grounded in Jesus’ command to love one another. Through one-to-one caring relationships, Stephen Ministry helps meet the needs of individuals.

How Can Someone Receive Care?

Are you in need of a caring, Christian friend who will listen, empathize, encourage, pray, provide care and patiently support you as you work through a crisis or difficult time? Perhaps a friend, neighbor, co-worker, colleague, or relative could benefit from this care? Our Care Coordinator or Associate Pastor can tell you more about our Stephen Ministry and how you or your friend can be matched with a Stephen Minister. Contact Linda Myers ([email protected]) or Scott Thayer ([email protected]).

What Happens After I Contact You for Care?

When the Stephen Ministry Care Coordinator learns about a need for care – from the pastor, the individual or a friend, always with the person’s permission, the Care Coordinator contacts the person to talk about Stephen Ministry. With the person’s permission, the Care Coordinator assigns a Stephen Minister to meet on a weekly basis with the person. The Stephen Minister continues to provide distinctively Christian care for the person in strict confidentiality.

If you want more information on Stephen Ministry. If having a Stephen Minister sounds like something that could benefit you or someone you know, please contact Referral Coordinator Linda Myers at (540) 908-8390 or [email protected], or Rev. Scott Thayer at (540) 434-6551 or [email protected].