COMMUNITY CHURCH
Saturday, February 22, 2020
An Ecumenical and Inclusive Fellowship of the United Methodist Church
 
We have Stephen Ministry because God calls every one of us to love and care for one another.   The Holy Spirit has blessed us all with gifts for ministry. Stephen Ministry provides a place where those who have the gifts for caring ministry can put them to use in a meaningful way. 
 
Who Benefits From Stephen Ministry?

The most obvious answer is the person who receives care. He or she not longer has to walk alone through life's struggles. A Stephen Minister walks alongside this person for as long as he or she need care, bringing Jesus' unconditional love and acceptance to the person. 

Our pastors also benefit from Stephen Ministry. It gives Pastors a way to make sure people get the care they need. Pastors are no longer alone in bearing the burden of meeting caring ministry needs.

Stephen Ministers also benefit from the ministry through their spiritual growth and their growing dependence on God to guide their relationship with their care receiver.

The entire congregation benefits from Stephen Ministry. People no longer slip through the cracks. People feel cared for in their time of need.

Stephen Ministers are the “After People.” They are ready to come alongside you—or your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or relatives—and provide comfort and support as long after as needed:

  • after the phone call you hoped you’d never get.
  • after the divorce papers are served and the bottom falls out of your life.
  • after the funeral, when everyone has left and the emotions you’ve held at bay come crashing in on   you.
  • after the doctor says, “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing more we can do.”
  • after the nursing home director shakes your hand and says, “Welcome to your new home.”
  • after the last child honks the horn, waves, and drives away—and the house suddenly seems empty.
  • after the gavel goes down, the handcuffs go on, and your loved one is led away.
  • after the baby arrives, demanding more of you than you ever dreamed possible.
  • after you find a pink slip with your final paycheck.
  • after your family and friends have heard your story one too many times, but you still need to talk it out.
  • after a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer or Dementia.
How Do I Refer Someone To Stephen Ministry?

There are two important steps to remember when referring someone to Stephen Ministry. The first is to seek the person's permission. If you know of people who need care, talk to them first. Tell them you care about them, you see their need, and mention you think that a Stephen Minister may be able to help them thru the difficult time they are going through.

The second step to remember is to never promise a Stephen Minister. In some instances a Stephen Minister might not be available or another type of care might be more appropriate. Let the person know that the pastor or Stephen Leader will help meet their need for care in some way, thought it may not be with a Stephen Minister.

If you wish to refer someone please call (or have the potential Care Receiver call) the Stephen Minister Referrals Coordinator: Mary Stover, 410-726-1795 or marystover@mchsi.com.

How Can Someone Become a Stephen Minister?

The first step is to pray. God has called each of us to ministry. Prayer is one way we learn what ministry God is calling us to do. As you pray, ask God whether Stephen Ministry is the right ministry for you. 

If you are truly interested, perhaps the best way to find out exactly what is involved and what the joys, challenges, and benefits are is to talk to one of our Stephen Ministers or Stephen Leaders. They can share their own experiences about what it has been like to serve as a Stephen Minister. They can answer most of your questions about training, serving, supervision, continuing education, and the time commitment involved.

Potential Stephen Ministers go through an application, interview, and selection process. One of the reasons is so the Stephen Leaders can look at all of the above factors with you and help you determine whether Stephen Ministry is right for you at this time in your life. 

When a person decides they would like to be come a Stephen Minister they will complete 50 hours of training.  After completing training they will be commissioned as a Stephen Minister.  Stephen Ministers meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month at 6:30 PM.  During  meetings they will have Supervision, where they get support and affirmation of any issues that may arise concerning them or their Care Receiver.  Everything is kept confidential.  One meeting a month will include Continuing Education.  When Stephen Ministers have a Care Receiver they will normally meet with them once a week.  

If you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister please call Mary Stover at 410-726-1797 or by email - marystover@mchsi.com.

 

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