by Pastor Lana Roberts
A few weeks ago, our newest Stephen Ministers were commissioned, the next step into their roles as nurturers, caregivers, and companions. Stephen Ministry provides one-to-one Christian care and compassion for those who are hurting in our church.
Expressing a need for emotional and spiritual support can be difficult, but with Stephen Ministry, FPC has a team of trained, caring, and dedicated caregivers who will meet on a weekly basis with their care receivers. A member of the congregation in need of confidential support, listening and prayer, only needs to reach out to a pastor or a Stephen Leader to begin the process of receiving care from a Stephen Minister. FPC member Diane McKneely receives and coordinates referrals, praying through the process of matching up care receivers with a Stephen Minister. One care receiver described the process of expressing a need and finding a Stephen Minister as “the most caring thing I’ve ever experienced at a church.”
Stephen Ministers attend twice monthly Supervision Group, and get regular continuing education and training to provide the best spiritual and relational support for their care receivers. In the process of ministering to others, our Stephen Ministers are also encouraged by God’s goodness. They recently said, “Seeing our care receivers strengthened by God’s cure-giving brings us great joy!” One celebrated joyfully, “God’s timing is amazingly perfect -- we see it over and over again!”
As a lay ministry, Stephen Ministry empowers our congregation to live out Christ’s commandment to “Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12). If you find yourself being called to the commitment of serving as a Stephen Minister, contact Pastor Lana Roberts or one of your Stephen Leaders: Charlene Henry, Dianne McKneely, David Parker or Debby Rader. Our next training will begin around the third week of August, and it’s not too early to start putting Wednesday night training on your calendar.