What is the Stephen Ministry?
The Stephen Ministry was founded in 1974 by Kenneth C. Haugk, a clinical psychologist and pastor of St. Stephens’ Lutheran Church in St. Louis, MO. St. Lawrence is one of more than 9,000 congregations from over 120 Christian denominations that have a Stephen Ministry. Over 300,000 Stephen ministers have been trained, ministering to well over one million people throughout the world.
What is a Stephen Minister?
A Stephen Minister is a caring, Christian friend who listens, prays, supports and offers faith-based, confidential care for those who are hospitalized, terminally ill, bereaved, in a job crisis, or suffer any one of the many life struggles of our time.
Stephen Ministers do not take the place of priests, nor do they find solutions to these problems. Ministers are not counselors, but trained caregivers. Their role is to listen and to care, not to counsel or advise. They are trained to make professional referrals when a caregiver’s needs go beyond the scope of their ministry. Our ministers have over 50 hours of training and participate in continuing education programs throughout their service.
How does Stephen Ministry work?
If you are in need of care, simply call the Stephen Ministry main phone line. One of the Ministers will talk with you and, with permission assign a Stephen Minister. The Minister will contact you and schedule a time to meet. The rest is up to you. It is very important to understand that this care is strictly confidential. Those receiving care can be sure that their identity and what goes on in the caring relationship will remain private.
The Stephen Ministry is a great way for our parish to reach in and reach out to more and more hurting people through our team of well-equipped, well-supervised lay caregivers.
Everyone goes through difficult times. Having someone to care, to listen, to share God’s love with you can help you get through the confusion, stress, or loneliness you may be experiencing.
If your life is more than you can handle alone right now; if your health, attitude, or relationships are suffering; if you are adjusting to the loss of a job, a change in marital status, a serious illness, the death of a loved one, or would just like to have someone in your life who really cares, then perhaps it is time for you to call the Stephen Ministry. Our Stephen Ministers look forward to the opportunity to carry out our Parish Mission Statement by accepting the call of Jesus Christ to love and serve one another.
For more information, call the Confidential Stephen Ministry Message Line at 310-540-0329 x540.