This ministry began at Trinity UMC in 1997 and takes its charge from Galatians 6:2 – “Carry each other’s burden, and in this way you will fulfill the laws of Christ.”Our Stephen Ministers provide one-on-one confidential pastoral support to individuals within our church, other churches and the community. The level of one’s faith is never an issue. After a potential care receiver requests help, meets with a Stephen Leader and their issue is deemed appropriate for a Stephen Minister, then one is assigned. The Stephen Minister works with the care the receiver until it is determined no further work is necessary.
In order to be accepted as a Stephen Minister, an individual must undergo all of the following:
- Complete a detailed application
- Have references checked
- Have a background check
- Be interviewed by at least two Stephen Leaders
- Be invited to take the training
- Complete 50 hours of classroom training
- Make a minimum two year commitment
- Be commissioned by the church
- Meet four hours a month for Peer Supervision and continuing education
StephenMinistry training is conducted by Stephen Leaders and outside professionals. Through the training, each individual becomes equipped to provide one-on-one pastoral care to individuals dealing with life issues such as family concerns, loneliness, health concerns, terminal illness, spiritual crisis, death of a loved one, separation/divorce, aging and various loss/grief concerns. This ministry provides emotional and spiritual support during time of crisis, when someone is going through some of life’s difficult times or when there is a need to have someone to talk to and know what is spoken is kept confidential.
Confidentiality is an absolute requirement for all Stephen Ministers and second chances are not provided. The name of the care receiver is never spoken or known, except between the assigning Stephen Leader and the assigned Stephen Minister.