Our bulletin cover, E-Messenger, and “The Weekly Messenger” insert proclaim:  We Are a Stephen Ministry Congregation. But what does that mean? What is Stephen Ministry?

The Stephen Ministry program was established in 1975 by a minister, Rev. Kenneth Hauck, to assist with the ever growing need for pastoral care in his congregation. St. Mark’s program is about 15 years old. Stephen Ministry is a one-to-one lay caring ministry that trains, equips, and empowers lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are dealing with tough times:  the loss of a loved one, diagnosis of a chronic illness, job loss, a move, divorce, or other life-changing event. Stephen Ministers meet weekly with their care receiver and are there to listen and be a compassionate companion—a caring Christian friend who provides emotional and spiritual support.

Do you have the gifts of compassion and listening? Perhaps God is calling you to be a Stephen Minister. If you would like more information, you can visit the Stephen Ministry web site at www.stephenministries.org or speak with one of our Stephen Leaders:  Debbie Griffes (debgriffes@gmail.com), Steve Hendrickson (kermitsh@aol.com), or Karen Smith.

Do you know someone who could use the care of a Stephen Minister? Contact one of the above leaders or the pastoral staff for a confidential referral.

Although privacy restricts the details of the care support, Stephen Ministry has published several video interviews that illustrate the nature of this ministry.Four of these Stephen Ministry videos are below.