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In the challenges and stress of life, there are times when we could benefit from the support of another caring, prayerful Christian to walk alongside us. Over ten members of the church have been trained as Stephen Ministers to quietly listen to and encourage others who are hurting. This is a confidential one on one caring program. Persons become care receivers for a number of reasons: job loss, health issues, accident recovery, grief, divorce, and many more.
Stephen Ministry takes its name from Stephen (Acts 6), the first layperson commissioned by the apostles to provide caring ministry to those in need. More than 10,000 congregations, representing more than 150 denominations from all 50 states and 24 other countries are enrolled in this ministry.
Stephen Ministers undergo an intensive 50 hours of required training and must agree to at least a two-year commitment with the program. Stephen Ministers are not counselors, but are trained Christian caregivers. Their role is to listen and care, not to counsel or advise. This is a supervised ministry; Stephen Ministers engage in monthly supervision sessions with trained leaders to ensure that those in need receive the best quality Christian care. This is also a confidential ministry; what a care receiver tells a Stephen Minister remains confidential. Stephen Ministers do not make cold calls, but are carefully assigned to their care receiver.
The Stephen Ministry stands on four basic tenets: compassion, faith, skill, and trustworthiness – with Christ as our center.
Stephen Leaders at Shadyside Presbyterian Church are Carla Gedman and David Popelka, and they work closely with Rev. Lynn Portz. If you would like more information about becoming a Stephen Minister or if you would like to be paired with a Stephen Minister for caring, Christian support in a difficult time, please contact one of these persons.
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