Celebrating Stephen Ministry
Jenny Montgomery will attend Stephen Ministry training in Orlando this June 2017, to begin her journey with us in Stephen Ministry. We are so pleased she will help us continue our ministry of providing loving, pastoral care to our community. Also, we welcome anyone who feels a calling to this amazing and wonderful lay-led ministry to talk with us. There is an application process and a conversation to make sure we move people into ministries that match their abilities. To learn more talk to a Trinity Leader or Minister. They are listed below.
The Stephen Leaders want to always extend prayers and thanksgivings to our Stephen Ministers who compassionately provide great love and care to those in our community needing someone to be with them during a difficult life journey. Our Ministers are kind and generous with their time, their talent, and their treasure of care for others. Did you know that a Stephen Minister completes 50 hours of training, provides over 78 hours of annual ministry to a care receiver, participates in a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education annually as well as 24 hours of supervision with Stephen Leaders annually! So we ask that when you see a Stephen Minister, take a moment to affirm their good work and thank them for all they give. They all will tell you that what they receive is far greater than what they give! We love them and we thank them.
Once trained, Stephen Ministers are equipped and prepared to provide lay person support to parishioners in need of Christian care for a period of time determined by each individual’s needs. Stephen Leaders provide supervision on a monthly basis to support and care for our Stephen Ministers. It is a loving, compassionate, and care-driven ministry. The training for Leaders and Ministers alike is intense and specific to guarantee that exceptional caregiving is given to all care receivers.
What is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry at Trinity recruits, trains and supports lay volunteers to be present for and bring Christ’s love to people going through significant transitions and/or recovering from challenges in their lives for as long as it takes.
What kind of challenge?
Anything for which support would be helpful—from a recent bereavement, to job loss, to a new baby in the home, to serious illness.
Who are these caring friends?
Lay members of our congregation, identified for their gifts of caring and ability to respect confidentiality, who have agreed to serve as Stephen Ministers for two years.
What kind of support do they offer?
They visit weekly with those to whom they have been assigned, offering a listening ear and a caring Christian presence. These visits typically run about an hour in length.
How do these people know what to do?
They have been given approximately 50 hours of initial training, and receive ongoing support, supervision, and continuing education throughout their work with Trinity’s Stephen Ministry.
Aren’t many of these challenges pretty personal? I wouldn’t want everyone knowing my business…
Confidentiality is at the heart of Stephen Ministry. The only people who will know that a Stephen Minister is assigned to a parishioner are: the parishioner, the Stephen Minister, the Stephen Leader responsible for making the assignments, and the clergy.
What if the person needs to see a priest?
This program is a supplement to priestly, medical, and/or therapeutic attention. It is not meant to replace the professional care of a priest, therapist, or doctor.
I think I may want a Stephen Minister. How do I go about getting one?
Contact the parish office to request a Stephen Minister.
I might want to become a Stephen Minister. What kind of commitment would I be making?
The commitment is a significant one. Stephen Ministers agree to attend all training sessions, visit their assigned person once a week, and attend ongoing supervision and continuing education meetings with the other Stephen Ministers. The commitment is for two years.
That sounds like something I might want to do. How do I go about signing up?
Contact the Trinity parish office for an application. The application is the first step in the mutual discernment of a possible call to be a Stephen Minister.
I have more questions. Where do I ask them?
Feel free to direct your questions to any of Trinity’s Stephen Leaders – those trained to run this program.