Christ Caring for People through People
Our Stephen Ministry program equips lay persons to provide distinctively Christian, one-to-one care to anyone in our congregation or community who is going through a difficult time and in need of support from a Christian friend.
Stephen Ministry – Meeting the Needs of People
There are times when each of us needs the care of another person…a Christian friend…a Stephen Minister. If you are dealing with any of the following challenges in your life, please contact us so that we can help:
- Terminally ill and their families
- Moving into or out of our community
- Grieving a death or serious loss
- Homebound and institutionalized
- Prisoners, ex-offenders, and their families
- In job crisis
- Aging and elderly
- Disabled (and their families)
- Needing the support of a Christian friend
- Facing life transitions
- Separated or divorced
- Experiencing birth or adoption
- In spiritual crisis
Stephen Ministry Multiplies Our Christian Caregiving And Outreach
Our Stephen Ministers work together with our pastor to reach more people with Christian care than pastors can by themselves. People who receive care from a Stephen Minister:
- Receive quality Christian care,
- Deepen their relationship with their Lord,
- Grow in their desire to participate in the Christian community,
- Come to value ministry from another layperson while continuing contact with the pastor.
Stephen Ministry enhances the outreach of Church of the Palms by:
- Creating a caring ministry outreach, where many are offering God’s love and care in intentional, systematic ways;
- Enabling our entire congregation to grow as a warm, loving, nurturing community where people are cherished and cared for in Jesus Christ;
- Identifying our congregation to our community as a place where people’s needs are taken seriously.
About the Leaders of Our Congregation’s Stephen Ministry
Stephen Leaders are pastors, church staff, and volunteers who have completed a Stephen Series Leader’s Training Course (LTC) and are commissioned by our congregation. Al Couper, Carole Bethel, and Arlene Small serve as Stephen Leaders.
About the Stephen Ministers of Church of the Palms
Stephen Ministers undergo 50 hours of initial training and then engage in twice a month of continuing education and supervision. Only Stephen Ministers who are trained and participate in supervision wear the “blue badge” associated with Stephen Ministry and refer to themselves as Stephen Ministers.
Harry Garrabrant, Barbara Rice, Sandy Ruble, and Mark Reed are current active Stephen Ministers.
A Stephen Minister is
- A child of God who walks beside a hurting person.
- A caring Christian who really listens.
- A member of our congregation who has been trained in how to provide distinctively Christian care.
- A person who is ready to focus on your needs.
- A trustworthy confidant who will keep everything you say–even your identity–confidential.
- Someone who will faithfully meet with you weekly for as long as your need persists.
A Stephen Minister is NOT
- A counselor or therapist
- A problem-solver
- Someone who runs errands or helps with chores.
- A casual visitor or friend
How You Can Support Our Congregation’s Stephen Ministry:
- Pray for our Stephen Leaders and Stephen Ministers as they provide Christian care to others.
- Pray for all who are receiving confidential care through the Stephen Ministry.
- Tell Stephen Leaders about those who might benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister. Be sure to get that person’s permission first.
- Tell others in our community about the availability of Church of the Palm’s Stephen Ministry and the care it can provide.
- Receive Stephen Ministry support when you are in need of Christian care.
How You Can Contact our Stephen Ministry:
- Call the church office: 843-379-1888.
- Email us YouBelong@palmsumc.org