“Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galations 6:2

Who is helped by Stephen Ministry? 

People who are: 

  • Needing someone to talk to
  • Struggling with their faith in God
  • Discouraged, anxious, lonely
  • Coping with divorce
  • Grieving the loss of a loved one
  • Dying, as well as family members of the terminally ill
  • Hospitalized
  • Experiencing the loss of a job
  • Having financial difficulties
  • New to our congregation or community
  • Going through a difficult transition

Consider the benefit of having a Stephen Minister

A Stephen Minister is someone to share your journey and hold your words in confidence. 

Here are the steps to receiving a Stephen Minister:

Step 1: Reach out confidentially to Stephen Leader Judi Arnold (judimarnold@gmail.com) or one of the pastors.

Step 2: A Stephen Leader will contact you and arrange a time to meet. During this meeting they will explain how Stephen Ministry works and to determine whether Stephen Ministry is the kind of care needed. 

Step 3: If agreed, the Stephen Leader will consider the best match with an available Stephen Minister and connect the two of you.

Step 4: The assigned Stephen Minister will contact you directly to arrange a meeting schedule. Typically these meetings are around an hour each week. 

Everything you say to a Stephen Minister is confidential. The Stephen Minister is not a therapist or counselor; they do not try to solve problems. He or she listens, cares, prays, and supports the care receiver as they find their own path.

Self-Care When Caring for Grieving People

Are you a caregiver for another? Your Stephen Ministry team wants to remind you of the following tips to care for yourself, especially during these challenging times. By making sure our own needs are met, we can better focus on caring for others.

Address Your Own Grief and Difficult Feelings

• Give yourself time to grieve. Let yourself feel what you feel.

• Find someone else you can share your personal feelings and struggles with. Having a safe place to let out your own hurts makes it easier to focus on the grieving person.

Know Your Limits as a Caregiver

• Know your limits, and don’t push yourself to provide care when you’re struggling.

• Be open to receiving care yourself from a pastor, a Stephen Minister, or another caregiver when you need it.

Maintain Good Boundaries in Your Care

• Avoid overidentifying with the grieving person. Instead, relate with empathy, seeking to understand their experience while maintaining your own perspective.

• Don’t pressure yourself to fix the person’s grief. Your being there to listen and care is powerful on its own—you can leave the rest to God, who brings ultimate healing.

If you or someone you know could benefit from the gift of a Stephen Minister, please contact Stephen Leader, Judi Arnold (judimarnold@gmail.com, 615.579.0364) or one of the FPC Pastors.