About Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry is a quiet ministry. We work confidentially one-on-one with people who need a little listening support. We’re not a flashy group. We don’t post great pictures of our meetings with our care receiver on Instagram or Facebook. We don’t Tweet about our ministry. Because…we’re a quiet ministry…and CONFIDENTIAL.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
— Galatians 6:2

Each week our Stephen Minsters meet one-on one with their care receivers for about an hour. They listen. They encourage. They pray with and for their care receiver. They ask the Holy Spirit to guide them and their ministry.

Sometimes Stephen Ministry can stretch us; take us places we might not choose. Our care receiver might have a terminal illness—and we might worry that we have nothing to offer. But we do. We have ourselves. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Our presence is our ministry. We simply show up. If we’re really good at Stephen Ministry, we show up and shut up. We let our care receiver talk. We let them tell their story. Without judgment. Without commentary. Ours is a listening presence. We honor another by listening to their stories, hearing their pain and their struggles and being with them in “it”, whatever “it” is.

Our job is not to fix. Most of life’s painful struggles are not fixable. Our job is to listen, to pray, and to offer a compassionate non-judgmental ear. We help. Jesus Heals. Sort of takes the pressure off, doesn’t it?

Still curious? Want to know more? Check out our FAQs Section below.

Would you like to talk to someone about Stephen Ministry? Email Beryl Schewe

Think a Stephen Minister Might be Helpful to You?

All of us need a helping hand now and again. Sometimes life throws us a curveball, and we just need a listening ear. Needing a Stephen Minister is normal. Plenty of our Stephen Ministers trained after being a care receiver and experiencing the listening compassion of a Stephen Minister.

Most of us would rather offer help than receive help. And sometimes it’s really hard to reach out and ask for help. We get that. Admitting to ourselves that our life situation is a little overwhelming takes strength—we want to think we can do it all.

Some important guidelines for this caring relationship protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister:

  • The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential
  • Men are matched with men; women with women.

FAQs

Click on the questions below to find out more about what Stephen Ministry looks like and if it might be right for you.

Is Stephen Ministry Right for You?

What is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry. Stephen Ministry parishes equip and empower Stephen Ministers to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.

Who are Stephen Ministers?

Stephen Ministers are OLG parishioners trained by Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment. Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life. Their commonality? A passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need.

How often do care recievers meet with their Stephen Ministers?

A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour.

Why the name Stephen?

In the book of Acts, chapter 6, Stephen was chosen to provide caring ministry to those in need. Since the time of the Apostles, caring ministry has been considered a hallmark of the Christian faith community.

What is a care reciever?

A care receiver is an individual who receives care from a Stephen Minister. Think you could benefit from a Stephen Minister? Email Beryl Schewe at berylschewe@olgparish.org or fill out the form below.

Do Stephen Ministers care for people outside of Our Lady of Grace?

Funny you should ask! Yes. Stephen Ministers often provide care for people in the broader community—relatives, friends, and coworkers of congregation members; nonmembers whom OLG serves. We believe we are to receive all as Christ.

Who is Stephen Ministry appropriate for?

Stephen Ministry is appropriate for people experiencing:

- grief

- divorce

- cancer

- hospitalization

- physical rehabilitation

- long-term care

- chronic illness

- terminal illness

- job loss

- loss of a home

- military deployment

- the onset of a disability

- loneliness

- spiritual crisis

- or other life struggles /p>

Are there situations that aren't appropriate for Stephen Ministers?

Sure. There are a couple of situations that come to mind. First, we would not place a minor with a Stephen Minister. We also do not place people with dementia with a Stephen Minister. This may seem counter-intuitive, but remember the primary role of the Stephen Minister is to listen. Most families asking for a placement with a dementia patient actually want respite care, not a Stephen Minister.

Sometimes a family member will ask us to place a Stephen Minster with a parent. We’re happy to do this if the parent wants a Stephen Minister. But just as Jesus doesn’t foist himself into our lives unasked, we don’t foist ourselves on unsuspecting parishioners! We’re happy to work with families to see if we can provide support.

OK, I'm in! How do I find out more?

For more information about Stephen Ministry or to request a Stephen Minister contact Beryl Schewe at berylschewe@olgparish.org

Should You Be a Stephen Minister?

Who can become a Stephen Minister?

Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life. Their commonality? A passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need. Maybe you? Stephen Ministers are OLG parishioners trained by Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment.

What is the time commitment of a Stephen Minister?

A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Once a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education. Oh…and don’t forget the 50 hours of training. It’s fun. It will stretch you.

Tell me more about Stephen Ministry Training...

Stephen Minister training is an engaging, energizing experience that includes a mixture of lecture, video, group discussion, skill practice, and spiritual growth activities. It is the Best 50 Hours of Training You'll Ever Experience!

Stephen Minister training teaches principles and skills that equip you to provide high-quality, Christ-centered emotional and spiritual care to others.

You gain insight into the thoughts, feelings, and actions of people who are hurting. You develop relational and caring skills you can apply to all aspects of your life. You deepen your faith as the Holy Spirit fashions you into a Christ-centered caregiver. You feel a special bond with those in your class—experiencing real Christian community.

Did I mention that Stephen Minister training is a lot of fun! And that you meet a great group of highly committed ministers? And that training will leave you more equipped for all ministries? OLG’s training schedule is Tuesday nights January-May 2017

OK, I'm in! How do I find out more?

For more information about becoming a Stephen Minister contact Beryl Schewe at berylschewe@olgparish.org

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