Stephen Ministry: 662-4466, ext. 388
What Is This Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is a model for care-giving ministry first developed in St. Louis by a minister and psychologist, Dr.Kenneth Haugk, PhD. Today there are more than 10,000 Stephen Ministry programs in the world. This model has been used at First Presbyterian Church since 2006. The name Stephen comes from St. Stephen, the first layperson the Apostles commissioned in Acts 6 to provide caring ministries to those in need.
In this ministry of listening, a trained lay person becomes a caregiver to a care receiver, a person of the same sex, who is dealing with needs, concerns, or struggles that would be made easier with support and prayer.
To hear Stephen Ministers and those who have benefited from having a Stephen Minister share their stories, click here.
Stephen Ministry Continuing Education Events
This event was recorded, and can be viewed on YouTube here.
- Honoring life transitions in ourselves and others
- How we find meaning in life transitions
- What our faith and tradition has to tell us about journeying through change
- Acknowledging life transitions through ritual
Gerotranscendence with Jen Davidson
This event was recorded, and can be viewed on the YouTube site here.
What is Gerotranscendance? Gerotranscendence is a developmental stage that occurs when an individual who is living into very old age shifts their perspective from a materialistic and rational view of the world to a more cosmic and transcendent one, normally accompanied by an increase in life satisfaction. The term and the research behind it is the work of Lars Tornstam of Uppsala University, Sweden. She will explain how she came across this term while studying in Wales, was fascinated by the idea as part of her study of spirituality and aging, and is now living into this stage herself. Gerotranscendence fits beautifully with quantum theology and cosmic partnership, both ideas surfacing now in church circles.
The topic is relevant to anyone interacting with members of the aging population or who is personally a senior.
Rev. Davidson is a second career pastor, spiritual director and end of life doula currently living in Lincoln, Nebraska. She was a 26-year resident of Michigan, two of those years joyfully spent in Ann Arbor. Go, Blue!
Stephen Ministry Library
We have a great library collection with wonderful resources for whatever you may be struggling. Check it out!
If you would like to borrow one of these helpful books, please feel free to walk in to the Hillegond's Chapel (you may want to call the office to make sure it is open and available) and take a look around. Or, you may contact Cyndy Colton, Chris Queen, or Rev. Rogers.
“Holidays can be some of the most difficult firsts after your loved one has died. Holidays are typically steeped with tradition, when families gather and everyone around you seems to be celebrating. All of this can make holidays especially painful when you are grieving.”
— Journeying through Grief, Book 2
Someone you know may be approaching the holiday season without a loved one for the first time. It’s hard for those of us who care about them to know how to help or what words of comfort might be most appropriate. Journeying through Grief by Kenneth Haugk is a series of four small books which addresses the particular issue of holiday observation while grieving, as well as many other concerns of those who are recently bereaved. Our Stephen Ministry program here at First Presbyterian has used this book series for several years, and sends them to all in our church family who have experienced a loss.
Many of you may know someone in your extended family or circle of friends who could use the comforting and practical wisdom offered in these books. Sent at four different times during the first year after the death of a loved one, each book focuses on what a person might be experiencing at that point in their grief – offering understanding, empathy, compassion, and hope. If you would like to purchase a set of these books ($12.00), Stephen Ministry can order them for you. Please email Rev. Melissa Anne Rogers to place an order.
Why Is This Ministry Needed?
Pastors will always be available during times of crisis, but there are more needs for ongoing, personalized care than pastors can meet by themselves. Stephen Ministry is a biblical solution for equipping those specially gifted in our congregation for care-giving. Lay people are trained to support and extend the care that pastors continue to provide. Stephen Ministers reach out to those hurting, both within our church family and throughout the community.
Who Is A Stephen Minister?
- A Christian who walks beside a person who is hurting
- A congregation member with gifts for care giving
- A layperson carefully selected, who has received 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care
- A caring, Christian friend who listens, cares, makes no judgements, prays, supports, and encourages.
- Someone who will meet faithfully with his or her care receiver, for about one hour each week, for as long as there is need.
- A person who adheres to very clear guidelines on confidentiality.
How Do You Become A Stephen Minister?
A Stephen Leader or staff member can provide you with the information you need to get started. The process includes an application, a brief interview, and 50 hours of interactive training. Contact the Stephen Leader Training Coordinator at 734-662-4466, ext 388, for more information.
Can A Stephen Minister Help You?
Could you benefit from confidential, one-to-one care and support of a Stephen Minister? If you or someone you care about is interested, please contact us by calling a pastor or Stephen Leader, calling the Stephen Ministry private voice mailbox at 662-4466. ext. 388, or emailing the Referrals Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Is It Not Appropriate to Use A Stephen Minister?
- People coping with emotional and physical burdens may be in need of professional care.
- Stephen ministers are not therapists. Care receivers under the care of a mental health professional must receive permission of that professional in order to be assigned a Stephen Minister.
- Stephen Ministers do not run errands or provide meals. They are not problem solvers, but focus on a ministry of listening, help, and giving support.
- Stephen Ministers are not service providers. They are care givers, not cure givers.