Consider becoming a Stephen Minister. Our training class begins January 2016. This 50-hour course teaches such topics as The Art of Listening, Distinctly Christian Care, Assertiveness, Crisis Theory, Boundaries, Confidentiality, as well as how to minister to those experiencing grief or depression.CONTINUE READING
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Sunday, June 15, seven members of our church family were officially commissioned as Stephen Ministers, joining 36 other Stephen Ministers at our church. The seven from our church were part of a larger group of 15 from surrounding churches who participated in a six-month training program to prepare for this caring ministry. Stephen Ministers volunteer their time to provide Christian care to others who are suffering from significant challenges in their lives, such as serious illness, divorce, death of a loved one, relocation, job loss, depression, or other serious issues.
Strict confidentiality is a hallmark of the Stephen Ministry program, which has had an active presence in our church since 1990. Worldwide, over 600,000 people have been trained as Stephen Ministers since its founding in 1974, providing care to millions of hurting people. The training program is built upon the premise that God is the cure giver, and the Stephen Minister is the caregiver. At First Pres, the program is directed by Tammas Smith and the training program, which runs annually from January to June, is led by Barbara Brown.
“It was my honor to be the ‘Dean of the School’ for the 2014 class of Stephen Minister trainees,” said Barbara Brown. “There were 15 in the class, from five different area churches. I believe they will be a blessing to their church’s ministry teams.”
Bill Avery, a trainee from Maitland Presbyterian Church, said, “My take-aways can be encapsulated in the following: approach your care receiver authentically, listen to them intently, talk with them confidentially, pray for them unceasingly, and live your own life gratefully!”