St. Stephen & St. Trinity Churches Work Together to Care and Grow in their Stephen Services.
Stephen Ministers & trained Lay Leaders from our two sister parishes: St. Stephen and St. Trinity Lutheran, Clarkston, serve jointly to care for hurting people in our communities. Ever since 2003, this has been a mutually beneficial relationship that has expanded our capacity to equip those who are gifted to serve and desire to volunteer their time. Having a joint program enables us to offer greater anonymity if a care receiver feels more comfortable having a Stephen Minister from another church. Church membership is not a pre-requisite for being assigned a Stephen Minister from our joint team. We care for people outside our own church affiliations. It is important, however, that before a Stephen Minister is assigned, that the care receiver talk with a Pastor or Stephen Leader to assure that their specific need is appropriate for this type of care.
This currently active group of Stephen Ministers have jointly trained, attend small group supervision and they have grown from shared continuing education experiences. They have also increased their skills and their capacity to provide this very much-needed care to people in our community and in their own circles of family and friends. A well-trained Stephen Minister gains a sense of liberation when they realize that their caregiving is not responsible for the “cure” – Only Christ CAN and WILL do that, thru the compassionate skills and the gift of one-on-one time they offer.
“We see the work of the Holy Spirit each day in this ministry, and we thank God for it. Our Stephen team considers it a great privilege to be witness to the work of the Holy Spirit as care receivers find healing and strength in their relationship with Christ for having shared their difficult journey with a Stephen Minister. God does some extraordinary things thru ordinary people who seek Him and His Kingdom.”
Our group also networks and shares fellowship with a much larger regional body: “The Stephen Ministry Network of SE Michigan.” Our Lay Leader, Irma Hoops, takes an active role in the administrative responsibilities of this supportive body. It is comprised of 200+ Stephen Leaders representing at least 80 congregations throughout southeast MI who gather quarterly, to offer each other support and encouragement, seeking always to better serve their own congregations’ needs and to promote and build the service of each local Stephen Ministry program. This network also provides an annual Fall continuing education retreat for all area Stephen Ministers and Leaders which now draws 300+ attendees and national speakers to its forums. “None of us who have been trained, serve alone; we are part of a growing body across the county, state, and world that believe passionately that offering distinctively Christian care to people suffering in a sin-ravaged world is a vitally important task.”
If you desire to know more about Stephen Ministry for yourself
or for someone you know who is struggling through a difficult time, please contact…
Pastor E. Dale Evanson at 248-673-8149 or Irma Hoops, 248-625-7761 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
These are just a few of the sayings we’ve heard because of this care given…
† “I was ready to give up. But my Stephen Minister wouldn’t let me. He kept encouraging me
and gave me the motivation to keep going.”
† “I was alone and had no one to turn to. Then I heard about Stephen Ministry. My Stephen
Minister became a friend I could count on.”
† “I felt guilty about being angry at God. By my Stephen Minister didn’t think I was terrible. She was very patient and just listened and cared. She demonstrated Jesus’ unconditional love and helped me to trust God again.”
† “I was hurting so much, I couldn’t see straight. But I discovered the healing love of Jesus through my Stephen Minister. I can’t say enough about Stephen Ministry.”
† “The best thing about Stephen Ministry was it was so confidential. Nobody even knew I had
a Stephen Minister.”
† “I had never been able to open up to someone before and had always kept my feelings to myself. My Stephen Minister helped me to talk about the painful things, which opened the door for God’s healing.”
† “All I can say is thank you. I was so overwhelmed and felt abandoned by God. I didn’t know where to begin. My Stephen Minister helped me sort through my challenges and regain my faith in God’s presence and power.”