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Stephen Ministry Information Session
- Date: Thursday, April 29, 2021
- Time: 7:00pm–8:30pm
- Location: Zoom Online Meeting
Session recently approved a proposal from the deacons to explore the possibility of creating a Stephen Ministry program at Catonsville Presbyterian Church. Stephen Ministers are trained care givers who provide continuing support to one care receiver at a time. Care receivers are individuals undergoing significant challenges in their lives. At my prior church in California, I was blessed to be a Stephen Minister and provide care to three individuals. The first was a woman who was struggling with recovery from her divorce, the second a woman diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), and the third was a woman whose father was in the final stages of his life.
Stephen Ministers are not a replacement for pastors or deacons, but rather an additional group to help meet the needs of the congregation and community. Dr. Kenneth C. Haugk of St. Louis founded Stephen Ministry in 1975, shortly after graduating from seminary and graduate school in psychology and beginning his role as pastor. Dr. Haugk explains, “I felt called to the pastoral ministry—to bring Christ’s love to hurting people. But reality quickly set in. There were so many needs and only one of me, and not nearly enough hours in a day. I had a church full of needs, but also a church full of people who could help. So the solution became clear: ‘equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ’ (Ephesians 4:12). Stephen Ministry was born.” Today, more than 13,000 organizations have enrolled in Stephen Ministry, representing more than 180 Christian denominations.
The process to train leaders and Stephen Ministers will require a significant commitment. In order to move forward, our first step is to identify those in our church who see this as a place where they feel called to serve. If you think this might be for you, contact Charre Symms. I will be happy to answer any questions and
relate more of my own experiences. We are hosting a Stephen Ministry Zoom meeting on Thursday, April 29 at 7 p.m., when you can learn more about this program and bring your questions. You can also find more information on their website at www.stephenministries.org.