CPC's 3 Stephen Ministers stand in the sanctuary.
Two women hug while others welcome each other during worship

Stephen Ministry

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

Stephen Ministry at CPC

Catonsville Presbyterian Church began its journey to become a Stephen Ministry Congregation in the spring of 2021. After approval by the deacons and session, members were contacted to determine support for the ministry.

Our first three Stephen Leaders are Dorothy Boulton, Charre Symms, and Reid Spearman. They were selected and completed their training in October 2021, followed by a commissioning service on October 17. Contact the Stephen Leaders at StephenMinistry@catonsvillepres.org

Applications for those called to be Stephen Ministers are currently being accepted. Training for our first group of Stephen Ministers will begin in the Spring of 2022, with plans to begin providing care in mid-year.

What is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is a complete system for training and organizing laypeople to provide one-to-one care to hurting people in the congregation and community.

Stephen Leaders are church staff, lay leaders, and pastors trained by Stephen Ministries St. Louis to direct their congregation’s Stephen Ministry.

Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by their Stephen Leaders to offer care to hurting individuals.

Care receivers are individuals who meet with a Stephen Minister to receive care while experiencing a difficult time in their life.

To learn more, visit StephenMinistries.org and read about the history and hear stories from care receivers.

Why is it called “Stephen Ministry”?

Stephen Ministry draws its name from the book of Acts. In chapter 6, Stephen was chosen to provide caring ministry to those in need. Throughout history, caring ministry has been a hallmark of the Christian faith community—and is at the heart of all we do as Stephen Ministers.

How You Can Participate in Stephen Ministry

Becoming a Stephen Minister

If you feel called to become a Stephen Minister, discuss your decision with one of our Pastors or Stephen Leaders who can answer any questions you have and provide you with an application form.

After the application is submitted, you will have a meeting with the Stephen Leader(s). This will be an opportunity for you to fully understand the commitment and determine if this is the best place for you to serve at this time.

After you are selected as a Stephen Minister trainee, you will go through intensive training in providing Christ-centered care with other Stephen Minister candidates.

When training is complete, the Stephen Ministers are commissioned and ready to serve a care receiver. Stephen Ministers meet together twice a month for support and continuing education. Confidentiality is key to a successful Stephen Ministry. The names of care receivers and details about their issues are never revealed in the support group or to other individuals.

Finding those who need care

The pastors, deacons, session, and entire congregation play important roles in identifying potential care receivers. If you or someone you know is facing a difficult challenge, reach out to a Stephen Leader who will, in conjunction with our pastors, determine if this is a situation that is right for Stephen Ministry. One of the pastors will meet with the individual to determine if they are open to having a Stephen Minister. If they are in agreement that Stephen Ministry would be beneficial, a Stephen Minister is assigned to meet with the care receiver.

Supporting the ministry

There are several ways you can support Stephen Ministry at Catonsville Presbyterian Church:

  • Consider whether you may be called to serve as a Stephen Minister.
  • Pray for those who are called to be Stephen Ministers.
  • Pray for wisdom on the part of Stephen Leaders and Ministers.
  • Help identify and reach out to those who need care.
  • Provide financial support to the church general budget.

Learn More

Contact the Stephen Leaders: StephenMinistry@catonsvillepres.org

Read about the national Stephen Ministries: StephenMinistries.org

Stephen Ministry Events at CPC

  • Adult Ed session on Stephen Ministry—January 25, 2022
  • Early Application deadline for Stephen Ministers—January 31, 2022
  • Final Application deadline for Stephen Ministers—Spring 2022
  • Training Schedule—TBD

Stephen Ministry news

Testimonies from CPC

“I became a Stephen Minister at my church in California. It changed my life, bringing me closer to God as I saw him at work in the lives of my care receivers.

One of my care-receivers was a woman who was diagnosed with ALS.  She was a retired health-care worker and was operating a small senior-care facility in her home. Her only family in the area were her two adult sons, who she had adopted when they were teenagers. After about a year of meeting, she made the difficult decision to sell her home and move to Arizona to live with her sister. She passed away a few months later.

What did I do? I was just there. I couldn’t cure her disease or make decisions for her. But I was a safe space where she could talk about all her fears and hopes and concerns.”

-Charre, Environmental Consultant, Catonsville Presbyterian Church