This weekend is Stephen Minister Recruitment Weekend. Stephen Ministries is a Christian educational organization that was founded in 1975. It provides training and resources to thousands of congregations and organizations worldwide.
The Stephen Ministry program has been active at the Church of St. Edward for 35 years. We currently have 25 Stephen Ministers at our parish, some of whom have graciously agreed to speak at Masses in order to share their love for this ministry. The following information about Stephen Ministry is provided by the national Stephen Ministry organization:
Pastors will always be on the front lines of care, especially during times of crisis. But there are many more needs for ongoing, one-to-one care than pastors can effectively meet by themselves. Stephen Ministry provides a biblical solution, equipping God’s
people for ministry. Gifted lay people are trained to support and extend care to individuals who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.
A Stephen Minister is:
A child of God who walks beside a person who is hurting.
A parish member with gifts for care giving.
A lay person who has received 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care.
A caring, Christian friend who listens, cares, prays, supports and encourages.
Someone who will “be there” for his or her care receiver, meeting faithfully for about an hour each week and for as long as there is a need.
In the words of one of our Stephen Ministers, “Stephen Ministers are not counselors or therapists. We do not cure. We care and let Christ do the curing.” If you have ever considered becoming a member of this ministry a training will be offered beginning in January. Please contact me in the parish office as soon as possible to learn more.
In addition to recruiting and training new Stephen Ministers, we are also sponsoring an all parish event this Thursday (October 20th). Join us for “Heartfelt Mercy: A Spirituality of Mercy” at 7:00pm in the social hall. Fr. Jim Deegan will be our special guest. I hope to see you there!
Dc. Jim DeShane
Deacon, Director of Pastoral Care & Marriage Coordinator