The St. John the Apostle Stephen Ministry uses the Stephen Ministry system of training to help provide free confidential Christian care giving to members of our congregation and our community who are struggling with such issues as grief, loneliness, illness, or a crisis in job, marriage, or family. Those receiving care from the SJA Stephen Ministry benefit because they receive prayer and support throughout the crisis they face. Stephen Ministers benefit through the spiritual growth they experience from being involved in this meaningful ministry. Our pastors benefit because the caring ministry at St. John the Apostle is expanded and fewer people will slip through the cracks.
Do you know someone in need of some extra support and or care? Are they going through a difficult time in their life? Maybe it would be helpful to have someone walk and talk with them during this difficult time. Men meet with men and women meet with women. An SJA Stephen Minister would be assigned and meet with the care receiver for an hour a week for as long as the care receiver wishes to meet. A Stephen Minister is not a counselor, or therapist, does not provide babysitting services, or meals. The job of a Stephen Minister is to listen, love and pray for the care receiver. The Stephen Ministry team is a trained listening ministry.
You can refer yourself, a friend, or anyone else you know who is going through a difficult time so that special care can be given when it is needed most. Just remember if you are referring someone, obtain their permission before the Stephen Ministry is contacted.
A Stephen Ministry member is a caring Christian lay person who, on a one-to-one basis, listens, understands, accepts, prays for and with a Care Receiver who is working through a crisis or a difficult situation in their life. A potential Stephen Minister receives 50 hours of training, continues to meet once a month for supervision and continuing education and makes an initial commitment of two years.
Stephen Ministry began in 1975 when Dr. Kenneth Haugk, a Lutheran pastor and psychologist, saw that there were many more needs for care in his congregation than he alone could meet. Dr. Haugk drew from his background in pastoral care and clinical psychology to train nine of his parishioners to provide biblically based psychologically sound, one-on-one care. The ministry was so successful that it quickly drew the attention of other congregations. Today more than 10,000 congregations from 150 denominations are involved in Stephen Ministry.
The Stephen Ministry logo is intended to convey what the St. John the Apostle Stephen Ministry is all about. The logo consists of a cross and circle together with a broken person and a whole person. The logo's most dominant feature is the cross of Jesus. It reminds us that Christ is at the center of all St. John the Apostle Stephen Ministry relationships. The broken person behind the cross symbolizes the brokenness in our lives, a person in need of healing, a person in need of Christ's love and care. The whole person, a person who has received the love and care of Jesus, stands in front of the cross because it is only through the cross of Jesus that we are made whole. The circle symbolizes both the wholeness we receive through Christ and God's unending love for us. God's love surrounds us, holds us, and heals us, with the cross of Jesus at the center of that love. The logo is designed to show that the path from brokenness to greater wholeness is through Jesus Christ and the ministry of Christ's people, including the ministry of the St. John the Apostle Stephen Ministry Team.
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