First United Methodist Church became a Stephen Ministry congregation in 1990. Following the guiding principles of the Stephen Ministry organization, Stephen Ministers at FUMC are not counselors, but are trained Christian care givers. Their role is to listen and to care—not to counsel or advise. Lay members of our congregation participate in 50 hours of training in order to become Stephen Ministers. Once they have completed the initial training, Stephen Ministers continue to meet twice monthly for peer supervision and continuing education. Stephen Ministers must commit to two years of service. After those years, many Stephen Ministers recommit to serve additional years.
During 2010, Stephen Ministers from First Church provided over 300 hours of confidential care for individuals with a variety of concerns including loneliness, grief, chronic and terminal illnesses and forgiveness. Discussions between care receivers and their Stephen Ministers remain confidential. Even in supervision, the names of care receivers and specific details are never discussed.
Becoming a Stephen Minister at First United Methodist Church
Stephen Ministry training will equip you to show God’s mercy, care, and compassion to another who is hurting. You will walk beside your care receiver, pray for him or her, and help him or her work through life’s difficulties. If you would like to know more about the Stephen Ministry program at First United Methodist Church please contact the church office.
Seeking support from a Stephen Minister
If you would like to receive support from one of our trained Stephen Ministers, please contact either of our pastors or our Care Support staff member, Karen Senkowski, by calling the church office at 394-7231.
Read "The Presence" ... A deeper description of Stephen Ministry.
Watch a PBS video clip on Stephen Ministry here