Stephen Ministry: Christ Caring for People through People
Specially trained parishioners called Stephen Ministers are available to visit with and be present to parishioners and Prospect residents as they navigate through life’s difficult challenges. Stephen Ministers listen, care, support, encourage, walk alongside and pray with and for a person who is feeling a bit overwhelmed with their circumstances. And in the midst of this confidential, one-to-one, caring relationship, they help that person experience the hope and healing power of Christ’s love.
Stephen Ministry is a worldwide ministry of Christian caregiving. It equips lay parishioners to provide one-to-one compassionate Christian care. It provides a way for us as a community of faith to reach out to people in our community who need support in dealing with life issues and difficulties.
St. Anthony Church became a Stephen Ministry parish in the spring of 2016 and graduated its first class of Stephen Ministers in April 2017.
- Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of training to develop and grow their skills to provide this type of compassionate care. They also receive supervision and continuing education throughout the course of their service in this ministry. They visit regularly with their “care receiver” to provide a caring and compassionate presence to listen, support, encourage and provide prayerful hope to someone struggling with the demands of life. Walking with someone through their painful journey is a powerful way to help them experience God’s love and mercy in action. All information is kept strictly confidential.
- Stephen Ministers are not counselors or therapists. They are equipped to provide a caring presence for people struggling with issues such as the loss of a loved one, a difficult health diagnosis, hospitalization, layoff, relocation, divorce, a spiritual crisis, caregiver stress, first time parents, empty nest, retirement adjustment, or any of countless other life challenges.
The following is a quote from an individual who received care from a St Anthony Stephen Minister:
"I don’t know how to express my appreciation for your Stephen Ministry program. My angel came to me at a very stressful time in my life. She was truly God sent. This ministry is so very meaningful and helpful. What a selfless calling this is and I benefitted more than I can say! This Christian Stewardship is invaluable."
If you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister, would like to avail yourself of these services, or know someone who might benefit from this type of care, please contact us at 203-758-4056 x26, [email protected] .
We would be happy to assist you. Comments or questions are welcome.