Stephen Ministry is a confidential, lay-caring ministry grounded in Jesus’ command to love one another. Those who are hurting receive support and love through one-to-one caring relationships. The ministry is named after Stephen, one of the first deacons in the early Christian church, commissioned by the apostles to care for the needs of people in the Christian community. This story is told in Acts 6.
Central has ten active Stephen Ministers and two more in training. Our Stephen Ministry coordinator is Mary Oakes. Central’s active Stephen Ministers are: Sue Arthur, Martha Giacobassi, Tom Gordon, Chris Hughes, Tom Huizenga, Mary Oakes, Pete VanHoesen, and Sue Zack.
Stephen Ministers make themselves available, free of charge, as Christian friends to those who have suffered loss or who are going through a difficult time. Stephen Ministers have been highly trained in the skill of listening, the art of companionship and the virtue of confidentiality.
A Stephen Minister is NOT a counselor or therapist. A Stephen Minister is NOT a problem-solver. A Stephen Minister is NOT a casual visitor. A Stephen Minister is a child of God who walks beside a person who is hurting. A Stephen Minister loves through listening.
Is life more than you can handle alone right now? Are you adjusting to a new job, change in marital status, a serious illness, the death of a loved one, or a recent move? Are you lonely? Would you like to have someone in your life who really cares? Are you struggling with faith in God? These are just some of the many circumstances that produce stress in our lives. Perhaps a Stephen Minister can help!