At Holy Trinity’s annual meeting on Sunday, January 22, Council is seeking affirmation from the congregation to include Stephen Ministers among the caring ministries of the congregation. As a supplement to, rather than replacement of, pastoral care, Stephen Ministers are trained to provide confidential, extended one-on-one Christ-like care for persons who are working through a significant loss or transition in their lives, such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a divorce and so on. Local Stephen Leaders receive 20 hours of training for initiating, implementing, staffing and maintaining the ministry in their congregation. Those Stephen Leaders then lead 50 hours of training for Care Givers to prepare for their service to Care Receivers from both the congregation and community-at-large. The training is followed by monthly meetings to provide on-going support for Care Givers in their service.
In order to advance Holy Trinity’s engagement in what it perceives to be a worthwhile addition to our caring ministries, last year Church Council approved training for our first two Stephen Ministry Leaders: Director for Equipping Ministers Laura Hudson and Pastor Steve Wachtman. Council has also identified four people with the gifts and interest to serve as Stephen Minister Care Givers: Ron Benedick, Sharon Kokot, Steve Rice and Cathy Steffen.
A motion at this year’s Annual Meeting seeks to affirm the congregation’s involvement with Stephen Ministry in general and commit its engagement with the ministry going forward.