Is anybody there? Does anybody care?
“When people are in pain, it’s especially important to surround them with healing love.” —David A. Paap
The Stephen Ministers of Ascension Lutheran Church are there, and we care. If you are hurting, whether due to the death of someone close to you, the loss of a job, a divorce, chronic illness or other life crisis, we want to provide to you the support of a caring Christian friend. And we do that via this confidential ministry that protects the identity of those receiving care and maintains the privacy of what is said in each caring relationship.
Ascension has been a Stephen Ministry congregation since 1998. What does that mean? It means that we have equipped lay people (almost 80 so far) through 50 hours of training to provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. We have also sent people to week-long training sessions to become Stephen Leaders, those who oversee and direct our Stephen Ministry.
“Your presence is worth much, much more than words. Your presence communicates to the other that he or she is valued, precious, beloved. Your presence brings not only the gift of yourself into the relationship but also, in and through you, the gift of God.” —Ken Haugk, in Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart: How to Relate to Those Who Are Suffering
Stephen Ministers are not counselors, nor do they take the place of pastors. Pastors will always be on the front lines of care. But there is always a need for ongoing, one-to-one care, often more than pastors can effectively meet, and Stephen Ministers are God’s instruments of care with a listening, loving presence.
The journey to wholeness includes three: the person in need (care receiver), the caregiver (Stephen Minister) and God. If you, or someone you know, could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, or if you are interested in possibly becoming a Stephen Minister or leader, or have any questions about Stephen Ministry, please talk with one of our Stephen Leaders: Susanne Hopkins, Karen Shepersky, or Pastor Steve Herder (805) 495-0406.
Log on to www.stephenministries.org or call (314) 428-2600 to learn more.