"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28
If you are looking for a Stephen Minister or know someone who is, please visit fumcr.com/stephenministry.
Stephen Ministry Volunteers
Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. - Galatians 6:2
Following training, Stephen Ministers are commissioned and commit to serve for at least two years through:
• Meeting with an assigned care receiver at least weekly;
• Twice-monthly small group supervision; and
• Continuing education.
A new class of caring men and women forms each year. Training is every Tuesday evening, 7-9 pm, September through February, to complete 50 hours of instruction. Following training and commissioning, these caregivers will support hurting people in a one-to-one, confidential environment.
For more information, contact Dr. April Johnson Bristow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972.996.0139, or talk to any of the current Stephen Ministers. Look for their blue name tags in church on Sunday.
Download, fill out and return to Rev. April Johnson Bristow
- by email to email@example.com;
- by turning to FUMCR office during the week; or
- by turning in at the Welcome Desk in Coleman Family Hall on a Sunday morning.
Thinking About Training to be a Stephen Minister?
Read below to learn about some experiences of Stephen Ministers.
It was just a few words written on a Christmas card, but such a blessing to this Stephen Minister. "Thank you for walking with me through this difficult year. I love and appreciate you." Who among us has not had those times in life when the road is littered with boulders and patches of black ice? We turn it over to the Lord, and the Lord sends a friend, family member or stranger, such as a Stephen Minister, to hold a hand, listen to a heartbreak and to bring Christ's healing love to those who are hurting. From a young, single mother, I can talk to you about things I cannot tell my mother. You are such a blessing to me. But actually I am the one blessed ... to be a Stephen Minister, to be a part of the Caring Ministry of our church and to honor those who walked that road with me.
FUMCR is a large church and the ministerial staff cannot reach everyone. Stephen Ministers help fill the gap. I want to help my church, and Stephen Ministry became the way I could do so because the training reduced my own hesitancy and gave me more confidence to try. My first care receiver helped me overcome any anxiety because she was so easy to talk to and it was easy for me to listen. The future scared her and so she talked, I listened and we prayed. I always receive more than I give. This ministry makes a difference in people’s lives.
When I became part of Stephen Ministry, I discovered God could use some of my gifts and talents. I had no idea how rewarding it could be to walk with people who are hurting and then see how healing through talking, listening and praying can happen. It is amazing how discovering and using your gifts can be helpful to others and also give you purpose.
Stephen Ministry is designed to offer care to individuals who need a caring person to support them as they deal with a life crisis. I was trained as a Stephen Minister to do just this, and over the past 7 years I have offered support and established relationships with three different care receivers. One was going through a divorce, one was dealing with the death of a loved one and the other had a serious health issue. I believe I helped all three deal with their situations by being present, listening and praying. A year ago I faced some serious issues with my adult son. I decided I needed someone to listen to me. I asked for and received a Stephen Minister. She listened dispassionately and lovingly and helped me make decisions so I would no longer enable my son. She also helped keep me sane. It has been so interesting and helpful to me to experience Stephen Ministry inside (as a care giver) and outside (as a care receiver). I’m so thankful that out church supports this wonderful program.
Stephen Minister Resources
Check with Karen Varner or Dr. April Johnson Bristow for a list of care notes available to Stephen Ministers.
FAITH CHALLENGES, Leroy Howe's blog, is no longer available.