What is Stephen Ministry?
Confidential Christian Care
Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry using the Stephen Series system. St. Francis has a trained leadership team to educate, equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are experiencing loss or dramatic changes in their lives.
Three groups of people makeup Stephen Ministry: Stephen Ministers, Care Receivers and Stephen Leaders.
Stephen Ministers are laypeople of St. Francis’s congregation who discern and apply to become a Stephen Minister, and then accepted into the program are trained to provide high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. A Stephen Minister usually meets with a care receiver once a week for about an hour. Twice a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education.
A Care Receiver is a St. Francis parishioner going through difficult life changes. They can request a Stephen Minister who will “walk” with them through their faith and healing journey via one of our priests, or by contacting the Stephen Leaders (see tab on requesting a minister). However, anyone (staff or fellow parishioner), can refer someone from our parish they feel would benefit from a Stephen Minister to our priests or by contacting the Leadership team.
- The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential.
- Men are matched with men; women with women.
- When a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can provide, the Stephen Ministry team makes a referral to an appropriate mental health professional or other community resource.
Stephen Leaders attend a Leader’s Training Course—a one-week conference. At the conference they learn how to use Stephen Ministry resources and the methodology to instruct and train Stephen Ministers.
Stephen Leaders develop awareness in the parish of the ministry to recruit and train Stephen Ministers, and to alert parishioners that a care giving service is available to provide them aid. A Stephen Leader meets with potential care receivers to match care receivers with Stephen Ministers and they provide Stephen Ministers with ongoing supervision and continuing education.
No loss is too old.
No struggle is too tiny.
No one should suffer alone.
Sometimes, we just need someone to listen.
Sometimes, we just need someone to be there.
Sometimes, we just need someone to reflect God’s love.
That someone is a St. Francis Stephen Minister!
St. Francis Parish has 26 ministers available,
one of them will walk with you through your time
of loss or when you're searching for answers.