. . . an extension of pastoral care. It is a religious and educational system of training and organizing lay persons for caring ministry. It was named for Stephen, one of the first deacons in the early church who was commissioned by the disciples to care for the needs of the community.
It is one-to-one ministry by trained, caring lay members of this congregation.
It is a response to Christ's instruction to:
"Love one another . . .
as I have loved you."
People hurt and we find out in one of many ways a pastor is contacted, a church member calls, a pew card drops in the collection plate, a church staff person hears of a need, or a Stephen Minister just sees a need and we respond. At that point a referral is made to a Stephen Minister and confidential care can begin by a phone call or a personal visit. It is then that trust is built and people can begin to sort things out together as love heals and wholeness is restored.
A Stephen Minister is a lay person, man or woman, who makes a two-year commitment to this ministry through training, on-going supervision, and continuing education. These people are commissioned to do in-depth Christian care giving on behalf of East Liberty Presbyterian Church.
We want to emphasize that a Stephen Minister is not. . .
Fifty hours of intensive training in such helping skills as:
Other specialized "needs":
Following training Stephen Ministers are commissioned by our church into active, caring ministry.
The Stephen Ministers work in continual consultation with Dr. Lois Lang, a psychologist and Pastoral Associate for Stephen Ministry & Homebound Visitation, and the Stephen leaders. They meet twice each month during their term of ministry for the purpose of continuing education and group supervision. During the sessions they receive support and help through sharing of problems and concerns while maintaining confidentiality.
Stephen Ministers abide by the rule that, "All transactions, all observations or impressions, and all records made concerning the person are and will remain confidential."
An important fact to remember is that one of the pastors has been involved in working with families and persons in crisis before a Stephen Minister is assigned.
When a Stephen Minister makes a call, he/she does so on behalf of the pastor and congregation. Through the Stephen Ministry program pastoral care is extended.
Our Stephen Ministers are trained to be compassionate, confidential listeners to persons experiencing special needs. If you think we can help at this time, contact Dr.Lois Lang or one of the other pastors, 412-441-3800.
The Cathedral of Hope