Stephen Ministry

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If we go out in Christ’s name to speak for Him, there will always be one with us whom no man can withstand. If only we remembered this, it would make us brave, relentless in speaking the truth.
-J. R. Miller in 1909, exhorting us all to be more like St. Stephen, the first deacon and martyr for Christianity.

In September 2012, with the approval of Pastor Fr. Dan Leary, St. Andrew Apostle Parish launched the Stephen Ministry, which provides congregations with the training, resources, and ongoing support to organize and equip a team of lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—in the congregation. They are trained and supervised by Stephen Leaders, selected by our pastor and fully trained and commissioned by Stephen Ministries, Inc.

Stephen Ministers provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care and support to people experiencing life difficulties, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, illness, job loss, loneliness, disability, or relocation, among others. Stephen Ministers work with all members of the community and can support the clergy to connect community members to care and services provided by the Church.

Saint Andrew Apostle parishioners, Faye McAneny, Marianne Sibal, and Deacon Mike Bond, commissioned by Stephen Ministries as Stephen Leaders, have trained and commissioned forty laypersons in the parish to accompany those in our community while they are experiencing some challenge in their lives, for example: loss of a loved one, illness, unemployment, divorce, parenting, elder care challenges, loneliness, military deployment or a spiritual crisis. However, as Care Receivers, their families, and friends spread the word about the understanding, compassion, and effectiveness of the counsel and advice they’ve received from Stephen Ministers, we must continue to train new Stephen Ministers.

According to Stephen Ministry Leader Faye McAneny, the initiative has been well received by the congregation. “We are so pleased with how well the Ministry has been going and how many members of the community we have been able to help”, she said. “Through the Stephen Ministers and under the guidance of our clergy, the congregation and community can experience a new level of spiritual care giving.”

God is calling us to support Stephen Ministry. This may mean accepting care for yourself, referring another to receive care, praying for the ministry’s success, or serving as a professional consultant to the group. If you have a mental health, medical, legal or financial background, you can be a valuable resource to our Stephen Ministers as they provide care.

Also, if you are a parishioner who feels called to the discipleship of pastoral care—desiring to become a good listener, empathetic and compassionate, supporting without pushing, and able to devote about an hour each week to a Care Receiver while keeping everything extremely confidential—we invite you to apply to be a Stephen Minister to serve those in our parish who need someone like you to walk with them through a difficult time in their life.

For more information, contact Stephen Leaders:
Faye McAneny (301) 806-0960, fayemcaneny@hotmail.com
Marianne Sibal (240) 483-6583, mariannesibal@gmail.com
Deacon Mike Bond (301) 582-8249, mbond@adwdeacon.org

What Our Care Caregivers Are Saying:

  • As commissioned Stephen Ministers, may we always be aware of the One who goes with us to be with our care-receivers. There are not two gathered but three each and every time we meet.”
  • “The skills I have learned have been very helpful in my family and work life as well.”
  • “I find I get as much as I give and more.”

What Our Care Receivers Are Saying:

  • “My Stephen Minister really listens. I like talking to …her.”
  • “The relationship with … is working in my life. I am grateful to the program for bringing us together.”
  • “I don’t feel alone at church anymore. This outreach by the parish is much appreciated.”
  • “The Stephen Minister challenges me to think differently.”
  • “We pray and laugh and cry together.”

What Our Pastor is saying:

“As people are facing various issues and struggles in their lives, they are also seeking the merciful healing of Christ. Stephen Ministers have allowed the Holy Spirit to work through them for souls to encounter the healing touch of Christ.”

“Love one another as I have loved you.”-John 13: 34

“…the greatest among you must be my servant”- Mt 20:27

“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve”-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Love one another as I have loved you.”-John 13: 34

Learn more from this introductory video:

https://www.stephenministries.org/ry video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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