- Faith In Action
- Faith Formation
Our congregation’s Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential one-to-one care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.
A Stephen Minister Is…
- A child of God who walks beside a person who is hurting.
- A congregant with gifts for caregiving who was carefully selected to serve in this role.
- A layperson who has received 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care.
- A caring friend who listens, cares, prays, supports, and encourages.
- Someone who will “be there” for his or her care receiver, meeting faithfully for about an hour each week, for as long as there’s need.
Stephen Ministers Care for People Facing Tough Times
We all experience challenges in life—times when we could benefit from the support of a caring friend. Stephen Ministers are ready to provide the emotional and spiritual care we need when faced with a crisis or difficulty such as:
- Loss of a loved one
- Divorce or separation
- Loneliness or discouragement
- Spiritual crisis
- Unemployment or a job crisis
- A terminal illness
- Birth, adoption, miscarriage, or infertility
- A chronic illness
- Recovery after an accident or disaster
- And many more
Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry. The identity of those receiving care and what takes place in each caring relationship remains private.
Why do we need Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry multiplies ministry. Our pastor will always be on the front lines of care, especially during times of crisis. But there are always many more needs for ongoing, one-to-one care than he can effectively meet by himself.
Stephen Ministry equips people for ministry. Gifted lay people are trained to support and extend the care that pastors continue to provide.
Stephen Ministers reach out with God’s love to people who are hurting—both congregation members and nonmembers alike.
Stephen Ministry is Your Ministry
You play an important role in our Stephen Ministry. Here’s what you can do:
- Pray for our Stephen Ministry.
- Accept care from a Stephen Minister during your time of need.
- Tell a friend, neighbor, coworker, or relative who is hurting about our Stephen Ministry.
- If you are a good listener and a compassionate person, prayerfully consider becoming a Stephen Minister.
Stephen Leaders train our Stephen Ministers and act as Referral Coordinators. They have attended an intensive Stephen Ministry conference in order to oversee and direct our Stephen Ministry. They also provide continuing education for our Stephen Ministers.
There are two ways that a request for a Stephen Minister can be made. The person needing care can contact the Referral Coordinators directly. Or, with the permission of the person needing care, any church member can contact the Referrals Coordinators on behalf of that person. We ask that referrals not be made without the permission of the person needing care.
If you—or someone you know—could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister; if you are interested in possibly becoming a Stephen Minister; or, if you have any other questions about Stephen Ministry, talk with one of our Stephen Leaders.
Our Stephen Leaders
- Rev. Herb Miller, Referral Coordinator ([email protected] or 718-768-3093)
- Linda Mandracchia, Referral Coordinator ([email protected] or 917-951-6115)
- Nancy Wilks, Stephen Leader ([email protected]) or 917-671-7714