Bereavement ministry is a special lay outreach to console and support individuals who are mourning the death of a loved one. In times of loss and grief our staff and volunteers offer families compassion and support through assisting with funeral arrangements, and officiating funerals, wakes, or memorial services. Our pastoral care team provides comfort and encouragement to family members.
Whether it is because of guilt, shame, or fear of rejection, many of us suffer alone and choose not to ask for help. But suffering alone is not God's intent for us. We are called to "Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."(Galatians 6:2).
If you are facing difficulties in life, open your heart to God's love and grace through another person. Stephen Ministry offers the gift of a confidential relationship with someone who will listen to you and provide you with the care and encouragement you need, while Christ works in you both, giving His love and peace.
Contact us confidentially at StephenMinistry@odpcec.org.
How To Become a Stephen Minister
The next information session and recruitment process will begin Summer 2012.
Contact a Stephen Leader at StephenMinistry@odpcec.org for further inquiries or check out our FAQs.
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STEPHEN MINISTRY FAQ
What Exactly is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry began in 1975, when Kenneth Haugk, a pastor and clinical psychologist, trained members of his congregation to provide distinctive Christian care. Since then, the Stephen Ministries organization has helped churches from all over the world implement Stephen Ministry, and more than a million people have received care from a formal Stephen Ministry caring relationship.
Specifically, Stephen Ministry provides confidential, one-to-one Christian care to individuals facing divorce, illness, job loss, loneliness, relocation, and other life difficulties through a team of trained and supervised laypersons, called Stephen Ministers.
Why the Name Stephen?
The name Stephen comes from Saint Stephen, who was the first lay person commissioned by the Apostles to provide care to those in need, as recorded in Acts 6.
Who Is Involved?
Stephen Leaders oversee and direct our Stephen Ministry. They attend a week-long training course that address the administration and supervisory aspects of Stephen Ministry. Their responsibilities include recruiting, selecting, training, organizing and supervising Stephen Ministers, as well as identifying people in need of care and matching them with a Stephen Minister.
Stephen Ministers are the caregivers. They have been through 50 hours of training in Christian caregiving, including general topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, confidentiality, assertiveness, and using Christian resources in caregiving. In addition, their training covers specialized topics such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved, and aging.
Care Receivers are the recipients of Stephen Ministers' care. They are people from our church or community who are experiencing difficulty in their lives. Stephen Ministers meet with their Care Receivers, on average, once a week for about an hour for as long as the Care Receiver will benefit from the relationship.
What do Stephen Ministers do?
• Meet with their assigned Care Receiver on a regular basis.
• Provide encouragement and support for the Care Receiver.
• Listen and accept using a Christ-centered model.
• Assist the Care Reciever in processing their thoughts and feelings.
• Pray with and for their Care Receiver, keeping God in the forefront.
• Maintain appropriate boundaries and confidentiality.
• Participate in regular peer group supervision to ensure the highest quality of care.
• Refer to a mental health professional or other care ministry when appropriate.
Are Stephen Ministers Counselors?
Stephen Ministers are not counselors; they are trained lay caregivers. Their role is to listen and care - not to give advice or counsel. Stephen Ministers are also trained to recognize when a Care Receiver's need exceeds what they can provide. When that happens, they work with Care Receivers to help them find the appropriate care they need.
Can I Trust a Stephen Minister?
Trust is essential to a caring relationship. Confidentiality is one of the most important principles of Stephen Ministry, and what a Care Receiver tells his or her Stephen Minster is kept in strictest confidence.