Stephen Ministries' Core Purpose is summed up in the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: "To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ" (Ephesians 4:12-13).
Stephen Ministry began in 1975 when the Rev. Kenneth C. Haugk, Ph.D., a pastor and clinical psychologist, trained nine members of his congregation in St. Louis to be Stephen Ministers. They assisted him in providing Christian care and support to people in the congregation and community who were experiencing life difficulties.
The logo Stephen Ministry congregations use consists of a cross and circle, together with a broken person and a whole person. The broken person stands behind the cross, symbolizing the brokenness in our lives as a result of our sin. The whole person stands in front of the cross because it is through the cross of Jesus that we again are made whole. The circle symbolizes both the wholeness we receive through Christ and God’s unending love for us.
o Stephen Ministers are not counselors. They are trained Christian caregivers. Their role is to listen and care—not counsel or advice. Please do not refer to them as counselors.
o Stephen Ministry is a supervised ministry. Stephen Ministers engage in twice-monthly supervision to ensure that they are providing the best-quality Christian care.
o Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry. What a care receiver tells a Stephen Minister remains confidential.
o Stephen Ministers do not make cold calls. They are assigned only to people who would like to receive the care of a Stephen Minister.
The Stephen Ministry team at St. Simons UMC consists of 14 trained members, which includes 5 Stephen Leaders. Each Communion Sunday, team members are available following each service to talk with anyone who comes into the Chapel (following the 8:30 and 11:00 services) or into the “kitchen” area of the Thorpe Building following the 9:45 contemporary service.
Anyone wanting more information can call the church office at 912-638-3317 and be referred to a Stephen Leader. Confidentiality is strictly maintained.
For more information about StephenMinistries – go to http://www.stephenministries.org/