Stephen Ministry

What is a Stephen Minister?  A Stephen Minister is a Christian layperson who is trained to be a caregiver for a person going through a difficult time in her/his life.  A Stephen Minister is a person with a compassionate heart who has been equipped with the skills to listen, encourage, and offer support and prayers when someone is in need.  A Stephen Minister can be that help for you or someone you love in a confidential manner and in a non-judgmental way.  Referrals can come from a concerned friend, family member, clergy.

In what kind of circumstances might one need a Stephen Minister?  A Stephen Minister would provide one-to-one Christ-centered care to hurting people who might be experiencing grief, divorce, cancer, hospitalization, physical rehabilitation, chronic illness, job loss, loneliness, spiritual crisis, or other life struggles.

If you have a need, contact Rev. Jennifer Blake at  jblake@fpcomaha.org or Dr. Jonathan Sloan at  jsloan@fpcomaha.org.  They can also be reached by phone, (402) 345-5383.   The contact and ministry are totally confidential.

The Stephen Ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Omaha is affiliated with Stephen Ministry of St. Louis, MO.

 

Stephen Ministry News for July

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7

Some of you know that I have spent the last several months at home, at medical appointments, or in the hospital. It has been a rough beginning to 2017 for me and my beloved husband, Warren. With prayers, excellent surgeons, nurses, and great care at home I am doing much better. Thank you to those of you who have prayed for me and thought of me during this ordeal—I am, indeed, blessed!

During the many quiet days at home, I have had a lot of time to think about God and where He is in my life. At first, I was very angry with God because my health issues were all directly related to a badly botched-up hysterectomy in 2008. I had worked hard to move on from my previous medical nightmare and was angry that God would allow something so difficult and painful to happen to me and my family again. I felt as though I was being punished for something that I had no control over—I wondered over and over again as to what I had done to deserve such a painful sentence. I related to the Book of Job in the Bible and started thinking that I too was living in the land of Uz. Every day I felt as though I was not loved by God and drifted further into myself; separating myself from the support of church and friends.

This, however, is not how my story continued to go. There were some very supportive notes and cards that came from many of you…these kept me going when I was feeling down. I was sent flowers and beautiful plants to look at when I couldn’t go outside for a spring time walk. My favorite surgeon visited me daily in the hospital and even on Sunday evenings. Finally, my twin sister, Barbara, came for the last week I was in the hospital and for the first week I was at home. These were the signs I needed! God had not abandoned me—he had been with me all the time! He was embodied by the skilled doctors, caring nurses, people who prayed, wrote notes, and called—I hadn’t been without God after all!

As each of you go about your daily lives, please remember to be present to those needing care. If you notice someone who hasn’t been attending church, call them. Remind them that they are being thought of and prayed for.

With Prayers of Thanksgiving!

Becky Hines and Dr. Jenni Blake