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 August

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending our quarterly All -City Stephen Leaders meeting. The meeting is open to any Stephen leaders in Omaha and was particularly interesting due to the variety of participants. This is a time that leaders can discuss joys and also problems that have happened in their own Stephen Ministry programs. As a group, we affirm each other and try to help individual leaders with concerns and also celebrate withleaders as Stephen Ministry groups thrive.

There were three main topics shared at this meeting which were the following:

1. Churches who have well-trained, eager Stephen Ministers who are not being used as caregivers.
2. Congregations in north Omaha that have individuals that are in crisis and don’t have the resources to deal with the heavy load of need.
3. Suggestions for training ideas for Stephen Ministry teams.

The first topic was the concern that in some congregations, including ours, there are trained Stephen Ministers who have never had the opportunity to have a care receiver. There is real concern that ministers who have not had the opportunity to use their training will, at some point, leave the Stephen Ministry program. For churches who have put money into leadership training and time and effort into training Stephen Ministers, this is a sad situation. Having a Stephen Ministry program is a blessing, but only if our ministers are being used to care for others. If you need a Stephen Minister or know someone that needs a spiritual caregiver, please talk to Pastor Jenni or Becky Hines.

Secondly, North Omaha is experiencing more and more individuals who are needing a great deal of assistance. These people are experiencing deep financial problems and often times have multi-faceted situations which may or may not include addiction issues, health problems, relationship concerns etc. Please pray for these people, the pastors and others who are trying to help. Social service agencies are doing their best to help and keep up with the demand, but there is an abundance of need and many people requiring lots of help.

Last but not least, Stephen Ministers are always being trained in ways to help their care receivers. The city- wide meeting offered a plethora of training ideas which included learning how to utilize the Department of Human Services, the role of faith communities in suicide prevention, and learning about the group A Time to Heal (a group that supports individuals and their loved-ones after cancer treatment).

Blessings to All,

Becky Hines and Pastor Jenni Blake