St. Mark’s has been a covenant Stephen Ministry Congregation since September 1998.
The first class of Stephen Ministers were Commissioned in September 1999. Since that first class of twelve, twenty four more have been commissioned. Currently eight are actively engaged in this form of pastoral ministry.
Stephen Ministry is one-on-one Christian caregiving. This is the primary function of a Stephen Minister and is the focus of their fifty (50) hours of training. Normally, when a Stephen Minister accepts the assignment of providing care for an individual care receiver, the two meet one hour each week at a time convenient to both. The length of this caregiving relationship is determined by the two involved. This care is not limited to members of this congregation.
A Stephen Minister is not a therapist, but someone who listens, discusses spiritual matters and prays with their care receiver. This care is confidential.
In addition to this primary role Stephen Ministers also:
- Visit members in acute-care hospitals on weekends by rotation.
- Pray with member who have private prayer requests at prayer stations, during distribution of Holy Communion the second Sunday of each month.
- Commune with shut-in members once a month.
- Support grieving members by sending copies of Journeying Through Grief booklets, four in number, during the first year following a primary death.
- Visit weekly with patients at Carolinas Medical Center Rehabilitation Hospital under the direction of the hospital Chaplain in a pilot project.
- Continue their education at monthly meetings.
- Engage in peer supervision twice each month.
Anyone interested in participating in this ministry , either as a care giver or as a care receiver, may contact Pastor Brown or Pastor Hartner at 704-375-9185 or Stephen Leader Sarah Ingle at 704-529-6656.
Representing St. Mark’s as Stephen Ministers are Lisa Barnette, Flora Chance, Sarah Dagenhart, Bonnie Eckerd, Bill Schwartz, and Lucas Zubrod.