The first class of Stephen Ministers were Commissioned in September 1999. Since that first class of twelve, 26 more have been commissioned. Currently, five are actively engaged in this form of pastoral ministry.
Stephen Ministry is one-on-one Christian care-giving. This is the primary function of a Stephen Minister and is the focus of their 50 hours of training. Normally, when a Stephen Minister accepts the assignment of providing care for an individual care receiver, the two will meet one hour each week at a time convenient to both. The length of this care-giving 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 members who have private prayer requests at prayer stations, during distribution of Holy Communion (2nd Sunday of each month).
- Commune with shut-in members once a month.
- Support grieving members by sending copies of Journeying Through Grief booklets during the first year following a primary death.
- Visit weekly with patients at Carolinas Medical Center under the direction of the hospital Chaplain.
- Continue their education at monthly meetings.
- Engage in peer supervision twice each month.
If you are interested in participating in this ministry, either as a caregiver or as a care receiver, please call Pastor Tim at the church office or email Bonnie Eckerd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Representing St. Mark’s as Stephen Ministers are: Bonnie Eckerd, Lisa Barnette, Flora Chance, Lawanna Stoeckel, Rebecca Finamore, Laura Van Landingham and Tom Sehorn.