Introducing Stephen Ministry
By the power of God's Spirit, we are enhancing and strengthening our historic commitment to caring ministry through a great ministry initiative in 2017 that will deepen and expand the person-to-person caregiving capacity of our congregation: Stephen Ministry!
Given our congregation’s deep history of caring ministry, the Stephen Ministry is a way for our congregation to deepen our training and mobilization of our members to provide Christ-centred care and support to people experiencing many different kinds of life difficulties, including grief, divorce, cancer, unemployment, a spiritual crisis, isolation, and other challenges. You can now see our “Stephen Ministry Certificate of Enrolment” posted outside the church office.
Our next step is to send a team of people to be trained as Stephen Leaders at a one-week Leaders Training Course, where they will learn how to begin and lead Stephen Ministry here at West Vancouver United Church. Our Stephen Leaders will return home with the knowledge and skills to train members to serve as lay caregivers — called Stephen Ministers — in our congregation, match those Stephen Ministers with people in need of care, and provide ongoing support to our Stephen Ministry.
Here are some steps you can take as we begin this journey together:
- Give thanks to God for the life transforming ministry ahead of us.
- Watch a couple of three minute videos on the right to learn more about the difference this caring ministry makes in people’s lives.
- Give thanks to God for those whom the Spirit has moved to become our first Stephen Leaders: Rev. Philip Newman, Ally Murray, Gwen Carpenter and Bob Pearmain. Pray for them as they attend the Leaders Training Course in Anaheim California on January 29th - February 4th.
- Pray for the Spirit to raise up men and women who will become our first Stephen Ministers. Prayerfully consider whether God might be calling you to this ministry.
In the weeks to come, you will be hearing much more about Stephen Ministry from me. If you have any questions about Stephen Ministry, what Stephen Ministers do, or how you could be involved with Stephen Ministry, please contact any one of our Stephen Leaders.
As we begin this ministry, we believe that God will be at work through it. May St. Paul's words in Ephesians 3:20 capture our excitement, our hopes, and our dreams for Stephen Ministry:
“Glory be to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.”
Rev. Philip Newman on behalf of the Stephen Leader Team