Stephen Ministry Comes to St. Matthew’s

On May 7th, Ted Sawyer, a long-time member of St. Matthew’s, was commissioned as a Stephen Minister at a ceremony at First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville. This is no small feat. To achieve this highly responsible position, Ted had to successfully complete 50 hours of intense training over a course of 8 months. Ted is now prepared to offer the care-giving services of a Stephen Minister to his fellow parishioners.
At that same ceremony, Susan Jung and Priscilla Trescott were officially named leaders of the new program. To become Stephen Leaders, Susan and Priscilla had to successfully complete a rigorous 50-hour specialized training for leaders. This training qualifies Susan and Priscilla to oversee the program (along with Mother Liz) and to train other Stephen Ministers. Both Susan and Priscilla have also completed the 50 hour Stephen Ministry program twice and have served as Stephen Ministers at other Episcopal churches.
This ceremony also officially launches the Stephen Ministry program at St. Matt’s. Ted, Susan, and Priscilla are now available to offer the distinctively Christian care giving they have learned to the members of St. Matthew’s.
What is Stephen Ministry all about? Who does it apply to?
We live in a fast-paced and fragmented world.  People suffer crises and tragedies, but they often don’t have caregivers they can count on. Family members and friends may be scattered across the continent-or even the world.  Neighborhoods rarely offer the support they once did.  So when a crisis or challenge hits, many people have no one to turn to and end up facing it alone.
Congregations today are overwhelmed with needs for care-the needs of their own members and the needs of people in the surrounding community.
  • People who are hospitalized
  • Those who are grieving
  • Those suffering loneliness or discouragement
  • People who are divorced or separated
  • Those who are dying-and their families and friends
  • Unemployed persons
  • People fighting cancer or another debilitating illness
  • People providing long-term care to a loved one
  • Those dealing with the losses and challenges of relocating
  • Parents whose children have left home
  • Those who are homebound, convalescing, or rehabilitating
  • New parents
  • Single parents
  • Victims of disasters
  • Those in a spiritual crisis
 The list goes on. Our wonderful and caring Mother Liz cannot attend to everyone without assistance.
Each of us faces periods of crisis, transition or difficulty.  During these times, a caring relationship with someone who will faithfully listen, empathize, pray with and for them, and encourage them with Christ’s love and care can be a tremendous benefit. The Stephen Minister will meet with the hurting person once a week for about an hour. During this time, the Stephen Minister listens to the care receiver without judgement or a “fix it” mentality. Ours is a process-oriented form of care and support. We walk alongside you as you move through tough times. We take a vow to God to keep the relationship and anything said completely confidential. All Stephen Ministers are paired with care receivers of the same gender. Our services are available only to those 18 or over.
Should you be interested or if you know of someone who may benefit from having a Stephen Minister, please contact the church office.
For more information about Stephen Ministry at St. Matthew’s, and a link to the application to become a Stephen Minister, click here.
Stephen Ministries also has a great website:  www.stephenministries.org where you can hear testimonies about the life changing effect Stephen Ministers provide to those who are hurting and in need of care.



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