Last Sunday amid much excitement, Messiah’s Stephen Ministry and friends, pictured here with Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong, attended the ribbon-cutting Grand Opening of the Madison Hospital. The 60 bed facility (all private rooms) officially opened Tuesday morning. Messiah’s Stephen Ministries hope to begin hospital visits at the new hospital and decided to take advantage of the ribbon cutting to visit the new state of the art facility.
A Stephen Minister is a congregation member who is recruited, selected, trained, commissioned, and supervised by Stephen Leaders to provide one-to-one Christian care to persons in need on behalf of the congregation. Stephen Ministers typically are assigned one care receiver at a time and meet with that person for about one hour each week. Stephen Ministers usually serve for two years, which includes an initial 50 hours of training followed by twice-monthly supervision and continuing education sessions.
Stephen Ministry began in 1975. The Stephen Series is now in more than 11,000 congregations from more than 150 Christian denominations, in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, and 23 other countries. More than 60,000 pastors, church staff, and laypersons have been trained as Stephen Leaders (those who oversee and direct Stephen Ministry in the congregation) at a Stephen Series Leader’s Training Course. More than 500,000 people have trained as Stephen Ministers in their congregations.
More than a million people have received care from a Stephen Minister in a formal one-to-one Stephen Ministry caring relationship, and millions of others have received care from Stephen Ministers in informal ways. If you would like to learn more about Stephen Ministries at Messiah Lutheran Church, please contact Claire Strand.