When I was called to serve at 1st Presbyterian in Fernandina Beach one of the items on my job description was to re-initiate the Stephen Ministry which had blessed so many persons in the past. Since my arrival we have trained over 20 persons in the exceptional Stephen Series of Care Giving. These well-trained Christians have enthusiastically engaged in this ministry of bearing one another’s burdens. Six Stephen Ministers have given care to those experiencing loss of a loved one. Over eight of them have ministered to persons with various health challenges. One Stephen minister helped a person incarcerated and another gave care to someone experiencing depression. Three of those helped were out of work, another three had internal family challenges and two were going through divorce. This is but a partial list of the skilled and compassionate care giving that has gone on these past three plus years.
The Stephen Ministry is one caring person confidentially coming alongside another person going through a difficult time in their life. Stephen Ministers receive over 50 hours of skill-building and caring practice. They commit themselves to at least two years of ministry and participate in an on-going support group with other Stephen Ministers. I am grateful that most of our faithful Stephen Ministers have more than fulfilled their caring commitment. But who will step into the gap now and volunteer to be trained and serve in this outstanding caring ministry? Please prayerfully consider how God might be calling you to serve others in this dynamic and effective way. We hope to offer the Stephen Ministry Training again in September-October-November of this year. We meet on a week-day evening and a couple Saturdays agreeable to those being trained. Contact one of the pastors or the Stephen Leader, Mac Noden to indicate your interest. Let us keep the faith and the Stephen Ministry going.
-Associate Pastor Doug Ganyo