PCTR’s Stephen Ministry program began eleven years ago to expand the pastoral care of our family of faith. Stephen Ministry equips lay persons to provide distinctively Christian, one-to-one caring support and encouragement to anyone in our congregation or community who is going through a difficult time, a transition. Our church’s Stephen Ministry program is a part of a national organization, started in 1975, which trains leaders, provides resources, and consults with its member congregations. If you would like to know more about Stephen Ministry, go to their website at – www.stephenministries.org. You can also watch a helpful documentary on PBS featuring Stephen Ministry.
Love one another … as I have loved you. John 13:34
Stephen Ministers are members of the Presbyterian Church of Toms River with gifts for caregiving and are carefully selected to serve in this vitally important role. They have received 50 hours of training, equipping them to provide emotional and spiritual care. These individuals are committed followers of Jesus Christ who listen, care, pray, support, and encourage. They are dedicated people who will be a consistent presence, faithfully meeting for about an hour each week as long as there is a need. Stephen Ministers maintain completely confidential relationships, keeping all identities, concerns, and conversations absolutely private.
Stephen Ministers are not professional counselors, problem solvers, casual visitors, or household duties Stephen Ministers are equipped through a training course which is Christ-centered, biblically based, and not affiliated with any particular denomination.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
When to Consider Requesting a Stephen Minister
We all experience challenges in life – times when we could benefit from the support of a caring Christian. Stephen Ministers are trained to walk alongside those who are struggling. If you’re dealing with any of the following challenges in your life, please contact us so that we can help:
- Loss of a loved one
- Illness or hospitalization
- Divorce or separation
- Loneliness or discouragement
- Spiritual crisis
- Unemployment or relocation
- Relationship problems
- Childbirth or adoption
- Miscarriage or infertility
- Accident or disaster recovery
- Life transitions
Encourage one another and build one another up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Contacting our Stephen Ministry
If you’re in need (or know of someone like a friend, neighbor, co-worker, or relative) and could benefit from having a Stephen Minister who will listen, empathize, encourage, pray, provide confidential care, and patiently support you through your crisis or difficult time; we want to help. Please get in touch with one of us – Terry Lynn Bright , Stephen Leader Care Coordinator (908-330-6326, firstname.lastname@example.org); Deborah Piserchia, Stephen Leader (908-910-6349, email@example.com).
Becoming a Stephen Minister
Have you ever had someone tell you – Thank you for listening? Then you’re a caring listener who makes people feel safe when talking with you, one who will not betray their confidence. Or perhaps, you have felt led to visit and pray for someone you didn’t know only to find out they were in desperate need. Then you have a discerning spirit. You may be that caring listener who is trustworthy, full of faith, skilled and compassionate being called into a wonderful ministry. Are you able to make a significant commitment of time and energy for training?
If you are interested in pursuing becoming a Stephen Minster, please contact one of our Stephen Leaders: Terry Lynn Bright (908-330-6326 or firstname.lastname@example.org); Deborah Piserchia (908-910-6349 or email@example.com).
Be devoted to one another in love. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:10, 12
To learn more about our Caring Ministries or to help serve in one of these areas, please contact the church office (732-349-1331).