Stephen Ministry

Grace Church has made the commitment to become a Stephen Ministry congregation. This lay ministry will enable our community to extend the caring ministry the Rev. John Graham and the Rev. Sarah Motley provide without over extending them.

Why Lay Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is based on the idea that all Christians are ministers. The responsibility for passing on God’s love is for all Christians. God has given us all gifts for minstry and called us to put those gifts to use. Stephen Ministry is a way people with special gifts for caring ministry to use those gifts to bring Christ’s love to people in neeed.

What is Stephen Ministry?

Stephen Ministry is a system through which members of Grace Church are trained to help provide Christian caregiving to members of our congregation and community. This will multiply the amount of caring ministry Grace can provide by giving us a whole team of skilled caregivers who are equipped to bring Christ’s healing love to people are grieving, in crisis, or experiencing other stresses in life. Stephen Ministry will complement the ministry of the Pastoral Care committee, which already supports parishioners experiencing health challenges through acts of caring like providing home-cooked meals, rides to medical appointments, and the like. The “added value” of Stephen Ministry lies in its capacity to deepen and broaden the Pastoral Care Committee’s ministry through regular intentional conversations between a person experiencing material, spiritual or emotional challenges and that person’s trained caregiver.

Why Stephen Ministry?

We have many needs for care in our congregation and community: people experiencing divorce, grief, a terminal illness, loss of a job, relocation, an empty nest, retirement, hospitalization, loneliness, and many other stresses or challenges. Often people with need struggle silently or do not request or receive the level of care they really need. With of only one full-time and one half-time pastor for a congregation of 250 members and a wider circle of persons from our community who seek care and guidance from Grace, you can quickly see why it would be impossible for our pastor to meet every single need of every single person. Stephen Ministry expands the care Grace Church can offer by equipping and organizing members to provide Christian care. This gives us a larger pool of people with the gifts, skills, and calling to bring Christ’s love and care to those who most need it.

What’s the History of Stephen Ministry at Grace Church?

This new initiative at Grace will begin with two sermons by the Rector,

  • Sunday, Feb 21: Pastoral Care
  • Sunday, March 6: Introduction to Stephen Ministry; Stephen Leaders Nancy and John Seferian will have informational materials available for distribution.

Saturday, March 10 at 10 a.m

Jo Turner, is a Stephen Leader at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, will offer a presentation on Stephen Ministry in the sanctuary, with time for Q and A. She has been a care receiver as well, an experience that gave her a unique perspective on this ministry. Jo’s professional background is in hospice administration, and prior to her retirement last year, she also served as a consultant in palliative and end-of life care. In September 2015, she joined St. Alban’s staff as Lay Pastoral Care Coordinator.

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church has been an active Stephen Ministry.

Grace Stephen Ministry Leaders

Our Stephen Ministry will be led by the Rev. John Graham, John Seferian and Nancy Seferian who attended an intensive weeklong Leader’s Training course in Pittsburgh, PA, from August 16 through August 22, 2015, to learn how to organize and direct Stephen Ministry at Grace. Please keep them in your prayers as they lay a strong foundation for this ministry.

Meet Grace’s Stephen Ministry Leaders