• Are you struggling through a difficult time in your life . . . loss of a loved one, divorce, major illness, job loss, financial problems, loneliness, problems with family relationships, difficulties with your children, relocation, change in living arrangements, or other tough issues?
• Are your family and friends tired of you telling the same story over and over? Do they tell you it’s time to “get over it” and move on?
• Are you embarrassed or ashamed of telling your friends what’s going on?
• Do you find yourself crying and feeling alone as you struggle with this hurt in your life?
Whatever tough times you are facing, Stephen Ministers at JCUMC are here for you.
What is Stephen Ministry and how does it work?
• Stephen Ministry is a one-to-one Christian caring ministry provided to people who are hurting by trained lay caregivers, called Stephen Ministers. A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Twice a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education.
• Care receivers are people—congregation members and others in the community—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. They are people who are going through tough times and who have a compassionate companion – a caring Christian friend who supports them during this time. You do not have to be a member of Johns Creek UMC or any church to be a care receiver. Approximately 60% of our current care receivers are not church members.
• Confidentiality is key in this program. No one other than the Stephen Ministry Leader and assigned Stephen Minister knows the care receiver’s name. The ministry is also free.
We have 36 trained Stephen Ministers at JCUMC and 11 more currently being trained. These men and women are ready to be there for you and to listen – to hold your hand as you walk through this difficult time in your life. They are not “ministers” in the traditional sense or trained psychologists or psychiatrists. What they are are Christians who are there to “listen, care, encourage, pray, and provide emotional and spiritual support.”
Our Stephen Ministers are passionate about bringing Christ’s love and care to people during their time of need. They feel blessed by serving in this ministry. Several cited these comments they have received from their care receivers.
• “I appreciate your patience and love.”
• “Thank you for everything.”
• “I’m so glad you came today. I was feeling very sad and after you left, I felt better.”
• “I am so grateful for your loyal friendship.”
• “Thank you for listening to me ramble on. I appreciate that you’re not judging me as I feel some of my friends are doing.”
• “Talking to you has been the highlight of my week.”
If you would like to learn more about the Stephen Ministry program, please click here If you would like a Stephen Minister for yourself or would like to learn more about how this ministry works at JCUMC, please email Stephen Minister Leader Laura Marcy (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you know someone who might benefit from having a Stephen Minister, please encourage them to contact Laura. These requests are confidential and will be seen only by the Stephen Ministry leader. You may also contact any one of our ministers about this ministry.