St. Paul UCC prides itself on its caring ministries.
At the heart of our caring ministries is the Stephen Ministry. What is Stephen Ministry? It is our embodiment of the Jesus Christ’s call for Christians to help bear one another’s burdens. Stephen Ministry congregations equip lay people, called Stephen Ministers, to provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives, no matter what the circumstance.
While our congregation will continue to provide care through our pastors and the Care Team, Stephen Ministers will work with the Care Team on how best to respond to the needs of our people, thus providing another level of care. There are times when a trained Stephen Minister will be able to provide more to meet someone’s ongoing needs than a pastor or the Care Team is able to effectively give by themselves. The Stephen Minister is someone who will be there for the care receiver, meeting faithfully as long as there is a need.
We all experience challenges in life. A Stephen Minister is ready to provide emotional and spiritual care and walk with you through any of these situations:
- Loss of loved one
- Divorce or separation
- Loneliness or discouragement
- Spiritual crises
- Unemployment or a job crisis
- A terminal illness
- Birth, adoption, miscarriage or infertility
- A chronic illness
- Recovery after an accident or disaster
- … And many more
If you would like to receive care from a Stephen Minister, are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister or if you have any questions about this ministry, please talk to one of our Stephen Leaders: Betty Wacker or Barb Wagner.
In addition to Stephen Ministry, St. Paul offers these other ministries:
- Prayer Ministry—prays for people in response to their needs
- Greeting Card Ministry— sends greeting cards to members of our congregation
- Funeral Hospitality Ministry Team—a team that provides welcome and hospitality at funerals and also helps families with funeral luncheons at St. Paul
- Care Team—a team that visits and maintains contact with those who are homebound and in nursing homes
- Ministry of Meals (MOM)—We are starting an official “Ministry of Meals” Team. We know many of you have prepared meals for those recovering from illness or surgery, for those families welcoming a new baby, for those grieving a loved one or for those who are just temporarily unable to prepare their own meals. We applaud you for your caring heart and kindness! We are compiling a list of those who would be willing to make a meal from time to time, as well as one or two people to assist in coordinating the meals.
- Ministry of Abilities—This newly formed ministry, previously known as “Ministry with People with Disabilities,” has taken on a new name. This team is exploring how we can minister to our neighbors who have special needs and abilities. In our recent team meeting the team hashed out wording for this ministry, eager to be inclusive, sensitive and respectful in its wording. The team has chosen to call this ministry “Ministry of Abilities,” focusing on the abilities we all have rather than on disability and its negative connotation. At present we are working on our mission and vision for this ministry, familiarizing ourselves with resources and working on how best to address the ministry.
- Ministry addressing the issue of domestic violence—Monroe County is no stranger to the issue of domestic violence, which takes the many forms of physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious and sexual abuse. It ranges from subtle, coercive forms to violent physical abuse and sometimes results in death. Here at St. Paul we will continue to raise our awareness of this crime that impacts many of our neighbors. Know that St. Paul UCC is a safe place. If you or someone you know is being abused, do contact me for further information and referrals.
If you have ideas regarding these ministries or if you would like to serve on any of these teams, please contact Pastor Merlyn.