St. Elmo Presbyterian will host a Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshop on learning to be an active listener and reaching out to others in a distinctively Christian way on Saturday, March 4, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. and refreshments will be served. The half-day workshop consists of three sessions designed both to enhance participants’ care giving skills and to help congregations explore ways to expand their caring ministry.
“This has been a tremendous help to me as there are at any given time people who may not need professional counseling but just someone to come along side of them and care for them. In addition, as our ordained leadership in our churches is male, this has been a valuable way to care for women in our congregation.” said Cal Boroughs, pastor of St. Elmo Presbyterian Church.
The workshop is sponsored by Stephen Ministries, the St. Louis-based Christian training organization that has been providing congregations with training and resources for Christian caregiving since 1975. The workshop will be led by Galen Dalrymple, a Stephen Leader from Atlanta.
"In the first session of the workshop, 'Ministering to Those Experiencing Grief,' participants learn about the grief process—the stages of grief and how to minister to people in each of those stages. They’ll gain the skills and confidence to better care for individuals who are
"The second session provides an introduction to the Stephen Series, a system of lay caring ministry through which congregation leaders can equip members to provide one-to-one Christian care to people in need," organizers said.
Since 1975, more than 12,000 congregations representing more than 170 denominations have implemented the Stephen Series.
Over the past 3 years, 12 members of St Elmo Presbyterian Church have undertaken 50 hours of training to become Stephen Ministers. They meet weekly with someone who is experiencing a life crisis or challenge, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, hospitalization, the loss of a job, loneliness, or relocation.
“Personally, I have found this ministry extremely meaningful to participate in. It is so special to care for someone so intentionally, and for them to know you are there for as long as they need you. When someone's going through a hard time, it can make a huge difference to know there's someone you can talk to and be real with.” said Katrina Fortune, a Stephen Minister at St. Elmo Presbyterian Church.
"The final session of the workshop explains 'How to Care in a Distinctively Christian Way.' Participants learn what makes Christian care giving unique and how they can use resources like prayer, blessings, and Scripture in their caring for others," officials said.
The cost of the workshop is $15 per person or $50 for a group of four or more from the same congregation. For more information, or to register to attend the Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshop, contact Stephen Ministries at 314-428-2600. You can also register online here.
“Our Stephen Ministers are those I can trust to care for people in our congregation,” said Cal Boroughs, pastor of St. Elmo Presbyterian, “and that is very important to me, as I believe it would be to you also.”