Stephen Ministry is a unique kind of care-giving. It’s a program that trains, supervises and supports lay people to walk alongside another person as they go through a difficult life experience. Stephen Ministers will usually meet one-on-one with their care receivers once a week for about an hour. This could be for a very short time like one or two visits, or longer. The meetings are not about advice-giving—they are about listening to, being present with and supporting the care receiver. This relationship is always completely confidential. The relationship can be to provide spiritual support like prayer or simply a friend who can listen deeply to a person’s concerns.
HUCC has participated in Stephen Ministry for 20 years. We trained another 12 Stephen Ministers last year, bringing the total over the years to 100. The training is intensive, lasting about 40 hours over several months, and helps us become more of a caring presence with those we encounter.