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Christ-centered care

The Stephen Ministry program is designed to “provide high quality, confidential, Christ-centered care and support to people experiencing grief, divorce, grave illness, job loss, loneliness, disability, relocation, and other life difficulties” (please see more at stephenministries.org). Our congregation has nominated several candidates to participate as Stephen Ministers in this program, and eight people have agreed to move forward to training. Ed Hanson and Ann Scharf have agreed to be Stephen Leaders, and will attend training in St. Louis in April.  Training at our church for the Ministers will begin in the fall.

The benefits of this program, as outlined in the website are:

-Pastors don’t carry the burden of being the congregation’s sole caregivers. They have a team of gifted, trained, committed lay caregivers ready to minister to hurting people.

-Laypeople have a chance to use and strengthen their leadership and care-giving gifts in meaningful ministry—serving others while experiencing tremendous spiritual growth.

-People who are hurting no longer suffer alone. A caring Christian friend comes alongside them to provide emotional and spiritual care for as long as the need persists. While this program is being developed, please keep all participants in your prayers; this is a tremendous undertaking and will require many, many hours of preparation.  At the same time, please search your own heart, and  consider if God is calling you to this ministry. Visit firstchurchseattle.org/caring to follow our progress.