Carrying the light of God’s love into hard places

Being part of a larger family is the gift of being part of the Christian community of All Saints’. In this circle of love, we are celebrated in times of joy and carried in times of heartache and hardship.

This has been so true through the challenges of COVID. Even when not together physically, we are together in prayer and love. We creatively take care of each other.

In the last four months, my family has navigated the sudden deaths of our loved ones – my aunt from injuries sustained in an automobile accident, Dick’s brother from complications of COVID, and my son-in-law’s father from a massive heart attack. Our family has been carried by your love as we grieve.

At All Saints’ we are blessed with prayer groups, pastoral care, as well as a dedicated ministry called Stephen Ministry. The goal of Stephen Ministry is “to bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, NRSV).

Stephen Ministry offers a proven and effective way to organize, equip, and supervise a team of congregation members – called Stephen Ministersto provide high-quality, one-to-one, Christ-centered care to people in the congregation and the community experiencing life difficulties.

Stephen Leaders are church staff, lay leaders, and clergy trained to provide ongoing leadership for their congregation’s Stephen Ministry. Care receivers are individuals in the congregation or community who are going through a crisis or life difficulty. Potential care receivers first meet with a pastor or Stephen Leader, who assesses their needs for care and matches them with a Stephen Minister. The caring relationship lasts for as long as the need persists.

The Blessings of the Stephen Ministry Team:

  • Congregations carry out Christ’s commandment to “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12 RSV) in a powerful and practical way.
  • Clergy have a team of gifted, trained, and committed lay caregivers ready to minister to hurting people.
  • Laypeople nurture and use their gifts in meaningful ministry, growing spiritually as they serve others.
  • People who are hurting have a caring Christian presence to provide emotional and spiritual support.

In short, the Stephen Ministry helps carry out the vision of All Saints’ “To Love as God Loves.”

We have a team of trained Stephen Ministers in our congregation. Debbie Lewallen and Barbara Lewis are the co-leaders of the Stephen Ministers at All Saints’. If you need to have someone walk beside you, please call, text or email the leaders. A Stephen Minister typically has one care receiver at a time and meets with that person once a week for about an hour.

If you are interested in being part of the team of Stephen Ministers, you may also contact Debbie or Barbara for details.

We are so blessed to have a dedicated team of trained Stephen ministers at our church and many of us have benefited from their Christian love, empathy, listening, and compassion.

There are seasons in all of our lives when the path we walk is rocky and hard. I am walking through that season right now. It is a blessing to know a Stephen Minister is there waiting to walk beside us.

In peace,
Deacon Jackie+

Stephen Ministry Contacts:

Barbara Lewis

Debbie Lewallen