There are times when every one of us experiences difficulties such as loss of a loved one, hospitalization, imprisonment, cancer, job loss, loneliness or other challenges.
God never intended for us to go through these experiences alone. That's why God has brought us together as a congregation and why we have Stephen Ministry. Stephen Ministers are members of Parkway Heights who have received 50 hours of caregiving training to minister to people experiencing a crisis, facing a challenge or simply going through a tough time. A Stephen Minister will meet with you - privately and confidentially - on a weekly basis to listen, care, encourage, support and remind you of Christ's presence in your life.
Parkway Heights is one of more than 10,000 Stephen Ministry congregations from more than 100 denominations worldwide. Since 1975, more than half a million Stephen Ministers have been trained, providing care to more than two million people in need.
Read what Bettie Ross, one of our Stephen Ministers, has to say about this meaningful ministry:
“How are you?” is a familiar greeting.
Do you ever reply, “I’m doing just fine,” when you‘re not? I know that I have. Most Sundays at Parkway Heights as I am walking across the Atrium or going up or down in the elevator, someone will greet me and ask, “How are you?” In the process of going from one place to another, I usually pause and quickly respond, “I’m good.” To those whom I know well, I may more accurately reply, “I’m trying to be good.” Longtime friends who are more familiar with my distractions and activities may hear me say, “I’m either good or haven’t been caught.” I appreciate the greeting and interest, but I have a gut feeling the question is not an invitation for a comprehensive inventory of my current status.
If my life is any measure of reality, we all experience ups and downs. There are times when we are dealing with a challenge that is more than we feel equipped to manage. Stephen Ministry is a service for those times when you are not doing “just fine.” I can recall times when I might have requested a Stephen Minister, if such a service had been available.
Parkway Heights now has Stephen Ministers available. These individuals have received extensive training to serve people who are experiencing challenging situations. Stephen Ministers are available to support, encourage, listen, comfort and care with confidentiality and with the help of God. Stephen Ministers will be individually assigned by our supervising minister, Julie Collins.
If you are interested in learning more about receiving care from a Stephen Minister for you or a friend or family member or you'd like to explore becoming a Stephen Minister, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find information plus stories from Stephen Ministers and care receivers in the Atrium nook next to the Welcome Desk at church.