At St. Paul’s Cathedral, under an anonymous grant, we trained nine Stephen Ministers in 2015. These lay caregivers have been providing high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting or healing from an event in their or their loved one’s life.
Our Stephen Ministers usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. Twice a month, Stephen Ministers gather with their Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education.
Pat Tedford, a Stephen Minister, describes the experience as a “ministry of presence” and feels she “listens with the heart”. Our January 2016 continuing education was focused on caring for people facing hospitalization. We learned several practical tips from guest speaker Bev Franco about visiting those in a hospital, such as not sitting on the bed and checking in with the nursing staff and chaplain prior to entering a patient’s room.
Care receivers are people—cathedral members and others in the community—who receive care from a Stephen Minister. These are people struggling through a difficult time in life—experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or some other life event.
Some important guidelines for this caring relationship protect both the care receiver and the Stephen Minister:
- The relationship between a care receiver and a Stephen Minister is confidential.
- When a care receiver’s needs exceed what a Stephen Minister can provide, the Stephen Ministry team makes a referral to an appropriate mental health professional or other community resource.
If you know of someone you believe could benefit from a relationship with a Stephen Minister, or if you have an interest in being a Stephen Minister, please contact one of the Stephen Leaders at St. Paul’s Cathedral: