Stephen Ministry is an interdenomination ministry by trained lay parishioners in several Fairbanks area parishes (and throughout the United States). Stephen Ministers act as Christian companions to adult individuals experiencing some sort of crisis, i.e., grief, illness, loss, changes in one's family, etc.
How do I contact Stephen Ministry?
To request a Stephen Minister, or to make a referral, contact your pastor or the Stephen Ministry Outreach office at the Chancery. Once a referral is made, a Stephen Ministry representative will contact you confidentially, assess whether Stephen Ministry will be helpful in your circumstance, and may additionally refer you to other programs or organizations which may be of assistance to you.
What happens then?
If you are assigned a Stephen Minister, you can expect to meet with a person of the same gender (men meet with men, women meet with women), in a confidential, one-on-one caring relationship. Most often, you can expect to meet with your Stephen Minister for about an hour, once a week. Some care receivers participate in a Stephen Ministry relationship for as little as a few weeks, or as long as months or even years, depending on the situation and desire of the care receiver.
What training have Stephen Ministers received?
Stephen Ministers undergo an extensive training and interview process. Before a person is commissioned by the Bishop, he or she will have attended over 50 hours of classes in such topics as grief, active listening, crisis intervention and Christian caregiving. Additionally, each Stephen Minister must attend training in their parish as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, and fulfill any other requirements of their pastor.
What will my Stephen Minister do for me?
Act as a Christian companion, as you work your way through whatever crisis brought you to Stephen Ministry.
Help you access or refer you to other programs or organizations as needed.
Pray for you and your intentions. Talk about spiritual issues to the extent you are comfortable.
Offer a confidential, non-judgemental, caring person to talk to at times when you may have difficulty talking to friends and family about what you're going through.