Love one another as I have loved you. - John 15:12
For 23 years Stephen Ministry has shared in Christ’s compassionate care for one another through consistent presence and listening ears. The concept of this international program became part of WRPC’s congregational care in 1998, when Pastor Denise Thorpe, Susan Baker and Melvin Starnes, attended the leadership training. They returned excited and ready to begin the extensive training and supervision of Stephen Ministry caregivers.
Over the years, this training and supervision prepared 70 people for Stephen Ministry caregiving and/or leadership roles. These caregivers have walked along side countless numbers of people experiencing a crisis or difficult season in their life. Individuals, families and the congregation are richer for this experience and many of those supportive relationships remain today.
Moreover, Stephen Ministers have provided pastoral care by leading Prayers for the People on Sunday mornings, offered healing prayers with individuals during communion, sponsored an array of workshops such as Mental Health First Aid and Coping with Grief, and participated with the Triangle Area Stephen Ministry Network and Transitions LifeCare.
Recently, those requesting Stephen Ministers as well as those available to be trained as Stephen Ministers has waned. Hence, leadership has determined the need to shift time and resources to other realms of Congregational Care and support.
Thus, the bittersweet time has come to retire the current Stephen Ministry program.
Leadership is working on the transitions that will take place over the next few weeks including on-going support for those individuals in current Stephen Ministry relationships.
On Sunday, November 14th all of WRPC’s Stephen Ministers will be recognized and honored during the 11:00 worship service.
We give thanks to God for this ministry and all the dedicated Stephen Ministers who have given an immense amount of time and care to embody Jesus’s compassion.