Stephen Ministry


Pastors will always be on the front lines of care. But there are always many more needs for ongoing, one-to-one care than pastors can effectively meet by themselves. Our congregation is known for caring for each other. This sort of caring is an important element of New Church theology.

“God loves each and every human being; and because He cannot do good to them directly, but only indirectly by means of other people, He therefore breathes into people His love.” (True Christian Religion 457)

“When people who are perceptive have feelings of compassion they know that they are being alerted by the Lord to offer help.”  (Arcana Coelestia 6737)

While this sort of organic caring is around us every day, we also have instituted a Stephen Ministry program to formally equip lay people (called Stephen Ministers) to provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.

A Stephen Minister is…

  • A child of God who walks beside a person who is hurting
  • A congregation member with gifts for care-giving who was carefully selected to serve in the role
  • A lay person who has received 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care
  • A caring, Christian friend who listens, cares, prays, supports, and encourages
  • Someone who will “be there” for his or her care receiver, meeting faithfully for about an hour each week, for as long as there’s a need

Stephen Ministers Care for People Facing Tough Times

We all experience challenges in life – times when we could benefit from the support of a caring Christian friend. Stephen Ministers are ready to provide the emotional and spiritual care we need when faced with a crisis or difficulty such as:

  • Loss of a loved one
  • Hospitalization
  • Divorce or separation
  • Loneliness or discouragement
  • Spiritual crisis
  • Unemployment or a job crisis
  • A terminal illness
  • Incarceration
  • Aging
  • Birth, adoption, miscarriage, or infertility
  • Chronic Illness
  • Relocation
  • Recover after an accident or disaster
  • And many more

Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry. The identity of those receiving care and what takes place in each caring relationship remain private.

Looking for People to Train As Stephen Ministers

Do you love listening to people, and supporting them through life’s hard times? Please consider getting involved with Stephen Ministry. We would like to run another 50-hour training class, starting in the fall, and there’s room for you! Stephen Ministers meet for an hour weekly with their care receivers, to provide confidential, one-on-one listening and supportive care. Is this something that might fit with your character and your life? It is a meaningful and deeply rewarding way to volunteer. For more information, contact Nina Dewees at 215-947-6225 x206, or nina.dewees@brynathynchurch.org.

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