Congregational Care : Stephen Ministry


Everyone goes through difficult times, but sometimes we really struggle with the life issues we are facing. Sometimes we need to know that someone else cares, that someone else is pulling for us, praying for us and reaching out to us. Sometimes it helps to talk with someone who isn’t family, someone who isn’t necessarily a close friend or a pastor, a teacher or a counselor. It’s for those times and for those who are hurting in our church community that Kenilworth Union Church offers Stephen Ministry.

Stephen Ministry is a lay ministry that helps those facing life’s difficulties receive Christian love and support through one-to-one, confidential, caring relationships. Stephen Ministers are members of our congregation who have been specially trained to support people in need and are grounded in Jesus’ command to love one another.

Who Stephen Ministers Help

  • People who are experiencing loss of a loved one; hospitalization; separation and divorce; terminal illness; being shut-in; loneliness; retirement changes; unemployment; childbirth; life transitions; a family crisis.
  • Are you having a tough time? Feeling unfulfilled at work? Feeling overwhelmed at home? Facing a difficult decision? Feeling alone? In pain?

A Stephen Minister can help you during difficult times.

How Stephen Ministers Help

Listen to you empathetically; keep your confidence; support you during difficult times; encourage; offer Christian care.

A Stephen Minister is…
A lay person who has received 50 hours of training; one who provides distinctively confidential Christian care; a caring friend who really listens; someone you can depend on to be there for you.

A Stephen Minister is not…
A counselor or therapist; a problem solver; a casual visitor.

Requesting a Stephen Minister
If you, a relative or friend, are hurting and would like caring Christian support:

  • You or they (with permission) share the need with Rev. Jo Forrest or the Referral Coordinator of the Stephen Ministry Leader team.
  • The person in need is assigned to a Stephen Minister of the same gender to meet together weekly.
  • With strict confidentiality, the Stephen Minister continues to provide Christian care for the person in need.

If you, or someone you know, might benefit from having a Stephen Minister, contact  Rev. Jo Forrest.

Stephen Ministry Testimonials

“Personally I don’t know what I would have done without the love, caring and support that I received from my Stephen Minister. We shared our belief in God, the power of prayer and faith…listened to my story and allowed me to mourn my loss.”

– Member of Kenilworth Union Church

The PBS Religion and Ethics news show recently aired a short feature about Stephen Ministry. You can watch on the video by clinking on the below.

You’ll also find a nine-minute interview with the founder and executive director of Stephen Ministries, Dr. Kenneth C. Haugk. To hear the story, click on the link below.

Interested in becoming a Stephen Minister?

The KUC Stephen Ministry is looking for men and women to join our Stephen Ministry team. Stephen Ministers are trained to provide one-on-one confidential Christian care and support to people facing illness, sadness, change, loss, or difficulties such as fear, pain, or loneliness. “The most significant thing we learn is the power of caring and listening”, a Stephen Minister said. “Our role is not to solve problems for people, but rather to help them through prayer, trust and support — to find strength and courage. If you would like to learn more about this rewarding ministry, please contact Rev. Jo Forrest.