Stephen Ministry


"Christ Caring for People through People"

Park United Methodist Church is a Stephen Ministry Congregation


An Inside Look at Stephen MinistryStephen Ministry


At some point in life, everyone faces periods of crisis, transition, or difficulty. During these times people can receive great benefit from a caring relationship with someone who will faithfully listen, empathize, pray with and for them and encourage them with Christ's love and care. Stephen Ministers provide this needed relationship. Caring for people in need is at the heart of a congregation's ministry. Lay people, in addition to the pastor, must be trained and equipped to provide and sustain this ministry.

Stephen Ministry is our congregation's one-to-one caregiving ministry. God works through Stephen Ministers to plant a seed of hope and healing in a person who seems lost and alone because of some crisis or tragedy. Stephen Ministry training equips a Stephen Minister enabling that individual to show God's mercy, care, and compassion to one who is hurting. A Stephen Minister walks beside the care receiver, prays for him or her, and helps that person walk through life's difficulties. Stephen Ministers are lay people trained to provide confidential one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation or community who are experiencing difficulties in their life. They are not pastors, counselors, or doctors; they are caregivers. They meet with their assigned care receiver for about an hour a week to listen, pray, and help bear burdens. Christian care is never outdated. God’s command that we love one another is the same now as it was thousands of years ago.


Our Stephen Ministers are also available to your friends, neighbors, and co-workers as an outreach to the community. All calls will be kept confidential. Karen Schuyler 725-2368 or Sue Travis 725-4012.


Testimony: "God comforts us so that we can comfort others."

Interested in Stephen Ministry?  Contact: Karen Schuyler 725-2368 or Sue Travis 725-4012



Stephen Ministry


Since 2005 Park UM Church has been a member of Stephen Ministry and has met the needs of numerous individuals within our congregation. What has happened during that time? We have witnessed laypeople nurturing and using their gifts in meaningful ministry, growing spiritually as they serve others. In addition people who are hurting have had a compassionate companion—a caring Christian friend who has provided emotional and spiritual support. In our congregation today there are two groups of people: First, there are people who are hurting and who would benefit from one-to-one, Christ-centered care. Second, there are laypeople with the gifts and potential to provide that care. Stephen Ministry brings these two groups of people together in a powerful way. Stephen Ministry is a gift to folks who are receiving care. People who are going through a job loss, divorce, grief, or other difficulties receive comfort and find hope. The relationships formed in Stephen Ministry really do become life altering. The entire congregation benefits from Stephen Ministry and receives a practical and powerful way to respond to Christ’s commandment: "Love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12) Are you seeking a way to be "in ministry"? Do you desire to reach out to someone and to share the love of Christ? Would you like to know more about Stephen Ministry? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, please speak with your Stephen Leaders: Karen Schuyler or Sue Travis. Take a moment to talk with one of your current Stephen Ministers: Rusty Cunningham, Doris Savidge, Karen Smock. Later this fall we will have an introductory session to explain more about Stephen Ministry. (Watch the bulletin and newsletter for more information.) We would love to have you join this ministry. What can you do now? Pray and listen to how God is calling you to respond.


New Stephen Ministers at Park Church


We are pleased to recognize Ruth King who recently completed the training to be a Stephen Leader at Park UM Church.  Ruth spent a week in Pittsburgh participating in the 50 hours to training to become a Stephen Leader.  We are thrilled to have her become a leader of our Stephen Ministry.  Team as well as a Stephen Minister.  This will enhance our ministry to our members as she serves on the staff at Park Church.


During the worship service this morning, four individuals were commissioned as Stephen Ministers. These persons heard the words of Jesus: “Come, follow me.” And follow they did. Each one made a commitment to faithfully attend the fifty hours of initial training, to offer distinctively Christian care-giving, to pray for the other Stephen Ministers, and to participate in Peer Supervision Sessions for continuing education and for support and affirmation while in a caring relationship. Park Church is pleased to be able to offer this ministry to our members and friends. Stephen Ministry is “Christ caring for people through people”. Relying upon their faith to learn the skills of caring for individuals who are grieving, lonely, ill, or facing any number of other situations, our new Stephen Ministers are now equipped to be “Care Givers”. Please show your support and appreciation for the time they spent in classes and especially that they answered Christ’s call to follow and to serve. Your new Stephen Ministers are: Mary Bielak, Ruth King, Tom Savidge, and Sandie Van Volkenburg. They join our current Stephen Ministers: Rusty Cunningham, Doris Savidge, Karen Schuyler, and Karen Smock. Please keep all these individuals in your prayers as they carry the love of Christ to their care receivers.



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