Stephen Ministry is a unique ministry serving the needs of our church community. A Stephen Minister provides help when a member is in need of individual prayer or gives support in the face of life’s challenges.
Are you called to help others and want to learn how to help in this way? The Stephen Ministry is starting a training class the end of September. Call either Betty Mitchell at 319-330-1708 or Jim Mitchell at 319-530-6985 for more information or to ask any questions by September 15.
In the past year we have had the opportunity to meet many of the Stephen Ministers at the First United Methodist Church of North Liberty through articles in the newsletters. There are different paths and different callings to this rewarding Ministry.
This spring marks 10 years of Stephen Ministry service at our church. Join us on April 26th as we celebrate this milestone during each worship service.
Interested in becoming a Stephen Minister? A training class will be offered this fall.
Questions? Current Stephen Ministers will be available after each service April 26 to answer questions about this Ministry. Feel free to contact Pastor Alecia, Pastor Josh, Betty & Jim Mitchell or any of the current Stephen Ministers with questions/interests at any time. Do you need of a Stephen Minister to listen and pray with you as you deal with difficult issues of life? Contact Pastor Alecia, Pastor Josh, or Jim and Betty Mitchell of Stephen Ministry.
Join us on Wednesday, April 1 at 7:00 pm for a program on Human Trafficking by Jennifer Hemmingsen. She wrote a series “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” about a kidnapped 13-year-old rape victim in rural Iowa which won multiple awards and national recognition. This program is coordinated by the Stephen Ministry and will meet at the church, 85 North Jones Boulevard, North Liberty, IA 52317.
Stephen Ministry.. Have you ever heard of it? I had not until 2 years ago. I was in a church to attend a funeral for a friend. While waiting for the service to begin, a question that had been on my mind for over a year came to me again. What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life? I had recently retired after working over 40 years as a nurse. Many of those years were in the field of psychiatry. I had enjoyed the challenge of helping others who thought they were at the end of their rope and help them find their way out of those life challenges.
I noticed a brochure on the seat next to me. It was about Stephen Ministry. I took it with me and read it over a couple times. A few weeks later I was at my son’s wedding and the incredible minister touched my soul with her words and prayers during their marriage ceremony. I “checked out” her church and Pastor Alecia was everything I heard that day and more. A few months later I joined North Liberty United Methodist Church with my husband Mike Nicholls. We were struggling with his son’s diagnosis of cancer, trying to help our aging parents, and keeping up with our blended family of 6 children and 13 amazing grandchildren. The love and support of this congregation has helped me through the death of his son and illnesses of our parents.
How to you give back to those who kept you sane, prayed every day, and just gave you a hug when nothing else would do? I picked up that Stephen Ministry brochure and asked God if that was what he wanted me to do with all the skills and talents he had so generously given to me. “What are you waiting for?” was heard loud and clear!!! I completed Stephen Ministry training and had a care receiver assigned soon after. What a blessing to walk with her on a journey I will never forget. I look forward to the many special women that God will choose to send into my life. He will tell me how to use the special gifts He gave me long ago, knowing the mission He has for me today.
Stephen Ministerio .. ¿Alguna vez has oído hablar de él? Yo no tenía hasta hace 2 años. Yo estaba en una iglesia para asistir a un funeral de un amigo. Mientras se espera el inicio de los servicios, una pregunta que había estado en mi mente desde hace más de un año llegó a mí de nuevo. ¿Qué se supone que debo hacer con el resto de mi vida? Yo había retirado recientemente después de trabajar más de 40 años como enfermera. Muchos de esos años fueron en el campo de la psiquiatría. Había disfrutado el desafío de ayudar a otros que pensaban que estaban al final de su cuerda y ayudarles a encontrar la manera de salir de esos desafíos de la vida.
Me di cuenta de un folleto en el asiento de al lado. Se trataba de Stephen Ministerio. Me llevé conmigo y lo leí sobre un par de veces. Unas semanas más tarde estaba en la boda de mi hijo y el ministro increíble tocado mi alma con sus palabras y oraciones durante su ceremonia de matrimonio. I “check out” de su iglesia y el pastor Alecia era todo lo que oí ese día y más. Unos meses más tarde me incorporé a North Liberty Iglesia Metodista Unida con mi marido Mike Nicholls. Estábamos luchando con el diagnóstico de su hijo de cáncer, tratando de ayudar a nuestros padres ancianos, y mantenerse al día con nuestra familia mezclada de 6 hijos y 13 nietos increíbles. El amor y el apoyo de esta congregación me ha ayudado a través de la muerte de su hijo y las enfermedades de nuestros padres.
¿Cómo le das la espalda a los que os mantenía cuerdo, rezaba todos los días, y sólo le dio un abrazo cuando nada más lo haría? Cogí ese folleto Stephen Ministerio y le pedí a Dios si eso era lo que él quería que yo hiciera con todas las habilidades y talentos que había tan generosamente que me han dado. “¿Qué estás esperando?” se escuchó fuerte y claro !!! Yo completado la formación Stephen Ministerio y tenía un receptor de cuidado asignado poco después. ¡Qué bendición para caminar con ella en un viaje que nunca olvidaré. Espero con interés las muchas mujeres especiales que Dios va a elegir para enviar a mi vida. Él me dirá cómo utilizar los dones especiales que me dio hace mucho tiempo, conocer la misión que Él tiene para mí hoy.
Out of the clear blue sky in March of 2002, a strange woman came into the Physical Therapy gym where I worked. She told me that she had something for me to see. I asked her if she had an appointment in P.T. and she said “no”. I asked her if she was seeing a Physical Therapist here and was told to come and see me and she said “no”. I asked her what she wanted me to see and she took her purse off her shoulder and opened her purse revealing a little black puppy. I loved him at first sight and had the lady and her puppy over to my house the next weekend. We named him Maxwell.
Bev Gates loved dogs and when she saw our puppy she offered to watch him whenever we needed. When she watched him she would take him into her family and include him in family pictures. One day she herself had a dog like Max.
Bev told me about the Stephen Ministry group in 2005. She talked about the need to start a group of people that would be caregivers. Pastor Alecia expressed that there was a need within the congregation. The Stephen Minister’s group would be trained in confidentiality, trust, compassion, skilled instruction and most of all faith. We would then be able to provide that care. Guided by our Lord, God, I said “Yes, I would like to be a part of that group.”
The present Stephen Ministry group has helped, prayed and listened to me during my own struggles.
This service is a wonderful benefit offered by our church. Please consider joining and training to be a servant of God that can listen to and help another person or call if you are in need of a Stephen Minister to listen to and help you with your burden.
God Bless you!
Bob Harding will be speaking on Brain Injury on Wednesday, February 6 at 7:00 pm. This is being sponsored by the Stephen Ministers, all are welcome. All are welcome to attend.