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Stephen Ministry


Ministers for your support.

Sometimes difficult life situations that come our way such as loss of a job, a serious illness, divorce, loss of a loved one, and more. When they do, the care of a trained Stephen Minister may be just the emotional and spiritual support you need.

Stephen Ministers are not pastors, professional counselors, therapists, or physicians. Stephen Ministers are trained and supervised lay volunteers who care.

Request a Stephen Minister

Please complete the form below. Someone from the Stephen Ministry will be in contact with you.

Interested in becoming a Stephen Minister?

The process to becoming a Stephen Minister begins with the completion of an online application form followed by a face-to-face interview with the Director of Congregational Care accompanied by a Stephen Leader.

Once accepted into the Stephen Minister training program candidates will complete an 18 week training program that consists of 18, 2.5 hr sessions to be held at Manchester UMC on Tuesday evenings beginning on February 6, 2024. 

Beyond the initial training, Stephen Ministers agree to serve as a Stephen Minister for a minimum of 2 years and attend Supervision Sessions that are held twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Tues of the month at 6:30 pm at Manchester UMC.

Learn more about the Stephen Ministry:

A Stephen Minister provides one-to-one, lay (non-pastoral) Christian care.

  • One-to-One
    A Stephen Minister of the same gender will meet with you privately.
  • Lay
    Stephen Ministers are not pastors, professional counselors, therapists, or physicians. They are not authorized to give legal, medical, financial, or any advice other than Bible-based encouragement. But, Stephen Ministers are trained and supervised lay volunteers who care.
  • Christian
    Stephen Ministers are Christians who care in the name of Christ. They are willing to talk about spiritual issues but won’t force them.
  • Care
    Stephen Ministers care by listening, supporting, encouraging, praying, being dependable and trustworthy, and maintaining confidentiality.

Stephen Ministers can help in five general types of care giving situations:

  1. Crisis Care
    When people who have just experienced a death in the family, an emergency, the arrest of a loved one, or some other extraordinary event.
  2. Follow-up Care
    When the crisis is over and everyone else has gone home, Stephen Ministers keep showing up. This often is the most difficult time of adjustment for an individual and the time when having someone compassionate to talk to can make a tremendous difference in moving on with life.
  3. Chronic Care
    Stephen Ministers are effective at listening to individuals with health conditions that are never likely to improve or that are only likely to deteriorate. Often times these people are slowly forgotten by friends and family and need supplemental care.
  4. Preventive Care
    Before things become so bad that a crisis develops, Stephen Ministers may be able to help. By serving as a good listener and allowing someone to let off steam, they can help prevent a real explosion at a later time.
  5. Supportive Care
    Stephen Ministers can support family or loved ones of those who are going through a crisis. Supportive care often greatly facilitates improvement in the person experiencing the crisis.

Typically, Stephen Ministers meet with individuals for an hour once a week. The relationship lasts for as long as necessary.  The decision about how long is made jointly.

If you are interested in talking with a Stephen Minister, or if you believe a Stephen Minister might be able to help a family member or loved one, please fill in the form below or call the church office at 636.200.4706.

Stephen Ministers keep personal information confidential. You can feel free to share with your Stephen Minister without worry. However, there are rare occasions such as suicide, homicide, or abuse when a Stephen Minister must share confidential information in order to save a life.


Dealing with Loss of a Loved One

It is widely understood and accepted by mental health professionals that the loss of a loved one is one of the greatest sorrows that can occur in one’s life. The responses to grief will vary depending upon the circumstances of the death, but grief is a normal, healthy response to loss.

According to the work by renowned psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying, she identifies the five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. This model initially described people coming to terms with their own terminal illnesses, yet it spread to describe all forms of loss. Subsequent work has demonstrated that people grieve in different and varied ways—there is no one way, and no “right way,” to grieve.

Dealing with grief can take many forms of emotional support, one of which might be seeking the support of a trained Stephen Minister. Christian care giving is a faith-based process which can be particularly helpful to individuals who are working through the grieving process.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the loss of a spouse of loved one, a Stephen Minister can be there to help. If interested in learning more, feel free to contact our Director of Congregational Care, Rev. Dr. Mary Beth Hartenstein by calling the church office at 636-394-7506, or completing the above “Request a Stephen Minister” form.


Pastor's Note

Venom: Jesus & Nicodemus

   It seemed like every televised football game in the 1970s had a huge banner displayed in the stands near the end-zone with “John 3:16” emblazoned on it. Many times, the banner was the work of one man, Rollen Stewart, who traveled from town to town, seemingly just to unfurl

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