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May Ministry Spotlight: Stephen Ministry

Do you know what the Stephen Ministry is or how they serve the members of St. David’s?

St. David's Stephen Ministry helps parishioners with quality, confidential, one-on-one care. Stephen Ministers are trained to listen and provide support, without judgement, in a time of need such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation. It is part of a world-wide Christian organization that is in over 12,000 churches and 160 denominations worldwide.

St. David’s Parishioner, Elizabeth Welch, shares her story of why she became a Stephen Minister and how this ministry impacted her life.

“My name is Elizabeth Welch, and I am a Stephen Minister. I have been an Episcopalian all my life, and a member of Saint David's for a little over three years. I first encountered Stephen Ministry approximately six years ago, when my Dad was in assisted living here in Roswell. My Mum, who had dementia, had become non-communicative, and it left my Dad with no one to talk to on a regular basis. He was lonely.

Thankfully, the Lay Eucharistic Visitor, who brought my parents weekly Communion, saw a need and arranged for a Stephen Minister to visit with my Dad once a week for an hour. At the time, I was completely unaware that Saint David's was caring for my Dad in such a special way. This is due to the totally confidential nature of Stephen Ministry.

One afternoon, though, while I was visiting him, out of the blue, he said, ‘guess what…I have a Stephen Minister!’ ‘That's great Dad,’ I replied. ‘And how's it going?’ Then my Dad grinned and said, ‘Very well thank you; he comes to visit me, we find a comfortable place to sit, and he just listens to me.’ – That sort of says it all!

So, this past fall, when someone asked me if I had ever considered becoming a Stephen Minister, I gave it some serious thought and prayer. As a result, I have now completed my 20-week training and am now a commissioned Stephen Minister.

My Dad died in 2018, and I have since had the privilege of meeting his Stephen Minister. I wholeheartedly pray that the Stephen Ministry here at Saint David's will continue to provide the same love and care to others that was shown to my own father.”

If you have a need and would like to request a Stephen Minister, please get in touch with The Rev. Michelle Fritch or your Shepherd. Please note that care is always female-to-female or male-to-male and is targeted for those who are over 18 years of age.

A new training class will begin in early August if you feel called to be a Stephen Minister like Elizabeth did. The classes will take place at Roswell Presbyterian Church and are usually held bi-weekly. This training truly nurtures and develops listening and caring skills. Lasting relationships have also been formed among the class participants. The St. David’s Stephen Ministry covers any associated costs for the training. If you want more information about the training or have questions, please contact Don Baggett.


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