By Heather Collins
For the past eight years, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel has helped hundreds of people in their time of need through the St. Louis-based Stephen Ministry. And now the church will help others churches across the region learn how to do it, too.
A workshop on the program will begin at 1 p.m. on May 7 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 14596 Oak Ridge Rd. in Carmel. During the event, attendees can learn more about the ministry and skills on “Ministering to Those Experiencing Grief” and “How to Care in a Distinctly Christian Way.”
The Stephen Ministry helps congregations equip and empower lay caregivers — called Stephen Ministers — to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting or going through tough times.
Stephen Ministers meet with care receivers, members of the congregation in need of support, once a week for one hour to provide one-on-one support and a listening ear.
“We’re lay people who are trained to come alongside hurting people,” said Laura Cole, Stephen Leader for the Stephen Ministry at OLMC.
Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of training to help them provide one-on-one Christian care to people in need. Currently, OLMC has 30 Stephen Ministers and four Stephen Leaders.
Cole said Stephen Ministers are often referred to as the “after-people.”
“After the phone call you hoped you never get, after the nursing home director shakes your hand, after the baby arrives,” Cole said. “You want to talk to somebody else about what your real issues are.”
The cost of the workshop is $15 per person or $50 for a group of four or more people from the same congregation.
For information, visit stephenministry.org/workshop.