A Letter to the Congregation from a Stephen Minister
In the past few weeks we have had the opportunity to hear some wonderful sermons, and all of them seem to point to the need for a renewed and revitalized Stephen Ministry program here at UPC. On July 2, Pastor Stephen challenged us with his sermon on the good Samaritan. One of the points he made is that being a caring, loving congregation does not depend on them, it depends on us. It is our duty to help the downtrodden, the sad, the lonely. I maintain that if we are to be a truly caring congregation, we need a strong, vibrant Stephen Ministry.
On July 23, Anna Saxon said that UPC will survive after losing two ministers within six months. Her words gave us hope for the future and motivated us to think about the future and what kind of church we want. Again all signs seem to point to a Stephen Ministry which becomes the heart of the congregation as members learn about and practice congregational care, freeing the pastor to devote more time to growing the church.
Finally, on July 30 Karen Miller talked about sitting in the sighs, being there with someone as they go through difficult times, listening and caring. She described the Stephen Ministry mission perfectly. It is a one-to-one ministry which allows people to express their true feelings without judgment or condemnation.
Taking all of this into account, please consider becoming a Stephen Minister at UPC. You will express your love for Christ and show others what true Christian care is. We would like to start a new class of prospective ministers this fall. Please prayfully consider becoming a Stephen Minister. To discuss this further you may call Stan Strickler at 309-573-3440 or call the church office and leave your name and number.
-Stan Strickler, Stephen Minister at UPC