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Stephen Ministry

Image by Priscilla Du Preez

What is Stephen Ministry?

Everyone needs someone to care, listen, and share God's love from time to time, to get through a difficult period of confusion, stress, or loneliness. 

Stephen Ministry provides distinctively Christian care one-on-one to those who are experiencing all kinds of life needs or circumstances both in our congregation and our community.

Stephen Ministers are well-trained, caring lay ministers who have responded to Christ's call to "carry each other's burdens and in this way fulfill the law of Christ" found in Galatians 6:2.

I think I need a Stephen Minister

You should consider a Stephen Minister if:

Life is more than you can handle alone right now.

 

Your health, your attitude, or your relationships are suffering.

 

You are adjusting to some new life situations such as a new job, recent move, change in marital status, or a health issue.  

What do I do if I need a Stephen Minister or know someone who does?

Contact Pastor Tim Broyles, our referrals coordinator here.

Your inquiry will be kept confidential.

He will meet with you, explain how Stephen Ministry works and arrange for a Stephen Minister to call and set up a first appointment.

You will meet on a regular basis with your Stephen Minister at a time and location that is convenient for both of you.

What is a Stephen Minister?

Stephen Ministers are committed Christian men and women who:

Express God's care through their lives and others.

Receive 50 hours of initial training in fundamental caring ministry skills and concepts.

Are commissioned as Stephen Ministers after completing their initial training.

Meet with their assigned care receiver (on average 1 hour a week) regularly to offer spiritual support and care.

Participate in regular support and supervision under the guidance of trained Stephen Leaders.

Are committed to preserving the confidential nature of the caring relationship.

Serve a minimum of two years.

Receive continuing education and skill building throughout their years of service.

Stephen Ministers are CARE-givers, God is the CURE-giver.

A Stephen Minister is NOT:

A counselor or therapist.

A problem solver.

An occasional visitor.

What is a Stephen Leader?

Stephen Leaders are congregation members or pastors who oversee and direct the Stephen Ministry for our church. 

They keep the Stephen Ministry running efficiently by recruiting, selecting, training, and supervising the Stephen Ministers.

Being a Stephen Leader requires more administrative skills and gifts. Training is provided at a

one-week leaders training course led by the faculty of the Stephen Ministries organization.

How do I become a Stephen Minister?

Training usually takes place in a classroom setting and generally lasts 3.5 months; 50 hours total.

You are asked to submit an application followed by an interview. This process ensures that it is a good fit for the applicant and the commitment required is fully explained.

Who are our Stephen Ministers & Leaders?

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Tim Broyles
Stephen Leader

Nothing inspires and blesses me more than seeing God's Holy Spirit working in peoples lives. This is one of the reasons why I am in pastoral ministry, a Stephen Minister and now a Stephen Leader. As such I have been in vocational ministry for over half my life; four years of that on the team at Huron River Methodist. I am married to Sharon and have one son. 

A passage that motivates my life and perspective is Philippians 4:4-9, with emphasis on verses 6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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David Fensch
Stephen Leader

1 Peter 4:10, "As each one has received a gift minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." This is what drove me to become a Stephen Minister. I truly believe we are all here to help and serve one another as our Lord leads us.

I have lived and worked in this area most of my life except for fie years in Texas. While in Texas, I became a Stephen Minister. God used this time as training ground for I was called to serve in a variety of ministries including prison ministry. We have since moved back to be closer with our children and became members of Huron River Methodist in spring of 2019.

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Mims White
Stephen Leader

I became a Stephen Minister in 2011 and a Stephen Leader in 2021. My husband, Paul, and I are very active with Huron River Methodist and with our family. We currently have 15 grandchildren and one great grandson. We feel very blessed. I have a gentle caring personality with a big smile. I love gardening and traveling. I was drawn to Stephen Ministry when I realized my purpose was to serve others with my talents. Love God, Love People. 

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Eileen Helm
Stephen Minister

In my own life, I have been blessed to have certain individuals come alongside me and walk through some of the difficult periods life sometimes presents. Their support and comfort have helped me beyond words. I love caring for others and doing what I can to be supportive of their needs. As a Stephen Minister, I am privileged to look ahead at the possibility of walking alongside someone else who may need that kind of support and loving care. 

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Gretchen Howe
Stephen Minister

I want to be so full of Christ that if a mosquito bites me it flies away singing "There's power in the Blood"!

I have been married to my husband, Darin, for 22 years, we have six children and six grandchildren. I am a two-time cancer survivor and love participating in Relay for Life. I love to sing, tell jokes and travel anywhere warm. We came to Huron River Methodist in 2016, and since I have felt like every sermon is specifically for me. There's something profound about knowing you "belong". Coming to Huron River Methodist has been more than just good for our family it has been life changing. Stephen Ministry called me immediately, it fills a place in my heart that yearns to help others heal. I am so grateful to God for giving me the opportunity, and I feel immeasurably blessed to be part of the team.

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Phil Rider
Stephen Minister

I've been blessed to be married to my wife, Lin, since 1995. One year after our marriage, we moved to the Dexter area and immediately started attending Huron River Methodist. What an amazing decision this proved to be. Over this time we have raised three wonderful kids. 

I recently became a Stephen Minister after being involved for many years in our church youth and scout programs. I have felt called to walk alongside men who are facing difficulties in their life. After this painful past year it would be my honor to shine the love of Jesus Christ upon a Care Receiver.

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Mary Talbott
Stephen Minister

Brett and I were married in 1987 and were blessed with three wonderful children, and now three grandchildren, who mean the world to me. I love to read, write, grades, and walk, most in the company of our little six-pond Morkie, Gus. In 2020, after a long career in corporate medical sales, we decided that I would retire early, and we moved to beautiful Onekama on the westside of Michigan. We have been going to Huron River Methodist since around 1990. Those thirty-plus years have been filled with all the tragedies and transitions that like hands out, and through it all, Huron River Methodist friends have been there for me. I'm so grateful for the love and faithfulness that God has shown me, both directly and through others.

 

Stephen Ministry gives me the opportunity to give back, to support those of you who find yourselves facing the unexpected or difficult, and to bring God's love and hope into life's challenges.

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