Stephen Ministry at St. Andrew's began in January, 2000, when the then Rector of St. Andrew's, the Reverend Canon A. Ronald Stiscia, sent a member of our congregation to Orlando, Florida, for seven days of intensive training in order to become a Stephen Leader and to then initiate Stephen Ministry at St. Andrew’s. By the fall of 2000 we completed training of our first Stephen Ministers.
 
Stephen Ministers are caregivers. The Ministers themselves have had more than 50 hours of training by Stephen Leaders to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing a difficult time in their life. Some examples, but not limited to, are grief, divorce, job loss, relocation, chronic or terminal illness, depression and/or anxiety.
Stephen Ministers share a desire to bring Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need. We all probably know someone who may be in a crisis and do not know to whom to turn, or perhaps needs a listening ear and a caring person. This is the heart of Stephen Ministry.
 
A Stephen Minister also visits, upon request, members of our parish who are hospitalized, in skilled living facilities (assisted and long-term), in rehab centers, and home bound.
 
We have three members of our Stephen Ministry team who have been trained as Stephen Leaders. Helen Copp and Judy Dillon received their leadership training in Pittsburgh, PA in 2012.   Richard Comiskey was initially trained in January 2000 in Orlando, Florida. All three leaders also serve as Stephen Ministers.
 
Currently, we have one other Stephen Minister at St. Andrew’s, Dorothy Wise. All four Stephen Ministers are currently active with a care receiver. 
 
There are four qualities that each Stephen Minister strives to live by, as mandated by Stephen Ministry. They are trustworthy (confidentiality), filled with faith, skilled by training, and compassionate.
 
The Stephen Ministers themselves normally meet together every two months.
 
There are three photographs, below:
 
The first is our Stephen Ministry card with the phone numbers of two of our Stephen Leaders.
 
The second is the outer cover of the Stephen Minister brochure. Both the card and the brochure will be available in the Narthex. They are currently ordered and await shipping as the brochure has recently been updated.
 
The third, is a picture of “our Charter.” It now specifies St. Andrew’s in the Valley, and that we received our certification from Stephen Ministry Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, on December 26, 2000.
 
We are now beginning our 21st year with Stephen Ministry, and we thank our Rector, Vestry, and you, our Parish family, for your continued support as we strive to help our care receivers, making them and any member of our church fully aware that they do not stand alone.
 
For further information, please contact Richard Comiskey, comiskey807@yahoo.com
 
 

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