Church’s Stephen Ministry Aims To Offer Care, Love

Church’s Stephen Ministry Aims To Offer Care, Love
Stephen Ministry members pictured, seated from left, are Barbara Berard, Kathleen Penkusky and Kim Constantino; and second row, Steve Howse and Peter Ostrowski. Submitted Photo

BERLIN — The Christian care-giving ministry at Community Church at Ocean Pines in Berlin has grown recently with five new Stephen ministers being commissioned on Aug. 11.

The new lay caregivers join nine Stephen ministers and Stephen leaders already commissioned and serving at Community Church at Ocean Pines (CCAOP).

The people at CCAOP are excited to offer the care and love of our Stephen Ministers to our congregation and community,” said Pastor Dale Brown.

Stephen Ministry offer care and support for people experiencing life difficulties such as the death of a loved one, job crisis, aging, separation or divorce, long-term illness, or for those need the support of a Christian friend. They have received 50 hours of intensive training covering topics such as effective listening, confidentiality, the stress of hospitalization, feelings and utilizing community resources.

Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry; those receiving care can be sure that their identity and what goes on in the caring relationship will remain private. In addition to the training, these lay Christian caregivers will continue to receive twice-monthly continuing education and supervision support sessions as they strive to offer the highest-quality Christian care-giving.

The CCAOP is one of more than 11,000 congregations throughout the United States, Canada and several foreign countries, representing more than 160 different denominations that have implemented this program of lay Christian care-giving.

The Stephen Series was developed by Stephen Ministries in St. Louis. CCAOP has been part of the Stephen Series since 2012.

“Stephen Ministry has sharpened my art of listening,” said Kathleen Penkusky, one of the newly commissioned Stephen Ministers. “This has led to a better understanding of the working of the human being. Hopefully, I can be in a better position to help others.”

Community Church at Ocean Pines expects its Stephen Ministry to continue to be a source of warmth, care, and blessing for many years to come, enabling the entire congregation to grow as a nurturing community where people are cherished and cared for and their needs taken seriously, all in the name of Jesus Christ.

If you are interested or have more questions about the Stephen Ministry at CCAOP, contact Jack Snyder at 410-208-9537. Or if you know someone in our community who needs care and support at this time, call Mary Stover at 410-726-1795.