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On September 9, 2013, FPC Missoula began its second Stephen Ministry training class. This was a combined training with Missoula Alliance Church and St. Paul’s Lutheran.  Each church provided leadership for the training.  Nine people participated in the weekly training.  On January 12, 2014 Meg Limberger, Roy Miller, Gary (Scooter) Smith, Kathy Kahl and Gary Kahl were commissioned as our newest Stephen Ministers.  A celebration reception was held between the Sunday worship services to celebrate them and the important work they are taking on.

During training, the Stephen Ministers grow greatly as they learn about helping others—and they learn about themselves.  As the hurting members of our congregation grow stronger through this caring ministry, the whole church is built up and made stronger. And, of course, we all can have the knowledge that when the pains of life come our way, someone will always be there, ready to care for us, to bring God’s love to us in a special, personal way.  Loving others in Jesus’ name is a challenge and an opportunity for all God’s children.  Likewise, the joy of helping others is the privilege of all Christians, for the Holy Spirit has given gifts to each Christian to use in service to others and to build up the church (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).  Stephen Ministry relies on the gifts the Holy Spirit has given to our lay members so that, as more people are equipped to care, Christ’s love for us will be able to go out from us in ever greater and more effective ways

What can you do to support this ministry?  You can pray for our Stephen Leaders, our Stephen Ministers and their care receivers.  You can tell them how much their hard work means to you, tell others how much we value our Stephen Ministry and focus attention on our Stephen Ministers to bless and affirm them.  You can become involved in this ministry in many ways.  Some of you may recognize a call to use your special gifts in this ministry and may apply to be a Stephen Leader or Stephen Minister.  You can also be ministers of referral, watching for people in need and suggesting a Stephen Minister’s care.  May God continue to bless this ministry!

Stephen Ministry Grows

January 12, 2014

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