Recognizing that God is the ultimate Cure Giver, the Mission of the Highland Hills Baptist Church Stephen Ministry is to serve God and bring Christ’s healing love to individuals who are experiencing life’s challenges through confidential, non-judgmental, one-on-one Christian care.

MODULES 17 AND 18

The Stephen Ministry trainees completed the initial 50 hours of training this past Saturday at a Retreat held at the home of Anne and Neil Heath. Stephen Ministry Referrals Coordinator Peggy Williams facilitated Module #17: How to Make a First Caring Visit. Stephen Series training is never abstract, but the nitty-gritty of caring suddenly looms large when Commissioning time approaches. It was fitting, therefore, that in this module we had a chance to review and put together all we have learned about Caregiving. We learned how to use the “Contact Record Sheet” and the “Referral Form.” We practiced setting up and conducting a first caring visit and explored our personal feelings about beginning caring relationships. Even though role play often makes us feel uncomfortable, Stephen Ministry training has definitely taught us how valuable it can be in helping us to become the caring Care Givers we seek to be.

Module #18: Follow Me, facilitated by Training Coordinator Cheryl Sjoquist, was a time for review and inspiration as we Stephen Minister trainees prepare for commissioning. The module included a video, Go—God Is with You! Each week throughout our training, we have completed “The Caregiver’s Compass” as a way of summarizing our learning from that module in each of the five qualities we are developing as Stephen Ministers: Compassion, Faith, Caregiving Skills, Trustworthiness and remaining Christ-centered. As preparation for Commissioning, we will each create a personal emblem, including a guiding scripture, that symbolizes and synthesizes our expectations of serving as Stephen Ministers.

Please make plans to participate in our Commissioning Service, which will take place on Sunday, June 30, designated Stephen Ministry Day. Since we will be the first class to be commissioned, the new Stephen Ministers are planning a meaningful worship service in which Stephen Ministers from other Stephen Ministry congregations in Macon will be asked to participate. Following the worship service, a celebratory luncheon for the newly commissioned Stephen Ministers and their spouses will conclude with a Service of Thanksgiving and Commitment.

If you or someone you know needs the support of a Caregiver to provide confidential, one-on-one care to those who are hurting, contact Stephen Ministry Referrals Coordinator Peggy Williams, any of the other Stephen Leaders (Renee Bennett, Kam Cook, Ruth DuCharme, John Jarrard, or Cheryl Sjoquist), a Stephen Minister (Anne and Neil Heath, Lyn Hicks, Garry Williams, or Martha Fennell), or anyone on the staff of Highland Hills. A Stephen Minister will be available to walk along side as long as you need love and support during challenging times. Once the needs of our congregation have been met, Stephen Ministers will be available to anyone in the community who needs our help. Please keep us in your prayers as we make the final preparations to answer God’s call to serve as Stephen Ministers.