If you are experiencing a personal crisis, you don’t need to walk through it alone. A Stephen Minister is ready to walk beside you…

For more information or if you have any questions; please speak with Pastor Skip McDowell or a Stephen Leader here at St. Paul’s:

Beth McElvenney 610-853-2444
Hazel Pelletreau 610-284-6835

Bear one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

What Is a Stephen Minister?

Stephen Ministers are volunteer lay ministers who provide one-on-one spiritual and emotional care focusing on their care receivers’ needs. They offer care, support, and encouragement to people whose lives have been turned upside down by crisis or tragedy. They minister through active listening, a caring presence, and prayer.

Applicants are carefully selected because their gifts, capabilities, and life experiences compliment their interest in care giving. They are equipped with over 50 hours of intensive training, covering such topics as: listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness, and using Christian resources in caregiving.

Who Needs a Stephen Minister?

A person whose life has been turned upside down by crisis or tragedy would benefit from a Stephen Minister. Such persons have, for the most part, their basic coping skills intact, their thinking in order, and their emotions under control. They can meet the routine demands of everyday life and would likely overcome their challenges even without the assistance of a Stephen Minister, but not as quickly or as effectively.

If you are dealing with any of the following, you may need a Stephen Minister:

Chronic or terminal illness
A family member going through illness or disability
Loneliness or discouragement
Death of a loved one
Divorce or separation
Pregnancy, adoption, miscarriage or infertility
Self esteem problems
Unemployment or job loss
Relocation / moving transitions
Financial setbacks
Aging and elderly
Faith issues / Spiritual Crisis

…And many more


Trust is essential to a caring relationship, and Stephen Ministers are people you can trust. Confidentiality is one of the most important principles of Stephen Ministry, and what a care receiver tells his or her Stephen Minister is kept in strictest confidence.

How Can I Connect with a Stephen Minister?

If you think a Stephen Minister can help you (or a fellow member of St. Paul’s), contact one of the Pastors or a Stephen Leader (Beth or Hazel)

One of our Stephen Leaders will talk with you, and get you connected with a Stephen Minister who will meet with you regularly during your time of need.

How Can I Serve in this Ministry?

Pray for the Stephen Leaders, the Stephen Ministers, and the individuals receiving care.
Apply to become a Stephen Minister so that you will be able to give care to those in need.
Refer someone you know who is in need to the Stephen Ministry so he/she can receive care.
Be part of our Stephen Ministry Support Team: help provide meals during in-house training retreats, support the Stephen Leaders, and pray for the ministry.

Who Is Involved?

Stephen Leaders are the ones who oversee and direct our Stephen Ministry. They recruit, select, train, organize, and supervise our Stephen Ministers, identify people in need of care, and match them with a Stephen Minister. Pastor McDowell, Beth McElvenney and Hazel Pelletreau are our Stephen Leaders.

Stephen Ministers are the caregivers. They have been through 50 hours of training in Christian caregiving, including topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness, and using Christian resources in caregiving. Their continuing education training also covers specialized topics such as ministering to the divorced, hospitalized, bereaved, and aging. We are blessed to have Stephen Ministers, who give so much of their time to this ministry. They are Carolyn Ashburn, Barb Keyser, Helene Roth, Diane Pringle, Lisa Lexa-Wilson, Denette Stetler, Boofie Younkin

Care receivers are the recipients of a Stephen Minister’s care. They are people from our church who are experiencing divorce, grief, loss of a job, loneliness, hospitalization, terminal illness, or any of an endless number of other life difficulties. Stephen Ministers usually meet with their care receivers once a week for about an hour for as long as the care receiver will benefit from the relationship.

Stephen Ministry Nook at St. Paul’s

Have you been to the Stephen Ministry Nook lately? It’s located on the 2nd floor between the elevator and the Kugler Room. Check out the bookcase which has a few articles and brochures about this exciting ministry. We also have started to compile a Resource Manual Notebook.

This Resource Manual includes information on various agencies and organizations that might be helpful to people who are going through hard times. Topics include: Child Development, Autism, Divorce Mediation, CHIP, Food Stamps, Inglis House and Kencrest. We also have some information that might be helpful to the elderly: Senior Helpers, Bayada Nurses; Dunwoody, Hospice, ElderNet and Liberty at Home. There is also information about a Widow and Widowers Counseling service.

If you have had to do some research on a topic or know about an agency that might be helpful to others in the congregation and would be willing to share that information, please contact Beth McElvenney –