This is a ministry through which members of First United Methodist Church are trained and organized to help provide Christian caregiving to members of the congregation and community. This multiplies the amount of caring ministry First Methodist can provide by providing a whole team of skilled caregivers who are equipped to bring Christ’s healing love to people who are grieving, in crisis, or experiencing other stresses of life. It is based on the idea that all Christians are ministers. The responsibility for passing on God’s love is for all Christians, not just for a chosen few. God has given gifts for all to use. Stephen Ministry is a way people with special gifts for caring ministry can use those gifts to bring Christ’s love to people in need. With only five pastors for a congregation of 4000 members, it would be impossible for these pastors to meet every single need of every single person. Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of training to provide high-quality Christian care to individuals experiencing a crisis or challenge. Stephen Ministers are assigned a care receiver and meet with that person for an hour a week. This caring relationship will last for as long as the care receiver needs it. Everything a care receiver says to a Stephen Minister is kept confidential. The Stephen Minister doesn’t try to solve problems; rather, they listen, care, pray, and help the care receiver find their path to healing and wholeness.