Ten members of Tioga County’s Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes were commissioned as Stephen Ministers on the weekend of April 18-19.
The new Stephen Ministers are Fran Alexander, Dawn Bigney, Mary Boyer, Lee Campfield, Will Gower, John Gromniak, Elaine Lasater, Johanna Moore, Tammy Ovedovitz and Ed Syryca. They have completed an intensive 50-hour training period that began in September 2008.
Stephen Ministry has been a vital part of Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick since it began at Apalachin’s St. Margaret Mary Church in 1985. It is connected to the international, interdenominational Stephen Ministry program that trains lay women and men to assist in the pastoral care of their communities. Stephen Ministry was begun in 1975 by Dr. Kenneth Haugk, a Lutheran minister and psychologist from St. Louis, Mo.
Stephen Ministers provide support for people who are coping with such issues as loneliness, injury, illness including terminal conditions, job loss, divorce, death, depression, being homebound, major life transitions, parenting issues, traumatic experiences, and spiritual crisis. Stephen Ministers offer emotional support through home and hospital visits as well as phone calls.