Stephen Ministry is St. Martin’s one-on-one ministry of pastoral listening and care for people going through difficult times.
Stephen Ministers are parish and community volunteers trained to offer compassionate and prayerful support to people who are experiencing challenges such as job loss, grief, divorce, illness, caregiving or other life transitions. A Stephen Minister and his or her care receiver typically meet once a week for about an hour. Men are matched with male Stephen Ministers and women with women. A Stephen Ministry relationship might last a few months or more than a year, depending on the care receiver’s needs.
Stephen Ministers meet one-on-one.
Do you or someone you know need care?
Even with the support of family and friends, enduring difficulties and losses can feel like a pretty lonely walk. Stephen Ministers provide regular, dependable care that is faith-based and confidential. To learn more about how a Stephen Minister might offer compassionate support for you or someone you care about, please contact the Rev. Anne Thatcher. She’ll arrange a meeting to explain Stephen Ministry and discuss our intake process.
Are you called to be a Stephen Minister?
A Stephen Minister has a calming presence and is comfortable with a process of care that involves listening, prayer and supportive feedback as her or his care receiver walks through difficulty or crisis. Stephen Ministry is not professional therapy, pastoral counseling, or spiritual direction.
A 50-hour training course is required of all Stephen Ministers before they can begin offering care. The training involves weekly sessions of about two-and-a-half hours and will extend through part of the summer.
Once trained, Stephen Ministers sign on for a two-year commitment, though they are free to continue longer with the ministry. The basic time requirement includes meeting once a week for about an hour with a care receiver, as well as meeting twice a month for lengthier peer supervision and continuing education sessions. For more information about becoming a Stephen Minister, contact the Rev. Anne Thatcher.
Who are St. Martin’s Stephen Ministers?
St. Martin’s has 12 active Stephen Ministers. The program is facilitated by four Stephen Leaders, who oversee recruitment, intake, training, supervision and continuing education. For more information please contact the Rev. Anne Thatcher.
The Rev. Anne Thatcher
(215) 247-7466 ext. 105
Anne is a native Westerner, having spent her childhood years in Oregon and Colorado. She follows in the footsteps of her great-grandfather from Wales who was an Anglican priest and her uncle who was an Episcopal priest. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Whitman College, a M.Ed. from Western Washington University, a graduate certificate in Leadership and Camp Ministry from Wheaton College (IL), a diploma in Anglican Studies from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and an M.Div. from the Yale Divinity School.
An experienced ropes course facilitator and wilderness trip leader and trained to work with traumatized communities, Anne believes in the power of conflict resolution and peace making through mediation. She has recently spent time with a Christian Peacemaker Teams delegation to Israel/Palestine and attended a human rights training with Cristosal in El Salvador.Anne currently serves as the secretary of the Diocese of Pennsylvania’s Clergy Compensation and Benefits Commission, the Chair of the Diocese of Pennsylvania’s Central American Refugee Commission and Chaplain to both the Welsh Society of Philadelphia and the St. George’s Society.