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Stephen Ministry


Our congregation's Stephen Ministers are lay people equipped to provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.


A Stephen Minister Is...


  • A congregation member with gifts for caregiving, who was carefully selected to serve in this role.

  • A lay person who has received 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care.

  • A caring, Christian friend who listens, cares, prays, supports, and encourages.

  • Someone who will ‘be there’ for his or her care receiver, meeting faithfully for about an hour each week.

  • A child of God who walks beside a person who is hurting.



"Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

Galatians 6:2



Stephen Ministers do not replace the ministry of the pastor—rather, their ministry is in addition to that care, helping the entire congregation to grow as a warm, loving, nurturing community. They are initially trained for 50 hours (with required continuing education each year), bound by a promise of confidentiality, and ready to be active listeners to their care receivers.

God Cares and We Care

Acts 6 in the Bible tells the story of St. Stephen, the first lay person chosen and commissioned by the apostles to provide caring ministry to those in need.  Stephen Ministry is named in his memory.


Shepherd of the Valley is a Stephen Ministry Congregation with lay people trained in the Stephen Ministry system of Christian care-giving. These lay persons are available to anyone experiencing difficulties or crises in their lives, for as long as the need exists.


Examples are:


  • Loss of a loved one

  • Health crisis

  • Divorce or separation

  • Loneliness or discouragement

  • Spiritual crisis

  • Employment crisis

  • Incarceration

  • Life changes, such as accident,  relocation or aging

  • Birth, miscarriage, infertility, adoption

  • Relocation


We are here for you - we can hold you in our hearts and prayers and walk with you into wholeness. If you or someone you know can benefit from a Stephen Minister, you may contact any Stephen Leader or respond with a confidential email message below. Our Stephen Leaders are Bob Lambert, Chip Lee, Julee Rich, Karen Lesino-Smith, and Jan Garris.



A Stephen Ministry relationship is confidential. The identity and concerns of those receiving care remain private.

Will Stephen Ministers help those outside of our church?

Yes! Stephen Ministers can and love to provide care for people in the broader community, enhancing and expanding God's healing touch to the world.

Care receiver's testimonies

Listen to the stories of people who received blessings provided by a Stephen Minister.

Contact a Stephen Minister

Thanks! Message sent.

But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 30:17

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