Trained Stephen Ministers from retirement community continue to reach out to the pastoral needs of residents
For more than 10 years, The Stephen Ministries has been a part of Longwood at Oakmont, a Presbyterian SeniorCare Continuing Care Retirement Community in Plum. Since 2002, a team of Longwood at Oakmont’s residents have been trained and equipped to provide quality Christian one-on-one care to individuals in the community who are experiencing life difficulties — including the loss of loved ones, health issues, or lack of mobility; transitions such as moving from their old homes to Longwood at Oakmont, relocation within Longwood at Oakmont and adjusting to their new environment; terminal illness, loneliness, spiritual crisis, illness, hospitalization, and many more personal matters.
Founded in 1975 by the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Haugk, Ph.D., a pastor and clinical psychologist, The Stephen Ministries is a trans-denominational care giving ministry headquartered in St. Louis. There are 11,631 congregations or other organizations, representing 165 denominations, enrolled in the program across the United States and Canada — with an additional 24 countries with The Stephen Ministries’ congregations.
Approximately 600,000 people have been trained as a Stephen Minister in their church or organization. Before commissioning, Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of training in Christian care giving skills.
“Currently, Longwood at Oakmont has 12 individuals who are trained Stephen Ministers with a new training class starting in early 2014,” says Rev. James R. Craig, Director of Pastoral Services at Longwood at Oakmont. Craig notes that Longwood at Oakmont’s Stephen Ministers meet twice a month with their Stephen Ministries’ Leaders for continuing education and supervision. “Along with education,” he says, “emphasis is placed on accountability and confidentiality.”
While The Stephen Ministries most often originates in a local worshipping congregation, Longwood at Oakmont’s program is unique in that it focuses on the needs of other fellow residents and provides an important component of pastoral care as an extension of ministry through the Chaplain’s Office.
For more information regarding The Stephen Ministries at Longwood at Oakmont, please visit www.longwoodatoakmont.com or call 877-214-8410.
About Longwood at Oakmont
Longwood at Oakmont, an affiliate of Presbyterian SeniorCare, is an established senior residential Life Care community dedicated to enriching the lives of its residents by providing a full range of quality services and health care which promote individual dignity, security, wellness and independence. For more information, please visit www.longwoodatoakmont.com.