Stephen Ministry.jpg


​Life is marked by losses and changes;

some traumatic, some subtle, all significant.

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” - Isaiah 40:31


This is a very meaningful, hope-filled scripture that we often use to encourage one another, and count on ourselves. And yet, when we are in the throes of a very difficult time in our life, it may seem that we will never again be able to renew our strength and soar on wings like eagles.


That’s one reason why a faithful, caring listener who will walk alongside us for the duration of our most difficult season can make such a difference. With the help of a trained Stephen Minister, we can have the freedom to recognize and acknowledge our deepest hurts, ask difficult questions for which God alone has the answers, give ourselves permission to fully grieve a loss, be reminded of God’s promises for us and how much He loves us, receive His healing love, find the strength to face and accept the “new normal” in our lives, and truly come through our time of suffering into a place of renewed strength.


Caring Stephen Ministers commit to meet and talk with someone regularly; usually once a week. Added to their caring nature, they receive training that enables them to bring Christ into the healing process and are able to discuss topics that are often too uncomfortable for friends or family members. A confidential relationship with a Stephen Minister provides non-judgmental listening, steadfast encouragement, and consistent prayer support.


Central’s trained Stephen Ministers include: Dave and Linda Bender, Kathi Bietsch, Brenda Black, Dave Bowers, Dot Buchwalter, Bill Daniels, Jean Diehl, Jenine Grove, Cindy Happel, Ron Igou, Deb Mummert, Susan Snyder, and Kari Wiley. Some of our Stephen Ministers walk with someone in a specific caring relationship over an extended period of time; others use their caring skills in different ministries here at church or various short-term relationships as a need arises.


You may feel that a need is too small to inquire about a Stephen Minister, but that is simply not true.  We welcome questions about, and referrals to, this “behind the scenes” ministry. Any of our Stephen Ministers will be happy to further explain how a caring relationship works. Due to confidentiality when requesting a Stephen Minister for yourself or to make a referral, we ask you to contact Stephen Leader Trena Oyler, Cindy Happel, or Pastor Scott.

Stay tuned for upcoming trainings!

"Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2, NRSV)