Spirit, Word and Sacrament
STEPHEN MINISTRY & Licensed Eucharistic Ministers (LEM's)
The Licensed Eucharistic Ministers (LEM) of Emmaus Abbey Church serve in various ways. First, we train as Stephen ministers and serve our congregational families. Second, we use this ministry to reach into the community. Thirdly, we serve on Altar Guild and as Chalice Bearers, Lay Readers during services, but the primary duty that our Licensed Liturgical Ministers perform is the distribution of Holy Communion to the children and workers in the Nursery and to bring Communion to those who could not be present at the Sunday morning services due to illness or infirmity.
All Licensed Eucharistic Ministers, we are trained and licensed by the Diocese of the Mid-South. The Tennessee Commission on Ministry team member: Fr. Brett Travis is licensed to train LEM's as approved by the Diocese to serve churches in Tennessee area. All LEM's at Emmaus Abbey Church will be trained by Fr. Brett and licensed through Diocese of Mid South.
The public reading of the Holy Scriptures is an important and ancient tradition of the Church. In St. Paul’s first letter to Timothy (1 Tim. 4:13), he instructs young Timothy to “give attention to the public reading of Scripture.” Lay Readers, also called Lectors, are members of the congregation that are responsible for the public reading of assigned Scripture verses during services of worship at Emmaus Abbey Church.
Emmaus Abbey Is a Stephen Ministry Congregation
You may have heard by now that Emmaus Abbey has become a Stephen Ministry congregation. What does this mean? Emmaus Abbey is beginning a ministry that will help us train and organize some of our members to provide quality care and extend the caring ministry our pastor already does. Our Stephen Ministry is led by Dr. Brett Travis.
Questions and Answers about Stephen Ministry
What Is Stephen Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is a system through which members of Emmaus Abbey are trained and organized to help provide Christian caregiving to members of our congregation and community. This will multiply the amount of caring ministry Emmaus Abbey can provide by giving us a team of skilled caregivers who are equipped to bring Christ's healing love to people who are grieving, in crisis, or experiencing other stresses in life.
Why Lay Ministry?
Stephen Ministry is based on the idea that all Christians are ministers. The responsibility for passing on God's love is for all Christians, not just for a chosen few. God has given us all gifts for ministry and called us to put those gifts to use. Stephen Ministry is a way people with special gifts for caring ministry can use those gifts to bring Christ's love to people in need.
Why Stephen Ministry?
We have many needs for care in our congregation and community: people experiencing divorce, grief, a terminal illness, loss of a job, relocation, an empty nest, retirement, hospitalization, loneliness, and many other stresses or challenges. Often people with needs suffer silently or do not request or receive the level of care they really need. With only one pastor for a congregation of 24 families, you can quickly see why it would be impossible for our pastor to meet every single need of every single person. Stephen Ministry expands the care Emmaus Abbey can offer by equipping and organizing members to provide Christian care. This gives us a larger pool of people with the gifts, skills, and calling to bring Christ's love and care to those who most need it.
Who Benefits from Stephen Ministry?
Everybody benefits from Stephen Ministry. Those receiving care from Stephen Ministers benefit because they receive prayer and support throughout the crisis they face. Stephen Ministers benefit through the spiritual growth they experience from being involved in meaningful ministry. Our pastor benefits because caring ministry at Emmaus Abbey is expanded, and fewer people will slip through the cracks. Most of all you benefit from the knowledge that special care is available to you should you need it. In addition, you now have a place where you can refer a friend, neighbor, coworker, relative, or anyone else you know who is going through a difficult time so that they can receive special care when they need it most. Stephen Ministry makes Emmaus Abbey a much more caring place!
Who Are Stephen Ministers?
Stephen Ministers are members of Emmaus Abbey who have gone through 50 hours of training to provide high-quality Christian care to individuals experiencing a crisis or challenge such as divorce, grief, loss of a job, hospitalization, relocation, or loneliness. Stephen Ministers are each assigned a care receiver and meet with that care receiver for about an hour a week. This caring relationship will last for as long as the care receiver needs it. If you would like more information on how to become a Stephen Minister or to receive care from one, please talk to Fr Travis at 865-661-1418.
How Does Stephen Ministry Work?
When someone requests a Stephen Minister, Paula, our Stephen Ministry Referrals Coordinator, will meet with that person, explain what Stephen Ministry is, and help determine whether Stephen Ministry is the kind of care that person needs. Our Referrals Coordinator then matches that person with one of our available Stephen Ministers. The Stephen Minister will then call that person and begin meeting with him or her for about an hour each week as long as the need is there. Everything a care receiver says to his or her Stephen Minister is kept confidential. The Stephen Minister doesn't try to solve problems; rather, he or she listens, cares, prays, and helps the care receiver find his or her path to healing and wholeness.