First United Methodist Church - Cary
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Connect with God, People, and Service



Stephen Ministry Commissioning Service 2010

On July 13, 2010, eight new Stephen Ministers were commissioned with family and friends in attendance.  They have completed 50+ hours of training, from January through June, 2010. We warmly welcome them to the Stephen Ministry family.


Rev. Dr. Alice Kunka and Pat Cherry-Joyner led the service with music provided by Femme Forte, led by Patti Cook, with Jodi Adams at the piano.  Carolyn Wertz created the programs. A reception for the new Stephen Ministers, family and friends was held immediately after the ceremony.



New Stephen Ministers (l-r) Jonathan Finch, David Hedberg, Tom Herndon, Leon Robbins, Nancy Dixon, Tammy Campbell, Carol Cook and Susan Barrier 

New 2010 Stephen Ministers with other Stephen Members who attended the Stephen Ministry Commissioning service


New Stephen Ministers - Class of 2010

L-R front: Tammy Campbell, Nancy Dixon, Carol Cook, Susan Barrier, Tom Herndon
back: David Hedberg, Leon Robbins. Jonathan Finch      
Stephen Ministry Retreat 2010

On Saturday May 22, 2010, our trainees spent 5 1/2 hours learning how to give loving care and support to people coping with aging issues. The discussion was lead by Chuckie Chinault and Carolyn Corn assisted by Rev. Judy Stephens, Mila Lambert and Libby Sinodis. 

L-R  Leon Robbins, Carol Cook, Jonathan Finch, Chuckie Chinault, Mila Lambert

L-R  Carolyn Corn,Judy Stephens, Tammy Campbell, Nancy Dixon, Tom Herndon, Susan Barrier, Libby Sinodis, David Hedberg


New Stephen Ministers - Class of 2009

Please click on their name (pictured in order of the list below) to read their testimony:

Stephen Ministry Retreat 2009

On June 13, 2009, six new Stephen Minister trainees had a retreat at Allynna Stone's home to learn more about "Caring for people who require hospitalization, those experiencing losses related to aging and those who need Long Term care." New Stephen Minister trainees are Suzanne Gordon, Inge Stephenson, Allynna Stone, Susan Presser, Joyce Catherwood and Carolyn Hendricks.
Others who participated were Alice Kunka, Libby Sinodis, Becky Stafford and Carolyn Corn.

Testimonies of New Stephen Ministers

Inge Stephenson
When I first heard about Stephen ministry 16 years ago, I thought what a wonderful way to show compassion and help someone who is going through a difficult time.  There are times in everyone's life when we could use a Christian friend that is willing to sit and listen to our pain without judging our feelings or emotions, just willing to be there and listen to us and pray for us.  I have Christian friends that have been an encouragement and have helped me through difficult times in my life.  When Carolyn Corn asked me if I would be interested in becoming a Stephen Minister I told her "yes" but let me pray first to see what God says.  The answer was yes.  So here I am every Tuesday night being trained by some wonderful Stephen Ministers.  I can already see that I have been greatly blessed by this opportunity and found new Christian friends.  I'm excited to see where God can use me in this journey.
Joyce Catherwood
God in His infinite wisdom has always  blessed me by sending the people who I needed into my  life. He has always sent the right people at the right time, be it for happy, sad or sorrowful occasions. These of course have included family and friends, who have walked with me for a long way on my journey, but also people who have only journeyed with me for a short time and distance. But each one has shared some portion of their love, compassion, time, talent, and abilities with me. Sometimes it is just their very presence that I have drawn strength from.  In serving with Stephen Ministries, I feel that God has blessed me with an opportunity to use my life by sharing my time, talent, abilities and presence to offer God's comfort and compassion to others. 
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles , so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4.   
Carolyn Hendricks
I feel very blessed and honored by the privilege of working with the Stephen Ministry Team. God has lead me here.  Whispering quietly all along the way. He shows me the hurt in the hearts of others and has put a compelling desire in my heart to comfort, listen and love them along their journey. 
Suzanne Gordon
For the past couple years, I have been busy working with students through Communities in School and frequently family members as I try to help them.  When Ruth Conner started calling me and asking me did I want to participate in Stephen Ministry Classes, my first thought was I HAVE NO TIME; I am doing enough already.  She was very persistent and on the fourth call I knew God was trying to tell me something.  Basically that I was doing Stephen Ministry, with these people, without the training!  So I signed up.  It has already been extremely helpful in those situations as well as helping me help my family to deal with the untimely death of my brother.
Susan Presser
I feel that I have been led to another path of service to the glory of God through this church.  I seek to obtain the skills to become a Christian caregiver through this ministry that will let the power of God work through me to provide spiritual, emotional, and practical assistance to those who are struggling with pain, fear, guilt, doubt, grief, loneliness, or what ever hardship has befallen them.
Allynna Stone
" Here I am, Lord.  Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night...I will go Lord, if you lead me.  I will hold your people in my heart."
"Here I am Lord" has always been one of my very favorite hymns.  I have heard God whispering to me to serve our church but was not sure in what capacity until this past Fall when the testimonies of those involved in Stephen Ministry touched my heart.  My husband, Jack, and I have been members of FUMC-Cary for over 25 years.  We were nurtured as a couple and married in the church in 1990.  Together we have three grown children and one grandson.  My faith journey has been strengthened in several Sunday School classes, Children's Church Ministry and my Emmaus walk in 2004.  I also supported Jack when he was called to work with other FUMC church members in establishing Alliance Medical Ministry the past decade.  For over 36 years, I have been a teacher, principal, and college administrator.  At the bottom of the hymn, "Here I am Lord," there is a note, "called to God's mission."  I hope to use any gifts and talents that I have been given to serve and strengthen the mission and congregation of faith of FUMC-C.  God bless this loving congregation of faith for your encouragement and support during our training as Stephen Ministers. 

Neil Chinault - Stephen Ministry Leader 

In August 2009, Neil attended 50 hours of Stephen Ministry Training in St. Louis, MO.
The Stephen Ministry program at FUMC-C is a valuable resource for providing one-on-one care to anyone who is experiencing a life event that is causing distress in their life.  As a new Stephen Leader I'm looking forward to working with the Stephen Ministers of our church to serve the congregation with our gifts.  Only God can provide the cure to people in need, but as Stephen Ministers we will walk with you on your journey.
Libby Sinodis - Stephen Ministry Leader 
In April 2009, Libby attended 50 hours of Stephen Ministry Training in St. Louis, MO. Libby wants to express that "Every person at FUMC-C needs to know about the Stephen Ministry program and refer people who are going through hurtful and painful periods in their lives."  This program is confidential, Christian care, 1:1, female to female or male to male.
Please be aware that people at work, your family, your neighborhood, Sunday School class or social contacts may be helped by Stephen Ministry.  They do not have to be a member of our congregation. Libby also mentioned that many people will not seek help unless invited by another.  Men, very often, prefer to suffer alone. We have male Stephen Ministers available who can assist and support men in difficult times of their lives.  
Please reach out to those about you and help to lighten their burden by referring them to the Stephen Ministry program at our church. If someone would like to receive the care of a Stephen Minister or get more information about having a Stephen Minister, please have them call Sue McVeigh, Referrals Coordinator at 460-1332 or the church office at 467-1861.  To get more information about becoming a Stephen Minister, please contact Libby Sinodis at 467-0385.