Stephen Ministers: The "After People"

People often ask, "What exactly is a Stephen Minister?" One way to put it is that Stephen Ministers are the After People. Stephen Ministers are there: after the phone call you hoped you'd never get. After the divorce papers are served and the bottom falls out of your life. After the funeral, when everyone has left and the emotions you've held at bay come crashing in on you. After the doctor says, "I'm sorry, but there's nothing more we can do," after the nursing home director shakes your hand and says, "Welcome to your new home." After the last child honks the horn, waves, and drives away-and the house suddenly seems empty. After the gavel goes down, the handcuffs go on, and your loved one is led away. After the baby arrives, demanding more of you than you ever dreamed possible. After you find a pink slip with your final paycheck. After your family and friends have heard your story one too many times, but you still need to talk it out. Stephen Ministers are the "After People." They are ready to come alongside you-or your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or relatives-and provide comfort and support for as long after as needed.