Pastoral Care takes many forms. Some pastoral services are offered by both the clergy and lay ministers of St. Stephen’s, some are only offered by the priests. Here are some of the ways we can help in times of crisis or illness, or during one of life’s transitions:
Hospital Visitation: Being in the hospital can be an overwhelming and anxious time, regardless of whether it is for a day or a week, for an illness, emergency room visit, surgery, or the joyful event of a new birth. Our clergy and/or Lay Eucharistic Visitors (LEV’s) will come visit you. We can pray with you, bring you communion, anoint you – or simply be with you to remind you of God’s never-failing love and care for you even in stressful times.
Crisis counseling: Our clergy are available to meet with individuals, families, or couples who are in crisis. We do not offer long-term therapeutic counseling; for longer-term needs our clergy can offer referrals to qualified therapists in the Miami area.
Friendly ears: It needn't be a crisis -- our clergy are available to lend an ear, offer a shoulder to cry on, or share your good news with you.
Anointing and Laying-on-of-Hands for Healing: We offer this sacrament during or after each of our Masses at St. Stephen’s as well as on an individual basis. We believe that through oil and/or the laying on of hands, God’s healing power is claimed and bestowed. Healing takes many different forms and is not necessarily accompanied by a physical cure.
Lay Eucharistic Visitors (LEV’s): Occasionally you see a lay person being sent with a small black box from the altar at the conclusion of the Mass. He or she is being sent bearing consecrated bread and wine from our altar to share with those who could not be physically with us.
Visits with Homebound Persons: Our parish community extends beyond those who are physically with us during worship. If you or a loved one cannot make it to church, our clergy or LEV’s can bring church to you.
Spiritual Direction: Our clergy are available to give spiritual direction, which involves meeting one-on-one on a monthly basis to help a person discern how God is moving in his or her life.
Reconciliation of a Penitent: While we do say a communal General Confession during each Mass, many find the sacrament of one-on-one confession to and the pronouncement of God’s absolution by a priest to be powerfully meaningful to their sense of spiritual well-being.
Pre-marital Counseling: Our Episcopal canons (governing laws) require that any couple being married by an Episcopal priest must undergo pre-marital counseling. This is something our clergy at St. Stephen’s take very seriously as part of our church’s responsibility to a couple.
Pre-Baptismal Counseling: This is also something our clergy take very seriously because we believe that parents bringing a child to be baptized are making a promise to raise that child to know and love Jesus Christ and to make him known. Baptism is a lifelong commitment.
Prayer List: St. Stephen’s is a praying community. We lift up people and concerns needing our prayers, and our Prayer List is an integral part of every Mass.
The Blessing of Homes or other Buildings: Our clergy are available to bless your residence, place of work, or other structures. Prayers are said and holy water is sprinkled in each room. Included in the blessing are prayers for the people whose lives are centered there.
Bereavement: Our clergy are available to meet with a family which has lost a member to death, both to plan the funeral and for bereavement counseling.
For more information or to schedule these pastoral services, please contact the Parish Office at (305) 448-2601 or email the office at email@example.com. You can also contact our rector The Rev’d Willie Allen-Faiella directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.