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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.




STEPHEN MINISTRY

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STEPHEN MINISTRY. Program of training lay ministers to provide individual care for people in traumatic experiences. The Stephen Ministry program was first offered in Dubuque through FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, the first United Church of Christ congregation in Iowa to offer the program to its membership. The Dubuque ministry joined an estimated 1,300 congregations, representing forty-five denominations throughout the United States, that adopted the nonprofit program begun by Reverend Kenneth Haugh in 1975.

In addition to the study of the community resources available, fifty hours of training prepared the lay ministers with specific skills. Lay ministers deal with only one person at a time. As of January 1987, fifteen members of the First Congregational Church had completed the training and made their first two-year commitment to the program.