Mesquite United Methodist Church is to commission seven new Stephen Ministers on April 27 during the church’s 10 a.m. worship service.

The new Stephen Ministers are Jackie Armstrong, Rick and Jan Casebolt, Calleen Cox, Marci Harrison, Mark Oswell and Lois West. A total of 18 Stephen Ministers will serve under the leadership of Pastor Rick Casebolt, along with Lila Homan, Rich Killian, and Kathleen Winstanley, previously commissioned Stephen Leaders.

“I’m excited about the way additional Stephen Ministers will expand the caring ministry here at Mesquite United Methodist Church,” said the pastor “They will help me provide the quality ongoing care people need. Our church enrolled in Stephen Ministry in 2006, and just in the last few years we have served over 50 care receivers.”

Before commissioning, Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of training in Christian caregiving skills covering such topics as active listening, distinctively Christian care, confidentiality and crisis theory. They minister to people in specific situations such as divorce, grief, hospitalization and terminal illness.

In addition, Stephen Leaders meet twice a month with Stephen Ministers and provide continuing education and supervision.

“Stephen Ministry is a confidential ministry; those receiving care can be sure that their identity and what is said in the caring relationship will remain private,” Casebolt said. “Mesquite United Methodist Church expects their Stephen Ministry to be a source of warmth, care and blessings for many years to come.”

Those who are interested or have questions about the Stephen Ministry at Mesquite United Methodist Church, or someone who needs care and support at this time, should call Casebolt at the church office, 702-346-4663.