Types of Programs

Stephen Ministry

Our Vision: Compassion In Action – No One Should Hurt Alone

What Is Stephen Ministry?

In the gospels, Jesus commands us to love God, love one another, and love ourselves (Matt. 22:37, Mk 12:30, Lk 10:27). We are to love others as Jesus has loved us, and this is how the world will know that we belong to Him (John 13:34-35). Stephen Ministry is named after the apostle who was “full of the Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:3). Stephen was chosen to wait on tables, to serve those in need. In the Greek, diakonia meant to serve, whether by preaching the Word or distributing food. The two were seen as equally valuable by the apostles in ministering to the needs of people. Stephen humbly accepted this position and eventually became the first Christian martyr.

We are called, as the church of Jesus Christ, to minister to the needs of others. In doing so we must understand that this is an important way we can be the hands and feet of Jesus to a broken world. Stephen Ministry is a distinctively Christian caregiving ministry in which individual care givers are matched with individual care receivers. These one to one relationships are characterized by compassion, faith, trustworthiness, and active listening skills demonstrated on behalf of the one receiving care. These confidential relationships, which last for as long as the care receiver needs them, are not counseling sessions, support groups, or a time for idle chit-chat. Stephen Ministers have been trained extensively to listen and walk alongside a brother or sister who is hurting in a non-judgmental way. They understand that God is the “cure-giver” and we are the “care-giver”. It may be requested for any number of reasons. Loss of a loved one, divorce, or a medical diagnosis are just some of the areas that a Stephen Minister can help.

Are you going through a difficult time? Could you benefit from having someone to talk to? Do you have a heart for those in need? Can you empathize with someone who just needs a listening ear? Stop by the Connection Center after services to get more information or call the church office at 288 -8880.

I Need a Stephen Minister

No matter how strong we think we may be, there are times in everyone’s life when we need someone to come along side us to help us move on. Whether we are grieving the loss of a loved one, are experiencing an unexpected life change, we need someone to show us they care. Stephen Ministry at Autumn Ridge Church is a ministry that personally extends the love of Jesus Christ to people experiencing a difficult time.

Stephen Ministers are not counselors, nor do they offer counseling. However, they are a team of caring individuals who have been specially trained to offer care and support to people experiencing a wide range of life difficulties. They will work with a person one-on-one to see them through their dark time by showing them the light of God’s healing.

If you would like someone who will come along side you to a place of comfort or healing, contact Carmen Livingood at ARC at or 288-8880 or click on the button, below.

How do I become a Stephen Minister?

First of all, thank you for your interest in becoming a Stephen Minister. The number one characteristic for being a Stephen Minister is a deep desire to serve others during times of personal difficulty.

After expressing an interest in becoming a Stephen Minister, a candidate will be interviewed to help them understand the scope of what is involved in Stephen Ministry, and for us to learn about that person’s areas of interest as it relates to serving in this ministry.

Our Stephen Ministers are well trained through a proven 50 hour curriculum that gives Stephen Ministers a background in using active listening skills and helping people through a wide range of life experiences. Being a Stephen Minister can be a rewarding experience, but it does require a commitment of at least eighteen months.

It is our desire to seek ways to effectively meet the needs of people in need. As Stephen Ministers, we are part of a decades old national organization, allowing us access to the experience and resources of many who have gone before us.

If you have a desire to become involved with Stephen Ministry, contact Pastor Karen Foster at 288-8880 or or click on the button, below.


Prayer Ministries:

The Watchmen Prayer Team

Jesus taught us to pray that God’s will would be accomplished and it is to that end that The Watchmen Prayer Team (Isaiah 62:6) gathers for an hour each Wednesday morning. This group of intercessors begins with praising God and continues to pray for God’s direction in the life of Autumn Ridge Church, its leaders, ministries and congregation, as well as for the community, our country and the world.

Prayer Walk Team

Join others before the services and pray through the building as we ask for God’s Holy Spirit to be present in all ministries. We begin at 4:45pm on Saturdays, and 8:00 am on Sunday in the Living Room of the church’s foyer.

Care/Prayer ridgeLINK Group

The Care/Prayer ridgeLINK Group receives prayer requests via email when they come to our attention. If you have a request, you can let our receptionist know and she will pass the message to the team and staff or if you prefer, to just the Pastors.

Prayer Service

Four times a year we will have a service where personal prayer is offered following communion. Prayers are offered for healing, for strength in areas where encouragement is needed or for blessing. Training is offered for this ministry.

Our Elders, Pastors and prayer team are available to pray after every service in the Living Room.


Care Ministries:

Visitation Team

As our church increases in number, so does the need for care. The Visitation Team meets together on Thursday mornings for a devotion before going out to visit those who are in the Hospital, care centers or in their homes due to health concerns.

Meals Team

Our Meals Team prepares and delivers three meals to the home of those who have had a death in their immediate family, and also those who are recovering from an illness or accident when this is helpful.

Caregiver Support Group

Caregiver Support Group:

Who is the Caregiver Support Group for?

This group is for family and friends involved with helping anyone with a medical condition, injury, or normal age related changes.  A caregiver is anyone who cares for a loved one, whether it’s occasional help or 24/7 hands on care.  Some people do not think of themselves as a caregiver, they feel they are just doing what any good spouse, child, or friend would do.  Even if you are only occasionally shoveling the sidewalk or picking up groceries, you are a caregiver.  If you have been a caregiver in the past, please consider joining us to share your hard-earned wisdom with new caregivers.

What is the Caregiver Support Group?

This will be a drop-in group where family and friends of people needing care can connect with others that are experiencing similar situations. You’ll have the opportunity to share the joys and frustrations of day-to-day challenges.  You’ll be able to ask questions of others and share your own experiences.  Get caregiving tips, advice, and support.  Share, vent, laugh.

Why is the Caregiver Support Group offered?

Being a caregiver is challenging.  You have to gain new skills, such as learning new ways to communicate, and/or develop new ways to relate to your loved one.  It may involve new living arrangements and gaining new medical knowledge.  This can result in a great deal of stress that can have serious implications on the rest of your life.  Come and connect with those who understand what you’re going through.  You don’t need to go it alone!

We meet on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10:00 to 11:30 am in the Luther Room (next to the SkyBridge at Door #3).  No pre-registration is necessary.

How to get more information about Caregiver Support Group?
The sessions will be facilitated by Diane Pritchett and Carol Heerema.  You can get more information by emailing Diane at


Hospice Ministry:

We are members of Autumn ridge Church, who have a heart for the spiritual care of patients nearing the end of life and for their families, who care for them.  We respect the dignity and privacy of each hospice patient and family, and we maintain confidentiality of information shared during visits.

We come along side doctors, nurses, and hospice care personnel, bringing a Christian message of hope, spiritual healing, and salvation.  We help patients and families live fully in Christ throughout.

What do we do?

  • We visit hospice patients and families in homes, hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices.
  • We listen to concerns of patients and their families.
  • We assess patient and family spiritual needs.
  • We provide spiritual care and comfort through touch, reading scriptures, and prayer.
  • We help families say goodbye to their loved ones.
  • We offer communion


Bereavement Ministry:

We are members of Autumn Ridge Church, who provide support to church members/families, who are grieving the loss of a loved one.  We respect the dignity and privacy of the bereaved, and we maintain confidentiality of information shared during visits.

We help church members to manage their grief by walking beside them during their grief journey and help redirect the bereaved to be more aware of God’s new purpose for them, as “He never wastes a hurt.”

What do we do?

  • We send sympathy cards to the bereaved.
  • We meet with bereaved church members to discuss spiritual needs, grief symptoms, etc.
  • We pray and/or read scripture with the bereaved.
  • We call a pastor as needed.
  • We provide referral sources if requested to do so.
  • We provide written material on managing grief.
  • We invite families to attend a memorial service every May in honor of the deceased.

Healing Hearts


Healing Hearts is a Christian organization devoted to helping women heal from hurtful afflictions in their past whilehhmlogoa providing a safe place to share their pain with other women without fear of judgment or condemnation.

If you are a prisoner of shame or guilt because of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or abortion, Healing Hearts offers the wholeness, healing, and forgiveness of God found through His Son, Jesus Christ.

What is a Healing Hearts Support Group?

Healing Hearts studies and applies Scripture in a small group, consisting of about 4 women and 2 trained lay counselors. The size of our support groups allow for quality time for each woman and her individual needs. Leaders who have personally walked through the healing process themselves offer unconditional love and continually pray for group participants. All groups and shared information remain strictly confidential. One-on-one counseling is also available via telephone counseling, a support group setting, and through our website

Healing Hearts Bible Studies

Two studies are offered – one for those suffering from the pain of past emotional hurts or physical/sexual abuse and the other for those suffering from post-abortion shame or guilt. Each woman can expect to have weekly homework assignments to help her work through past hurts and the feelings that accompany them.

Binding Up the Broken Hearted

Binding Up the Broken Hearted is for women who suffer from the after affects of an abortion. Women are led to hope and healing through studying what God’s Word says about abortion, anger, shame, guilt, forgiveness, purity, and other topics. All leaders of these groups/study have had abortions and found healing from God’s Word with the help of this study.

The Hem of His Garment

The Hem of His Garment is for women who need help overcoming the pain of afflictions of their past. Women who have suffered loss, sexual abuse, divorce, rape, and other traumas are supported through this study. Like Binding Up, Hem’s focus is to lead women to hope and healing through studying what God’s Word says concerning sin, anger, guilt, shame, forgiveness, purity, and other topics. This is NOT an abortion study. Once again, all of Hem’s leaders are recipients of God’s healing through his Word and his grace.

Groups meet on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 PM and at other times by arrangement.

Registration and Fees


  • First-come, first-served basis. If the class is full, women are put on a waiting list for next class offered.
  • Contact Julie Bashore by phone at (507) 261-9650 or by email for more information.


  • $20 covers cost of Bible study materials
  • No childcare is provided

H.O.P.E Ministries

HOPE is a ministry for mothers who are grieving the loss of their unborn baby. Beyond the darkness there is a Light and Comfort for your broken heart. We strive to be the tangible love of Christ; to offer continued care and to share in the hope that comes only through Christ Jesus.

For further information, please contact Allison Loftus through the church office by calling 288-8880. More…

Celebrate Recovery


Our purpose is to fellowship and celebrate God’s healing power in our lives through the 12 Steps and 8 Recovery principles. This experience allows us to be changed. We open the door by sharing our experiences, strengths and hopes with one another. In addition, we become willing to accept God’s grace in solving our lives problems.

By working and applying these Biblical principles, we begin to grow spiritually. We become free from our addictive, compulsive, and dysfunctional behaviors. This freedom creates peace, serenity, joy, and most importantly, a stronger personal relationship with God and others. As we progress through the program, we discover our personal, loving and forgiving Higher Power – Jesus Christ.


When we meet

We meet: Fridays 7:00pm for worship. 8:00pm for small groups. 9:00pm for Solid Rock Cafe.

For more information contact:

Gary Seaquist
Director of Celebrate Recovery (volunteer)
email: Gary Seaquist
(507) 287-9101

Do You Have a Heart for Ministering to Children?

Additional volunteers are needed to provide the conduit of love, compassion and connection to Christ to children from toddlers through middle schoolers every Friday night. These kids are here as their parents attend the Celebrate Recovery program for dealing with hurts, habits and hang-ups.   This is a volunteer position, but it could possibly become a paid part-time position.  Volunteers need to be 18 or older and will need to complete a background check if we don’t already have one on file for you.

If interested, click here to go to the online form.  Scroll down to Celebrate Recovery, click on Childcare, and then Submit.  We will follow up with you.

Other Celebrate Recovery groups in the area:

Community Celebration Church
27401 County Highway 34, Kasson, MN, 55920
Monday’s @ 6:00
Contact Info: Tim Peterson (507) 269-8360

Interested in Prayer/Care/Support

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

02 May, 17
09 May, 17
16 May, 17