Service of Lament, Hope, and Healing

Please join us for an Ecumenical Service of Lament, Hope and Healing as we recover from the COVID pandemic. The service will provide a path to praise through a transition from pain to promise.

2 p.m. Sunday August 22, 2021

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church

140 Gathering Place Lane

Iowa City, IA 52240


Co-hosted by the Stephen Ministries of St. Thomas More,

Our Redeemer Lutheran, and Saint Andrew Presbyterian churches.

YouTube Link

Online Bulletin

Local Service of Healing

to Offer Turning Point

for Communities of Faith

IOWA CITY, Iowa — During their training as one-on-one caregivers, Stephen Ministers focus on how healing begins when a hurting person is "heard" by a caring person.  

And during the past 18 months of pandemic isolation, the local Stephen Ministers at St. Andrew Presbyterian, St. Thomas More Catholic, and Our Redeemer Lutheran churches have been “hearing” the struggles, anxieties, fears, and hopes expressed by family, friends, and neighbors across the religious spectrum. 

In response, the Stephen Ministers from these very different Iowa City area congregations are organizing an Ecumenical Service of Lament, Hope, and Healing to take place 2 p.m. Sunday Aug. 22 at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 140 Gathering Place Lane on the westside of Iowa City.

“Healing is often slow and can be painful,” said Sharon Fogleman, a recently trained Stephen Minister from St. Andrew. “Moving beyond this pain takes courage. Yet, speaking the truth of personal and communal pain and losses can bring about a freedom, which allows us to rise above the many challenges of this pandemic.”

The in-person service will be led by St. Andrew’s pastor, the Rev. W. Robert Martin III, along with harpist Pam Weest-Carrasco and participants from other area religious communities. The program includes musical reflections, poetry readings, times for silent meditation, and prayer. The organizers have put out a call for artists to submit paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, videos, and mixed media in response to swirl of emotions raised by the pandemic. The service also will be livestreamed on St. Andrew’s YouTube channel,

“It is my hope that this service will allow us all to clearly recognize the emotional and spiritual impact we have experienced,” said Mary Beth Ross, a Stephen Minister from St. Andrew. “The process of acknowledging whatever level of trauma individuals and the community have experienced can bring us together in God’s love to heal for a stronger faith journey ahead.”

The Iowa City area Stephen Ministers will be available to listen to participants following the service. The principles of caregiving through active listening can provide further support to individuals seeking a friend to join them on their walk toward healing.

“I believe this service will offer a turning point for our communities of faith,” said Fogleman. “The service will stir our souls—through music, words, art, and prayer—and the healing power of our loving God will lead us into a healthier community.”

Stephen Ministries is an ecumenical, faith-based caring ministry that offers one-on-one listening for hurting people in the church and the larger community. Since its beginning in 1975, the ministry has been embraced by more than 13,000 congregations from various Christian denominations in all 50 states and 30 other countries.

For more information about the Ecumenical Service for Lament, Hope, and Healing, visit or contact

For more information about Stephen Ministries, visit

To submit artwork for use during the Aug. 22 service, contact