One of the greatest rewards of belonging to a faith community is the caring. Not just the comfort of knowing that someone will be there for support in hard times. It is the gratification that comes from helping a shut-in with grocery shopping, driving an older person to church on Sunday morning, helping a single parent move, helping a child learn how to contribute to their community, or just a giving a hug to someone who is having a bad day. Perhaps without even realizing, we all work with the ministry staff as part of the Pastoral Care team.
The Pastoral Care Committee meets regularly with ministry staff to identify and monitor the needs of those requiring support. Trained Pastoral Care Visitors regularly visit those in hospitals and care facilities and individuals in their own home. In addition, men of the AOTS and women of the UCW branches regularly visit and provide support to members of their individual groups.
In a time of need, many derive great comfort from prayer, especially the support of their faith community.
For over fifty years, there has been a group in the church who offer daily prayer for anyone in need. A word to the ministerial staff or a phone call to the office will activate this group’s “phone tree”, providing an opportunity to access their support in complete confidentiality.
In the Fall of 2007, the Circle of Friends embraced the Shawl Ministry (www.shawlministry.com) begun by Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo in 1998. This ministry is an opportunity to offer our hands and our prayers to those within our community in need of comfort or in celebration of a joyous occasion. Each shawl is prayerfully created with love and blessings and is offered a final blessing by the Circle before presentation to the recipient.