ll Christians are called to care for one another in daily living, sharing joys and sorrows Supporting in times of stress and need, offering mutual forgiveness and reconciliation. This care is provided as people interact in community and as they come together in groups for nurture or to carry on ministries of the church.
– BOOK OF ORDER, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.)
Care & Compassion
As a community in Christ, there are many needs and interests reflected in our diverse body. Tertullian tells us a heathen once converted to Christianity because he was impressed by how much they cared for one another, saying “See these Christians, how they love one another.” A popular song from the ‘70’s says, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” This Ministry Unit gives us a chance to show our love for each other and to foster our sense of Christian community. In so doing, we find our place in the Body of Christ and are better equipped for our service to God in the world.
- Fellowship Events: Plans, oversees, coordinates, publicizes, and organizes regular Fellowship Events, such as the Wednesday Night Fellowship Suppers, as well as events that only happen a few times or even once each year. Dreams, promotes, plans, and implements regular Fellowship Events that contribute to the life of the congregation and to the mission of the church by fostering community, trust, and love among its members. “The polity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) presupposes the fellowship of women, men, and children united in covenant relationship with one another and with God through Jesus Christ. The organization rests on this fellowship and is not designed to work without trust and love.” – BOO, G-1.0102
- Retreats: Plans, publicizes, and implements regular retreats for worship, Bible study, fellowship, and re-creation designed to draw us closer to God and one another. Should function as a designated Work Group of the Ministry Unit to be mobilized when a retreat is desired to foster stronger community among its members. Other Ministry Teams and Ministry Units who desire retreats for specific purposes may request the Retreat Work Group plan a retreat, as well. In such cases the Ministry Team or Unit making the request is expected to participate in the planning and implementation of the retreat to ensure the desired focus and outcome are secured.
- Member Assimilation & Coordination: In partnership with the pastor(s), oversees the process of bringing members fully into the lifeblood of our church family by getting them involved in the DNA of the congregation, helping them discern their spiritual gifts and calling, and orienting them to the Reformed Tradition. Responsible for maintaining and collecting the Friendship Pads in worship, making contact with first-time visitors, maintaining contact with regular visitors, providing a regular Discovery Class for people interested in uniting with the congregation, and following up with new members in the first year of membership. Ensures that the church directory is updated on a regular basis and keeps a database of all members’ interests and spiritual gifts so we may invite them into service.
- Congregational Care & Visitation: Coordinates intentional care to the shut-ins, hospitalized, elderly, and others with pastoral needs in the congregation. Arranges to provide food for families in crisis or transportation for members who have difficulty getting to appointments. Coordinate cards and care packages to those who need to be reminded of their continued connection to the community of faith. Arranges support groups for caregivers and those facing difficult times in life, classes on ministry to the sick and infirm and those with special needs, and equips those facing end-of-life issues to navigate those issues with dignity. Coordinates the shut-in and hospital visitation ministry of the congregation, ensuring not only that people in need are visited but that the visitation, and any special need, is communicated to the Visitation Minister and/or pastor(s).
- Extended Communion: Coordinates the serving of Extended Communion to shut-ins, those in hospitals, and those in nursing homes.
- Receptions: Arranges for receptions to celebrate the lives of those who have passed, visiting groups, arriving or departing staff members, expecting mothers-to-be, and/or other groups or events as the team sees the need. Functions as a Work Group.
- Stephen Ministry: Stephen Ministry is a lay ministry that provides one-to-one Christian care by trained lay caregivers to the bereaved, hospitalized, terminally ill, separated, divorced, unemployed, relocated, and others facing a crisis or life challenge. Stephen Ministry helps congregations and pastors provide quality caring ministry for as long as people need it.
- Wellness Programs: Coordinates, plans, and publicizes the offering of Wellness Programs in the congregation that encourage spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, and/or financial wellness for members, their families, and the community. These programs may be offered by members, the pastor(s), the Visitation Minister, outside speakers, or other persons or entities promoting a healthy lifestyle for the whole person.
- Associate Pastor (when present): The Associate Pastor will have primary responsibility for this Ministry Unit. When a need arises and no team is present and coordination of individuals is necessary, and there is no other program staff person responsible, the Associate Pastor will have responsibility for coordinating the team of individuals. In the absence of an Associate Pastor, the Senior Pastor shall assume primary responsibility for this Ministry Unit.
- Visitation Minister: The Visitation Minister has secondary responsibility for this Ministry Unit, working closely with the Associate Pastor in the fulfillment of his/her duties and informing the pastor(s) of any spiritual needs beyond his/her expertise. The Visitation Minister, while not reporting directly to the Ministry Unit, is expected to work closely with the Congregational Ministry Unit in coordinating care. When a need arises and the pastor(s) are unavailable for whatever reason, the Visitation Minister assumes primary staff responsibility for coordination of ministries.
- Stephen Ministry Coordinator: This volunteer position coordinates the Stephen Ministers in the congregation. He/she facilitates ongoing training sessions, as well as making and maintaining the caregiver assignments. He/she is expected to work closely with the Associate Pastor, and the Visitation Minister, as necessary.