To better understand the many wonderful programs that donations support at St. Philip's - a parishioner will present an outline of a specific ministry each Sunday before the 10 AM service. These presentations started October 16 and will continue for several Sundays. This is part of our 2016 Stewardship campaign.
This weeks presentation focused on Pastoral Care.
Many times in the gospels we are told of Jesus’ concern and care for the sick and suffering. Up until a hundred years ago Christian churches were leaders in providing health care for everyone. Matthew tells us that Jesus sent the disciples out to “tell the good news, cure the sick and cast out demons.” Members of St. Philip’s Pastoral Care Team do not claim to actually “cure” the sick or be able to cast out demons but we are a groups of parishioners who feel called to live out our discipleship by caring for those in any kind of need. We do not take the place of our clergy but augment and support their work by visiting and keeping in touch with members of the congregation who are shut in, frail elderly or hospitalized.
On behalf of the parish we visit members of the congregation in homes, hospitals and care facilities offering friendship, a sympathetic ear and opportunity for spiritual reflection such as scripture readings and prayer. The frequency of visits varies according to the perceived need. Many folks have been visited for years, others times we are called upon to support someone in acute need for a short time. We are particularly concerned with those who have no family in town.
Our activities may include; helping parishioners to navigate the health care system; being a resource for access to care; acting as an advocate for those in hospital or nursing homes when no family member is available; driving people to medical appointments; supplying meals on a short time basis; or driving to church. Frequently, the need is simply for a friend who is a good listener to hold a hand, perhaps read a comforting psalm and join with them in prayer. When asked, we send notes to people on our Prayer List and to those who are recently bereaved.
During the Christmas and Easter seasons we arrange a special Seniors’ Eucharist in the Church followed by a simple lunch in the fireside room. At these times, every effort is made to bring our frail or disabled seniors to the church. Many volunteers; drivers, escorts and food prepares help to make these occasions successful and much appreciated.
We are always grateful to members of the congregation bringing our attention to friends or acquaintances who may be missing from Sunday services for a few weeks. A phone call by a Team member to establish if they are ill is always appreciated even if there is no untoward reason for their absence. It’s always nice to know you have been missed! I encourage you to speak to one of the clergy or myself or notify the church office if we can support you in any way. Most especially, we hope you will let us know if you, or someone you know, is admitted to the hospital.
Many of our members serve as Healing Prayer Partners during communion at the 10AM Sunday and Wednesday morning services and a few are licensed to bring communion to shut ins. In all our activities we maintain absolute confidence. Team members feel it is a great privilege to be entrusted with this responsibility of this ministry and we are grateful to our clergy team for their teaching, confidence and support.
Janet Brown, Pastoral Care Coordinator