Sunday, November 25, 2012

PC -- Pastoral Care

These days when someone says "it was so PC" they are usually referring to an annoying level of "political correctness." The United Church has its share of PC --at Bay of Quinte Conference this year someone asked that we not use the terms "bullets" on an itemized Powerpoint slide because it was violent -- but today PC is Pastoral Care.

Our dedicated Pastoral Care Committee is leading this morning's worship service, upholding the importance of pastoral care in the life of our congregation. I have commented regularly on the exceptional level of pastoral care at St. Paul's thanks to our Pastoral Care team and many others who visit and support one another. Included are our young people who have visited seniors to sing carols and bring treats.

Yes, we have a paid pastoral care staff member, Beth Lettner, and yes, I visit our members and adherents. In large part thanks to Beth, we have a well organized and committed group of visitors who visit shut-ins and those who are in nursing homes and residences.

Recently our administrator, Helen, handed me a list of all those in residences (ten locations) and the layperson who visits in each one. This is a powerful expression of Christ's love and compassion through these individuals. Would they describe what they do as a ministry? I doubt it -- that's what Beth and I do they would insist. But I am convinced that they are ministers of the gospel in a powerful way.

Any thoughts about this work in our congregation? Are you involved? Would you like to be?

Please read my latest Groundling blog on incineration


willowjakmom said...

I joined the PC committee purely because Beth was a part of it and I knew that I admired the work that she does, and wanted to be a part of it. I had no idea what 'pastoral care' was, and like Lynn Liddell said in her sermon yesterday, I thought it meant to take care of the pastor. ha! I was pleased to learn that the foundation of the committee's work, was completely based on compassion. I have found that since I joined, my eyes are more open to seeing those who do this *work* all the time, but quietly so and with no fanfare. There are so many people in our congregation who are doing God's work every single day and they don't have the title of "Committee Member" after their name. Life is so much more rich when you are reaching out to someone else. My family has been on the receiving end of pastoral care and this is the easiest and most rewarding way to give our thanks; by paying it forward. I am just grateful to be part of such a caring community.

Laura said...

My Mom has a pastoral care visitor, (who might just read this blog)who is such a warm, thoughtful friend. Although she never had a chance to know my Mom, before Alzheimer's, this caregiver has been so "in tune" during her visits that she has "found" Mom, despite the limitations in communication, and knows just how to bring out the best of Mom with just a small trinket or picture to engage her. To truly make a new friend amidst dimentia is a rare and precious gift and Mom (and our family) has received this from the pastoral care team member.
Thanks for honouring this very special work yesterday. They are a humble bunch that do deeply important work of the church.