CHRIST CHURCH CARING is a consolidation of various pastoral ministries that have existed at Christ Episcopal Church for many years. Those involved in such ministries as Lay Eucharistic Visitors, visitors to the home‐bound and Daughters of the King have given selflessly to serve those in need.
Christ Church’s growth spurt (now with about 500 communicants of all ages) means that we must expand these important ministries so that newer members can feel the same care as longtime members. The Pastoral Care Committee has been working for several months to create a program that will help avoid duplication and assure that no one is forgotten.
The result is CHRIST CHURCH CARING, a comprehensive ministry involving specially trained Shepherds who will be partners with the priests in providing care. Others, such as meal and transportation volunteers, will work with their guidance.
The shepherds involved in the Pastoral Care Program want you to know that no one walks alone. We walk with parishioners (those who receive care), with each other, and with God. All involved have undergone special training in listening, boundaries and confidentiality.
"There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
1 Corinthians 12:5-6
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves...
Father Justin and the Pastoral Care Committee are serious about maintaining confidentiality and respect for others.
St. Paul tells us that "we are one body with many members." Our responsibility is to the world and to each another. We are all called to be ministers to each other and to assist the priests as they help others. This Pastoral Care ministry will help us care more fully for one another. CHRIST CHURCH CARING will help us all meet everyone’s needs.
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep.
PRAYER: Personal prayer is essential. Those involved in the Pastoral Care Ministry are committed to pray daily for our parish, its needs and the needs of our parishioners, and for all who minister to others.
CONFIDENTIALITY: Respecting confidentiality is the single most important aspect of CHRIST CHURCH CARING. The information that people share is bound by a sacred trust. This includes keeping confidential information with other team members and family members. In some circumstances, Shepherds and other Pastoral Care ministers may inform Christ Church's priests.
PROMPTNESS: Sometimes your Shepherd may be unable to contact you in a timely fashion. When those times arise, your Shepherd will ask other team members (Shepherd/Co‐Shepherd or Pastoral Ministry Leader) to contact you. We don’t want anyone to "fall through the cracks."
TRAINING: Learning is a lifelong process, and the ongoing training of caregivers is an important part of CHRIST CHURCH CARING. Shepherds and other ministry volunteers agree to attend regular training sessions.
BOUNDARIES / REFERRALS: CHRIST CHURCH CARING has a limited scope in ministry. Shepherds and other Pastoral Care ministers respect those limitations and will maintain healthy boundaries. When needed, they may refer to Christ Church's clergy and/or a licensed professional care‐giver.
Christ has no body but yours . No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassionately on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which he blesses all the world. Christ has no body now, but yours. You are his body!
St. Theresa of Avila