Pastoral Care & Counseling
The word pastor means shepherd. A pastor cares for his/her flock. Pastoral care is caring in the name of Christ for our members and the community beyond.
Pastoral Care includes the classic concepts of guiding, sustaining, and supporting the suffering person or persons with compassion and kindness. It also involves evaluation of the appropriate type of pastoral response that is needed or sought, whether that be on-going pastoral care, pastoral counseling, or pastoral psychotherapy. Professional pastoral caregivers ordinarily are trained with a minimum of one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (400 clinically supervised hours of training.)
Pastoral Counseling is both more focused and more self-consciously inquisitive than pastoral care. It endeavors to explore motivation. It considers any kind of problem of human existence brought to conversation by the counselee. It is more intentional, contractual, and addresses specific concerns or problems. It is usually short-term. Clinically trained parish clergy and clinically trained institutional chaplains provide this level of care after a minimum of four units of clinical pastoral education (1600 clinically supervised hours of training) or similarly comprehensive clinical training.
Our Pastor is privileged to visit members and friends of the church who are hospitalized, whenever she is notified. She is also ‘on call’ to respond to emergency needs. At the time of your admission, please have a family member or friend inform us of your hospitalization. Due to privacy laws, if this information is not conveyed by them, we will be unaware of your situation. You are encouraged to call the church office to notify us if you are hospitalized. During times of the Pastor’s absence, she is assisted by the Session, Deacons and Shepherds.
We strive to celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper at least two times a year with each homebound member of the congregation. Please contact the Pastor to set a date to receive communion in your home.
Our Shepherds are members who work with the Pastor to provide care, prayer support and help in time of need to each of our members. Each Shepherd is responsible for approximately 5-10 members. The Shepherds keep in touch with members and often send cards for birthdays, holidays or illnesses. They don’t meet regularly, but each Shepherd has a mailbox in the church office for notices and correspondence. Deacons Elda McCoy and Marge Staffaroni coordinate this ministry.
Every Sunday the flowers that grace our sanctuary for worship are delivered by a Deacon to members and friends of our congregation experiencing a particular celebration, loss, or health issue in their lives.
During Advent, Christmas and Easter, our sanctuary and church building are decorated with holiday plants as part of our celebration of these seasons of the church year. Following our celebration, we share the joy of Christmas and Easter with members and friends who are unable to join us in worship by the gift of one of these plants.