From the 2019 Ministry Narrative
Pastoral Care takes on a variety of expressions in our parish. The most obvious occurs when the parishioners and staff take care of one another in times of need. In that light, our Rector Emeritus, other local retired Episcopal clergy, and our Eucharistic Visitors are always available for home communions. As well, we are eager to be there for visitation of the sick in hospitals and being with people during emergencies of all types. Parishioners know that at any time, all they need to do is pick up the phone or send an email or text to be connected with the prayer chain or to be provided any other type of support. As a family, we are not only able to do that, but we are eager to do what we can to help each other out when times are tough.
Our pastoral care through the various worship services of the church is also given over to others not in our actual membership roster. While we visit and give communion regularly to our parishioners in health care facilities, we also make sure we are available for others who are not members of the church but who have requested our services. Along those lines, some of the people we help with monetary assistance have also received pastoral care when a crisis or death has befallen their family.
Pastoral care extends beyond the relationships we have with people. Our service for the blessing of the pets as well as when a companion animals dies, interring his or her ashes in our memorial garden using the rite made available by the church for that purpose, is a profound example of meeting grief with hope and death with resurrection. This lovely space enables people and pets to be buried on church grounds, which for many, provides a wonderful sense of comfort. It is a peaceful and contemplative place reflective of the abundant blessings of God.
Pastoral care involves staying in touch with each other through the regular journey of life. The evening soup suppers, conversation at coffee and book study, phone calls, emails, texts, cards, and the delivery of altar flowers and food to someone away from the church all proclaim the ministry of pastoral care. Pastoral care also means helping people settle into our parish. The parish directory, name tags, and E-letter greatly assist them in that. And while our participation in the dinners “up in the Canyon” are seen as outreach, they also are a wonderful avenue for pastoral care as they are occasions for fostering conversation, hospitality and warmth.
Finally, the Church provides considerable pastoral care to many we only know through stories. The wider mission of the church, again supported by our diocesan assessment, provides extensive pastoral care for those in the dawn of life, the children, and to those in the twilight of life, the elderly. Our pledges and our gifts support ministries which provide not only direct services, but also training to lay and ordained ministers throughout our country and the world.