Our Vision for Pastoral Care
The vision that the session has implemented within this congregation is the vision of a church that in reality strives to care for every member – a church that allows no one to slip between the floorboards by our neglect of that person.
This vision is the closest thing we have discovered in terms of obeying as a church Christ’s command for us to love one another – and therefore for us to honour and glorify our God.
The session has defined pastoral care in the following terms:
“pastoral care is caring for another by giving one’s self in Christian love to a loving and supporting relationship both in times of weakness and in times of strength.”
The specific goals of our pastoral care program are as follows:
* to develop the practice of loving care that encompasses “every member” of the church so that all people within the church are cared for.
* to expand and to recognise the gifts of the members of the church in caring for one another
* to care for new people entering into the fellowship of the church and to incorporate them into the church family.
“Pastoral care is Christians caring for other Christians through all circumstance of life and helping them come to the Lord Jesus Christ who cares for them as a good shepherd cares for his sheep. This care is also extended to those who are not Christians as a sign of God’s love for them in the hope that they will be drawn to Christ. Care is shown through demonstrating Christian love, friendship, caring, good listening, practical help, prayer and God’s Word, the Bible.”
Six Key Areas of Pastoral Care include…
Showing Christian Love and Showing You Care
Praying for the People You Care For
Giving Practical Help
Being a Good Listener
Praying with the People You Care For
Using the Bible to Encourage and Challenge
The plan is quite simple. The session has appointed PASTORAL CARERS, with each responsible for between 2 and 5 church families and/or individuals, with ministers and elders also directly caring for members, especially those who are frail-aged or incapacitated, as well as their pastoral carers.
These Pastoral Carers work under the guidance of an elder who is responsible in the following way:
* Each pastoral carer will be in regular with contact each person/church family they are caring for (most often at weekly worship services or church group meetings… sometimes by phone or card, etc.) to establish that everything is OK, or to learn of any need.
* When a pastoral carer becomes aware that a person or family has been absent from church for a number of weeks or becomes aware of illness or other issues, the pastoral carer will attempt to make contact with the person or family as soon as possible to offer any support that may be appropriate… and in serious situations will advise the elder or minister.
Every church member or pastoral carer may at any time contact their pastoral carer, elder or minister about any matter. Additionally, all members are encouraged to continue caring for others our church family whether or not they are ‘official’ pastoral carers.
If you do not know who is your elder or pastoral carer, one of the ministers or elders will be pleased to assist you.