Pastoral Care in the St James’ community has the broad aim to ensure that the blessings and benefits of our common life together in Christ may be enjoyed by all members. In our common ministry to one another, none should suffer from neglect or oversight.
- Cues to effective pastoral care through an up-to-date Parish List. (Click here for more.)
- Cues to effective pastoral care through awareness of the needs of members of the church. (Click here for more.)
- Pastoral care to members of advancing age or disabilities. (Click here for more.)
- Pastoral Care as manifested through our Flower Ministry. (Click here for more.)
- Pastoral Care as manifested through our Card Ministry. (Click here for more.)
- Pastoral Care through Special Events. (Click here for more.)
- Meeting of the Pastoral Care Committee. (Click here for more.)
Cues to effective pastoral care through an up-to-date Parish List
We recognise that cues to effective ministry include knowing who our members are, which is why we strive to keep our records, the Parish List, up to date. That includes identifying potential new members among us, and recording those members who have left us for various reasons. The Parish Registry is reviewed and updated on a monthly basis.
Cues to effective pastoral care through awareness of the needs of members of the church.
Another cue to effective ministry is to be aware of abrupt changes in our members’ lives that are likely to give rise to pastoral needs – illness, bereavement, family upset and so on. Hopefully family members will inform the parish office, but we rely a great deal on ‘grape-vine’ communication, and we ask everyone please to contact the church office if they are informed about such changes. Our Family Prayer Focus ministry is also a great help keeping us in touch with particular needs and situations – we work through our Parish List to ensure that every individual or family is telephoned at least once each year, to ask about special prayer concerns or desire for a pastoral visit. The prayers of three families weekly are offered in both Sunday services and are also printed in the weekly bulletin.
Pastoral care to members of advancing age or disabilities.
A segment of our community may have needs of a more chronic nature – typically through advancing age or onset of disabilities that may prevent these members from attending our worship services and other community events. For want of a better term, those seriously affected in this way are sometimes referred to as ‘shut-ins’. We include in this group those who have moved to permanent care facilities. Our ministry to such members includes keeping regular contact by telephone and home visiting, with home communion offered if so wished – as well as the clergy we have several volunteers who are licensed to administer the sacraments. An important part of this ministry is to be constantly alert as to which persons need to be included within this category, and what their particular needs may be.
Pastoral Care as manifested through our Flower Ministry
Another manifestation of pastoral care is through what we call our Flower Ministry. After the Sunday services flowers from the church are delivered to selected members – maybe in celebration of a special event, or maybe as a sign of our sympathy and support in a difficult time. And “shut-ins” are always pleased to be remembered by receiving the flowers. We are always on the lookout for more volunteers to deliver the flowers.
Pastoral Care as manifested through our Card Ministry
We have a Card Ministry which is another way to show care in different situations. Letters and cards of sympathy are sent to those who have been bereaved: a letter marking the first and a card marking the second anniversary of bereavement. We send Christmas and Easter cards to our “shut-Ins” signed by as many members of the congregation as possible. We also send birthday cards, where appropriate, for “milestone” birthdays as we become aware of them (respecting that some prefer to keep their birthdays confidential).
Pastoral Care through Special Events
Special Events that we hold each year include the Seniors’ Communion and Tea (one in the spring and one in the fall), which are popular not only with the seniors of St James’, but many more junior members and some special visitors too. What makes them ‘truly special’ is that Eileen Jones so graciously hosts them at her wonderful home. Then, most years at Christmas time we hold a Blue Christmas service for those who have been recently bereaved, or for whoever may find it a struggle to get through the Christmas season.
Meeting of the Pastoral Care Committee
In the administration of Pastoral Care, the clergy are assisted by a Pastoral Care Committee which meets every 6 to 8 weeks on average.