Although our mission statement in found inside the bulletin each week, it bears reflecting on:
“Our Pastoral Care ministers strive to be the instrument of God’s healing presence and love to those who are sick and homebound” - Being God’s vessel to be poured out to others is a humbling experience. To be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ for others is not just a cliché it is a truth.
“...while encouraging a sense of community and connection to the body of Christ...” When we visit, we are bringing the community of the body of Christ to those who may feel disassociated with others both physically, emotionally or spiritually.
“...through pastoral visitation, Eucharist, presence, listening and healing prayer.” Our pastoral visits bring hope amid uncertainty, peace amid chaos and kindness amid brokenness or pain.
Yes, Pastoral Care is alive and well at St. Joseph’s and St. Paul's!
We now have 12 pastoral care ministers to the sick and homebound. Some are visiting individuals in their homes, some minister to those in nursing homes while others bring communion to patients at Saratoga Hospital.
We have a family from our parish doing a Rosary Circle and Communion Service twice a month at the Home of the Good Shepherd in Wilton and another family who does Dog Therapy there and at Home of the Good Shepherd in Saratoga Springs. For the past several months we have also had 4 families alternately giving rides to a fellow parishioner from Woodlawn Commons.
We also have volunteers sending out get well and sympathy cards as needed. Now, as part of the pastoral care ministry, we are in the process of establishing a Bereavement Ministry. We will begin sending out periodic mailings to the bereaved throughout the first year following the death of a loved one. We also have a parishioner willing to start up a Bereavement Support Group if there is an interest.
Finally, in September, Pastoral Care will partner with the Christian Service Ministry to hold a Health Fair. This will be a wonderful way to bring many community resources to the families in the Greenfield, Middle Grove and Rock City Falls areas.
Pastoral Care Ministry plays a vital role in our community and I am pleased to say that it is continually expanding and growing. I encourage those interested in pastoral care to contact myself or Deacon Gary.