Pastoral care is thought of in many churches as solely the responsibility of the ordained ministers. At Apostles, one or more of the clergy are, of course, always available for pastoral emergencies or spiritual counseling. However, we believe strongly in the “ministry of all believers” and so we recognize that we are all called to look after one another and care for one another “at all times and in all places.” For both clergy and laity, this means that we hold each other up to God in prayer on a regular basis, whether there is a particular “crisis” going on or not, but particularly at those times. In addition, some of us will be called by God to reach out in some special way to those of the parish family, who for one reason or another are in a particular need of care. Such situations may include – but are not limited to – personal or family sickness, injury, critical changes in life circumstances, or the death of a loved one. In such times, members who are so led by God may reach out through such ministries as:
Hospital and Home Visitation Ministry
A ministry of preparing and delivering meals, or providing other items as dictated by the nature of a crisis. A ministry of helping with errands, transportation, household chores – both for the acutely disabled and those with chronic limitations.
Sending cards of greetings, encouragement, comfort. (Or even shared joy in the good times!)
Lay Eucharistic Ministry
Taking communion out from the Body to those unable to attend worship due to illness or other acute or chronic limitations
Phone Call Ministry
- “Checking in” with folks who are shut in
- A telephone/e-mail “tree” which notifies all of us when there is a particular need for prayer within the congregation
These ministries are now being actively formed as members respond to God’s calling into them. Obviously, some of these ministries require a certain amount of training, and this will be provided by the Pastoral Care Ministry Leaders, Ed and Eileen Judice. Some areas may also require the spiritual gift of administration from those called to coordinate the particular ministry team’s activities.
If you have any questions about the Pastoral Care Ministries; if you wish to join one of them as a care-giver and/or coordinator; or if you, a family member or a friend are in need of care in one of these areas, please contact Fr. Bryson at (931) 581-3268 or by sending an email. You may also contact Eileen Judice at (865) 690-9060 or via her email address. In the event of a pastoral emergency requiring a clergy member, you may also contact the office at (865) 385-6686.