“…let him who until now has had the privilege of living a common Christian life with other Christians praise God’s grace from the bottom of his heart.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
I’ve served Good Shepherd for a year now, and as I reflect on what I have learned so far, one area of ministry that stands out is Congregational Care. You all know how to love each other well.
Good Shepherd’s Congregational Care ministries are robust and thorough: We accompany and listen through Stephen Ministry. We bring the eucharist to those who can’t attend worship. We provide rides to medical appointments and meals during times of transition through Pick-Me-Up and Helping Hands. Flowers are delivered to the sick and homebound. Cards with words of compassion and care are mailed regularly. The Prayer Team receives requests each week and faithfully prays for those in need. It all reminds me of Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Honestly, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
In addition to all of this, an essential piece of Congregational Care is Visitation. While PT and I visit both the homebound and the ill faithfully and always will, we have identified Visitation as an area that would benefit from additional attention and resources. We have a three-part vision for bolstering this area of ministry:
1. Visitation by Pastor Tim and Pastor Marsha
2. New Visitation Pastor that will primarily focus on additional homebound visits
3. Lay-led Visitation Ministry
In coming blog-posts, we will outline our vision for these ministries, along with easy ways you can plug-in to this part of our communal life.
The bottom line is, we care about you, deeply. We want to be there for you, and we hope you will continue to be there for each other. This is our desire, our vision, our plan. May God bring us all into a deeper, more connected community in Christ.
Take good care,