St. Paul UCC prides itself on its caring ministries.
Pastoral Care is coordinated by our pastor. Hospital visits, Hospice care and home visits after a surgery or other life change are, of course, a priority. Visits with members in long term care facilities and those staying close to home are done quarterly. Communion services at Oak Hill and Cedarhurst are held about every 6 weeks and at Garden Place quarterly. Pastor is available for conversations about personal and spiritual matters and for needs requiring longer term counseling is able to make referrals based on the individual situation.
It is very important to notify the office of admission to the hospital. Hospitals to not notify the church and the only way we have of knowing you or a family member is in the hospital is if you call the office or the pastor.
In addition to the care our pastor may offer, we have active and caring groups of lay ministers as well:
- Prayer Ministry—prays for people in response to their needs
Greeting Card Ministry – Greeting cards are sent to members of our congregation for births, baptisms, confirmation, illness, and deaths in the family, as well as special occasions that the church staff is made aware of. Cards are also sent to shut-ins and those living in assisted living residences and the nursing home for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sunday School children are remembered on their birthdays and at Christmas with a card, and congratulations cards are sent for special accomplishments.
- Funeral Hospitality Ministry Team—a team that provides welcome and hospitality at funerals and also helps families with funeral luncheons at St. Paul
Care Team – The Care Team includes those individuals who visit St. Paul members in the assisted living residences and nursing home on a regular basis, usually monthly. They often take Sunday bulletins, the Upper Room devotionals, etc. along with them. Visits can be arranged with those who are home-bound also. Call the church office to request a visit or notify us of a need.
Ministry of Meals (MOM) – The Ministry of Meals team includes those great cooks of St. Paul who make meals for individuals and families who are recovering from illness or surgery, for those families welcoming a new baby in their home, for those grieving the loss of a loved one or for those who are just temporarily unable to prepare their own meals. Requests for meals should be directed to the church office.
At the heart of our caring ministries is the Stephen Ministry. What is Stephen Ministry? It is our embodiment of Jesus Christ’s call for Christians to help bear one another’s burdens. Stephen Ministry congregations equip lay people, called Stephen Ministers, to provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives, no matter what the circumstance.
Working in concert with our pastor, Stephen Ministers will work with the Care Team on how best to respond to the needs of our people, thus providing another level of care. There are times when a trained Stephen Minister will be able to provide more to meet someone’s ongoing needs than a pastor or the Care Team is able to effectively give by themselves. The Stephen Minister is someone who will be there for the care receiver, meeting faithfully as long as there is a need.
We all experience challenges in life. A Stephen Minister is ready to provide emotional and spiritual care and walk with you through any of these situations:
- Loss of loved one
- Divorce or separation
- Loneliness or discouragement
- Spiritual crises
- Unemployment or a job crisis
- A terminal illness
- Birth, adoption, miscarriage or infertility
- A chronic illness
- Recovery after an accident or disaster
- … And many more
If you would like to receive care from a Stephen Minister, are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister or if you have any questions about this ministry, please talk to one of our Stephen Leaders: Betty Wacker or Barb Wagner.