Rev. Dr. Tim Downs, KUCC member and former Southeast Conference Minister for the UCC (our region’s denominational leader) has noted that in his years as a pastor the effectiveness of a ministry was often measured by the “pastoral care” of a church, usually understood as how much visiting the pastor did. Were they there for me when I was in the hospital, when my wife died, when I was confined to my home, or as I struggled with depression?
In Kirkwood UCC we have a different understanding.
We believe that “pastoral care” is more than the pastor, it is all of the ways a whole church cares and extends God’s love to all of us. When you were recovering at home, a casserole may have appeared on your porch, delivered by KUCC. You may have been remembered in prayer during worship or given a hug by someone you barely knew on the way out of church.
However, the most visible way in which KUCC is reaching out and supporting you is through the Congregational Care team, a group of folk who have accepted responsibility for a group of members of the church, with the understanding that each of the team is to reach out to you, particularly as we used to say “in your hour of need”.
The Congregational Care Team does not replace the care that our staff extends to us, but is another way to support them in their ministry and support each of the members of KUCC. If your Congregational Care person contacts you, we hope you know that this is another sign that your church family embraces you, remembers you, and holds you close.
To learn more about this ministry, please contact the church office: firstname.lastname@example.org.