Pastoral Care Brief – January 2017.
1 John 3 vv.17-18. ‘..let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.’
1 John 4 v.7. ‘..let us love one another, for love comes from God.’
1 John 4 v.20-21. ‘For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.’
Pastoral care is designed to communicate the love of God within the parish in both caring and practical ways. The intention is to foster greater bonds of affection within the congregation, as well as to reach out to those who live within the locality but who have no connection with faith. There are therefore two broad strands to the scope and reach of pastoral care.
- Cards and notelets to the sick and bereaved.
- Welcome bags for those who move into the parish. Alongside this, noting names, becoming a friendly and known face, and passing back information for invites to a supper.
- Christmas gifts. A simple way of reaching out to touch the lonely and the bereaved, and to engage with the farming community.
- Summer cream teas. These have been the means of inviting those living in our old people’s homes to come to the Vicarage, as well as other senior citizens. We have widened this out in a more inclusive way.
- Summer barbeque: this is now linked in with Messy Church, and concludes the Messy Church programme for the year, in July. Held at the Vicarage, with the help of the Messy Church team.
- Welcome suppers. Traditionally held twice a year. This connects with the welcome bags. Suppers have extended invitations beyond newcomers to include the farming fraternity, the whole congregation at Milton Combe, also widows, churchwardens, readers, others who it is thought might value an invitation out to a meal.
- Christmas Card. We have traditionally put up a large Christmas card for all to sign, and instead of sending individual Christmas cards within the congregation money has been donated to the Shekinah mission.
- Provision of meals to alleviate family need, at specific times.
Pastoral care has had an effective yet flexible framework, and has been a friendly team moving forward the above areas.
Portia Crossley is very kindly overseeing and co-ordinating pastoral care.
Other members of the team: Juliette Whitfield, Helen Hopkins, David Cox, Graham Cotter.