“Love one another as I have loved you.”
Pastoral Care is the lifeblood of a congregation. It keeps us strong, vital, and able to offer a place where rest and refuge are celebrated as part of God’s plan. Pastoral care is a piece of what Jesus called us to do when he said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” We care for one another in the same ways that Jesus cares for us. There will come a time in each of our lives that we will be in need of pastoral care. There will also come a time when each of us are able to offer pastoral care to others in our congregation. This is the give and take of living in community, and is a blessing from God.
Offering a meal to those who have experienced the loss of a loved one is a wonderful opportunity for the people of the church to remind those who are hurting that they will be given sustenance and support on their grief journey. The bereavement meal is a sacred time...
Staff-led Pastoral Care
Kendra Plating is the minister on staff that specifically deals with pastoral care concerns as they arise. This includes pastoral care visits in homes and hospitals, performing funerals and weddings, phone calls, and a whole host of other tasks as pastoral needs as needed. All of the ministers on staff are present at our weekly Care and Concern meeting on Tuesdays. During this time we coordinate hospital visits for any member that is in the hospital, send out cards to those who are healing, struggling, or celebrating something special in their lives, and we also have a time of prayer at the beginning and end of this time to lift up each of these people to God. All of our ministers practice pastoral care and are part of the support network, because with such a large congregation, we must share the responsibilities and joys that come with this work. Ryland Brown is the pastoral care assistant and keeps close contact with many of our congregants, as well as keeping pastoral care as organized as possible.
Every week there is a different minister that is “on-call” especially for serious needs that arise outside of normal church hours. You can leave a message for the minister-on-call at (864) 233-2527 x.199 and they will return your call as soon as they can, or find the on-call schedule and the proper minister’s phone number listed on the last page of the Branch.
(864) 233-2527 x. 104
(864) 233-2527 x. 137
Lay-led Pastoral Care
We also have a great number of lay-led ministries at our church who provide excellent pastoral care to their fellow congregants. This includes the daily displays of love through prayer groups, visits, writing letters, providing meals, and making prayer shawls and also the care provided through more formal outlets such as the Ministry to Families Committee and Stephen Ministry.
The Ministry to Families Committee provides care and assistance to our homebound members including arranging and delivering flowers, supportive visits, providing transportation to medical appointments, and delivering Wednesday night suppers during the school year. If you would like to explore the possibility of volunteering or know of someone who may benefit from this ministry, please call the chairs: Jeanette Cothran (864-288-6227) or Janet Huskey (864-288-5914).
Our Stephen Ministry program includes a number of church members who have been extensively trained to provide love and support to congregants who are going through some difficulty in their life including, but not limited to, divorce, terminal illness, grief, job loss or infertility. The Stephen Ministry program operates independently of the church staff and maintains strict confidentiality for those it offers ministry to. Please take a look at the Stephen Ministry page for more information.
How Can we Partner Together?
Now that you know all the ways that we as a church provide pastoral care to our members through staff-led and lay-led ministries, how can we partner with you in the work that you do everyday to support one another in your faith journeys? Sunday School classes and small groups are one of the main ways that congregants get plugged deeply into the church and in many ways the discussions in these venues are very powerful and personal. Often you hear stories that us ministers don’t! Please be willing to share with us the pastoral needs that arise in your small groups and classes. Drop a prayer card in the offering plate if you are worried about or celebrating something in your own life or the life of a friend. We love being included on weekly emails of classes if pastoral needs are highlighted, or a simple phone call to the church or email to Kendra or Ryland can be a great help.