A late night comedian, describing what it’s like to do a TV show from his bedroom while his toddlers were wrecking the house, said, “This is a sub-optimal time to be a human being.” We need the jokes! I’m typing this while sitting alone in a very empty church building, yet I know many of us are somewhere hurting: legitimately lonely, anxious, dispirited… As Kendra reminds us in her article in this issue, we rarely identify our suffering for what it really is, just as we rarely identify our spiritual needs. Supposing you wanted to get some help, what is still available when in-person visits are not an option?
For now, we cannot provide the big gatherings with the handshakes and hugs that feel so reassuring, but we ministers are all still at work every day, and every week a minister is “on call” for after-hours pastoral emergencies: just use extension #199.
Our “Care & Concern Team” still meets every week to pray for the needs of the church. Visit the “Contact Us” link on the church website or call the main office and leave a message: 864-233-2527, and tell us about which issues you’d like your ministers to be aware and prayerful.
Our Stephen Ministers are still available and visiting by phone and video-conferencing. What better time to have a companion to walk alongside you as you manage this crisis, as well as those other life-struggles that didn’t take a vacation to make room for Covid-19. Let us know you’d like to investigate Stephen Ministry.
We are also still making counseling referrals, planning memorial services, and providing grief support. We are still in contact with our homebound members and residents of assisted living facilities. We are still delivering MidWeek meals and Bereavement meals to folks who need them. Does one of these have your name on it or that of someone you know?
Also, remember that you are a minister too! Don’t let the distancing keep you from reaching out to someone who needs a friend right now. While none of us can visit our hospitalized members, we can communicate with them in other ways and support their families at home. PRISMA/GHS has an internal system for sending cards to patients who can’t be visited at: https://www.ghs.org/patients-visitors/egreetings/. Caringbridge is a website that enables you to keep up with patients and send your well-wishes and prayers to them. Your own call, cards and emails mean more than you know.
Pastoral care is alive and well—and more important now than ever. We care about you. Let us know what you need.

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