“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
The Good Shepherd Care Team brings together members from a number of ministries to share ideas, concerns, resources, best practices and information to support the spiritual well-being of those in our Good Shepherd community and beyond. Collaborating closely with the pastor, the Care Team works to identify and accompany members and friends through life’s transitions and challenges by offering support and care. From journeying alongside someone recovering from a surgery or illness to walking with someone through a time of bereavement, the Care Team supports individuals by offering a caring, listening and prayerful presence. The aim of our ministry efforts is to ensure members of our community never feel forgotten or alone in a time of need.
Representatives from an array of outreach and social ministries lend their perspective and knowledge to the care ministries provided at Good Shepherd: Homebound Communion ministry, Sages, Piece Corps, Good Shepherd front office staff and volunteers, Prayer Chain and Funeral Support. The Care Team meets monthly to ensure the bonds of Christian community are strengthened through our attention to the concerns of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Examples of pastoral care initiatives include delivering communion to a homebound member; visiting those who are ill, homebound, isolated, hospitalized or declining in health; providing information, referrals and area contacts about services available for particular challenges or when family, friends and others are unable to help; as well as offering education and fellowship opportunities around topics supporting the emotional well-being of others.
In the fall of 2017, the Care Team conducted a parish survey to learn more about spiritual and pastoral care needs that are most important to members. The survey revealed four main areas of need: support for those aging in place; grief support; parenting support; and helping those living with or loving someone with anxiety and depression.
In response to these findings, the team’s response included:
¨ Hosting a full day Mental Health First Aid training in March 2018. Twenty representatives from Good Shepherd attended.
¨ Applying for a grant through the ELCA to support a new education effort to address living with and loving those struggling with anxiety and depression. Grant funding will determine our ability to provide this program.
¨ Investigating existing resources, ideas, and best practices for training parishioners to provide pastoral care and accompany people confidentially and prayerfully through challenging times.
¨ Assessing the feasibility of a “Helping Hands” volunteer group to provide care through small acts of service such as providing a meal, writing letters, sharing a ride or running an errand for someone in need.
The Care Team ministry supports and carries on the long tradition of caring delivered to parishioners and friends of Good Shepherd. Our monthly meetings and collaborative work as a “team” provide a place where we can continually find ways to better recognize and serve the needs of the congregation.
Prayer Chain – This e-mail ministry enables the church to respond to immediate prayer needs. Upon receiving a prayer request we send an email to those in our church family volunteering to pray for those in need.
Sunshine Ministry – This ministry send cards of encouragement to those requesting prayers or who are in crisis, sick, grieving, mourning, etc..
Prayer Shawl Ministry – Several women in our congregation knit and crochet shawls every Thursday afternoon for those who are sick and in the hospital, nursing facility, assisted living or at home. We recently delivered a shawl to a gentleman in our church who is struggling with a serious physical problem. When he received it, he immediately wrapped it around him knowing the love and prayers sewn into every stitch. His smile was precious.
Meals – We provide meals to members just returning from the hospital or other care facilities who are unable to provide meals for themselves.
Homebound Communion – Members of our congregation bring Holy Communion to those who are unable to come to church. It is a time to visit with these members also.
Second Sunday @ 2
On the 2nd Sunday of each month, the 2 p.m. Chapel Service at Woodlands Retirement Community, located in Lacey at 4532 Intelco Loop – near Lowes Hardware is hosted by The Lutheran Church of The Good Shepherd.
Any and all are welcome to attend to support the worship service and the hymn singing.