Cultivating a Culture of Caring: A Note from the Rev. Bill Christian
I must tell you just how excited I am about my new calling to serve St. Philip’s Church! When Jeff Miller asked me to serve as his assistant for pastoral care, I felt that God was speaking directly through him and giving me the opportunity to engage in an area of ministry that has always been so close to my heart. St. Philip’s Church has always excelled in providing its parishioners with excellent pastoral care; whether that be attending to the needs of those going through one life crisis or another, grieving the loss of a loved one, attending to the sick and needy, the hospitalized, the homebound, those living in retirement centers or nursing homes, or perhaps even facing a terminal illness, our clergy team has always been there to respond to them all.
I love St. Paul’s words to the Galatian Christians: “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2.) To the church in Thessalonica, he writes, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11.) When we care for one another as sisters and brothers in Christ, we are indeed bearing (or carrying) one another’s burdens, and we are encouraging one another in order to build one another up. In essence, that is what pastoral care is all about!
Pastoral care is a team effort––it takes all of us, not just the clergy. God’s word instructs us that each one of us is to participate in caring for one another! With that in mind, it’s our strong desire that no one slips through the cracks, so to speak. We need to remember the one that is hurting or missing, someone that we haven’t seen for some time. If we are to do that effectively, I will need to enlist your help. Should you hear or know of anyone who might be going into the hospital, or might want to receive a phone call or a visit, or someone who has not been contacted for some time, please let me know. I do have ESPN, but I do not have ESP. In other words, the clergy of St. Philip's cannot read minds. We need to hear directly from you.
The other means of caring for people would be to pray for them using our Sunday prayer list, or by serving on the Compassion Committee ministry of this parish. If you feel you have a heart and a passion to do this, or believe that God is calling you to become involved in this kind of ministry, please let either me, Callie McLaurin, or Monti Hanger (co-chairs of the Compassion Committee) know, and we’ll be in touch with you.
Again, what a privilege and honor it is to serve Jesus Christ here at St. Philip’s Church. I look forward to meeting you and getting to know you in the very near future!
Your servant in Christ,