Pastoral Care

Communication

The communication ministry of the parish is a centerpiece of the well-being of parish life. Great attention is given to ensuring that all parishioners have the information they need to equip and inform their ministry in the parish and in the world. We use email, mailings and announcements to communicate news about events or activities. Many lists are maintained to support the special ministry groups and tasks. With all the different types of communication available, it is ESSENTIAL that we keep up with parishioner’s most up to date contact information.  Please call or email the office to update your contact information.

Newcomer Ministry

There is an active ministry of welcome and incorporation in our congregation. Newcomers are sought out in order to make provision for their special needs. This ministry is nothing less than extending the hand of Christ to those who come to seek fellowship under our roof. If you wish to help in this ministry contact the parish office.

Counseling and Spiritual Direction

Pastoral Counseling is available to every member of the parish. The fees are on a sliding scale and the cost should never be an impediment since substantial subsidies are available. The counselor is Ingrid Peake, LPT/RN. She may be contacted through the parish office.

Spiritual Direction is conducted in a one-on-one or small group environment. The goal of this ministry is to enhance and grow in one’s life of faith. The theological word is “sanctification” — growing in holiness. For information on spiritual direction, please speak with the Rector.

Parish Neighbors

The purpose of the Parish Neighbors program is to provide for the needs of parishioners and friends in need. One of the main forms of ministry is through the gift of food. Normally a meal is taken at the time of return from hospitalization and childbirth. Assistance with other needs is solicited from the parish through Time and Talent Pledges. To volunteer as a “Parish Neighbor” please Office (theoffice.stalbans@gmail.com).

Hospital and Institutional Visitation

The clergy have a special role in hospital and institutional visitation. As well, lay caregivers are invited to participate. It is of great importance that parishioners notify the office of planned or emergency visits so that the clergy might be present. Other institutions — nursing homes, assisted living centers, and recovery centers — are also visited regularly by the clergy and lay visitors. Again, the office must be notified. At Christmas, Easter and Pentecost there is a special effort to take communion to everyone who is institutionalized and unable to get to worship.

Crisis Ministries

There are moments in life which befall God’s people which require the special ministry and presence of a community of faith. The circumstances which define a “crisis” can be varied and the needs of the parishioner household diverse.

We respond at the time of birth and at the time of death. We undertake a strong, but quiet ministry with parishioners where there is job loss or financial reversals. Life’s age transitions also call for faith resources, be it the struggles of a teenager, choosing a college or a preschool, or becoming the caretaker of an aging parent. These ministries are engaged by contact with the parish office or the clergy.

Caregivers

We have a trained body of parishioners who are willing to respond to any expressed ongoing need of parishioner households and individuals. This network, more formally organized in the past, is now a loose-knit collection of skilled persons who response directly on their own initiative and/or by request of the parish office. Caregiving ministries are raised up through the annual “Time and Talent” pledge. Those who respond directly are asked to register their pastoral visit/action with the office to be recorded in the “caregiver journal” which allows the office to coordinate care.

Clergy Leadership in the Diocese

The clergy of the parish are expected to take a role in the life and governance of the diocese of Western North Carolina. The forms of ministry may be elective or appointed. These various diocesan bodies work in the areas of diaconal ministry, ordination discernment, congregational development, diocesan administration, educational ministries, ministry with children and youth, and more.