“God’s word and sacramental gifts, accompanied by the prayers and presence of sisters and brothers in Christ, are also the means of grace for people in circumstances outside the primary worshipping assembly: in times of crisis, when confronting matters of sickness and health, in the time of dying and after death, and on many other occasions. ‘Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them’ (Matt. 18:20).”
-Evangelical Lutheran Worship: Pastoral Care, pg 9
In Christ, we are all called to lives of faith and service through our baptisms. As one community in Christ, we are also called to live in service to one another, providing care, conversation, and accompaniment to those within our congregation. In order to to help better attend to the needs of members within the St. Luke’s community, we are organizing a new group at the church to help attend to the ministry of congregational care.
Congregational care can look like many different things. It could be taking bread and wine blessed at weekly worship to those who are homebound due to injury or illness. It could be visiting members of our community in the hospital as they recover from operations or medical procedures. It could be preparing meals for those who are grieving quietly at home, or arranging for flowers to be sent to their families. I could be simply providing a listening ear. In its purest form, congregational care is being present with those who most need support within our community.
If you are interested in being a part of this care network, contact Diaconal Intern Luke Allgeyer (firstname.lastname@example.org). He will be assembling a group over the next couple of weeks, and will provide a basic training in simple prayers and rituals of care, communion, and healing.