The Pastoral Care Ministry meets at 5:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday evening of each month. This ministry provides and promotes spiritual, emotional and tangible physical support to individuals and families throughout their lives in the church. Pastoral Care Ministries are divided into three primary areas: Routine Care (for vulnerable and in-transition members), Responsive Care (in times of crisis, illness, and events) and Capacity-Building (such as community education, volunteer education concerning care issues). Members of the ministry coordinate different areas of responsibility including accessibility; support groups; visitation to at-home members and those in the hospital; transportation and welcoming newborns.

If you’re interested in serving on this ministry, please indicate your interest under “Pastoral Care Ministry” on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Routine Care

Routine Care is our intentional ongoing ministry for those experiencing transitions and vulnerable populations in our community of care.

Friends at Home Visitation Team

Volunteers maintain contact with monthly visits (and perhaps calls) with an assigned individual who, because of age or health concerns, cannot take part in worship or fellowship at the church. Please select P01 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Serve Communion to Those in Hospital or Homes

Active or inactive elders or deacons are needed to help celebrate Communion with those who cannot receive communion during regular worship services. Visits to members’ homes and nursing homes are made with a minister between 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. Please select P02 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Cards Over 80

Volunteers send birthday and special occasion cards on a regular basis to members of the congregation who are over 80 years of age or confined to their homes due to health concerns. This is an excellent ministry for those constrained by time or mobility issues. Please select P03 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

In Service to Our Country Team

Volunteers provide support for military men and women and their families by sending cards, letters and care packages. They also maintain contact with family members to receive updates on service and keep the church aware of those serving in the military. Please select P04 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Faith and Grief Luncheon Team Member

Members of this team will plan and host luncheons once a month for those hurting over the loss of a loved one to share and heal together. The team will meet quarterly, as well as attending the luncheons when available. Training in group facilitation is available. Please select P05 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Faith and Grief Speaker

This is an opportunity that most find deeply healing. Individuals are needed each month to share a 5-7 minute talk about their own experience walking through grief. A template and writing prompts are available as well as guidance from a minister. Please select P06 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Penpal Ministry

Penpals are matched with one or more individuals for a year of correspondence. You can renew your penpal relationship each year as you wish. You might write to a Friend at Home (home-confined member), a family member of someone away in the military, someone off at college, someone we know in prison, someone we know hospitalized out of town, members living out of town or others. We will match you with a good fit penpal. We hope correspondence will go both ways. This is a great fit for anyone who likes to stay in touch through writing or notecards. All ages (who can write or type) are welcomed. It’s great for those confined at home, students local or away, and many more. We hope to match up penpals from different generations also, fostering intergenerational relationships. Please select P07 on your Time and Talents Covenant.

Responsive Care

Responsive Care is the church’s response when needs arise such as hospitalizations and death of a church member and/or family member.

Monday Pastoral Care Team

Volunteers provide supportive care at times of hospitalization, convalescence, bereavement and other family crises. Volunteers meet weekly with the Associate Pastor for Congregational Nurture for about 45 minutes at 1:30 p.m. each Monday afternoon to help maintain immediate responses such as food, cards, notes and visits. Members of this team distribute flowers and other appropriate gifts at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas and work with Presbyterian Women and others to provide receptions and meals following memorial services. Please select P08 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Provide Hospitality at Receptions

Volunteers are needed to join a team handling setup, plating food, refreshing trays and cleaning up for receptions. Receptions are held after funerals and memorials, for employee retirement, and pastoral ordination. If you would like to help our Monday Pastoral Care reception teams by volunteering in this way, please select P09 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Prayer Knots Team

Volunteers provide confidential intercessory prayer when requested by the church, its members or others. Volunteers are contacted by other team members to pass on the prayer requests. This is an excellent opportunity for those constrained by time or mobility to offer their gift of prayer on behalf of others. Please select P10 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Hospital Visitation Team

Volunteers visit hospitalized members once or twice a month in local hospitals and medical rehab facilities, when public health conditions permit and when the need arises. Volunteers choose a specific day of the month and (sometimes) a specific hospital for their visit. Visitors are encouraged to keep church staff advised of the status and special needs, if any, of these hospitalized members after each scheduled visit. Volunteers receive a calendar each month as a reminder of their visitation day(s). Volunteers receive a training booklet and call the Care and Concern Line on their assigned visitation dates to learn of needed visits. Please select P11 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Prepare Food in Times of Sickness or Crisis

Volunteers are called periodically when food is needed for members who are ill or in bereavement, or when food is needed for a reception or family meal following a memorial service. Please select P12 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Grief Care Team

Send periodic grief care booklets to loved ones experiencing grief. Maintain the inventory of Stephen Ministry grief booklets and collaborate with office staff on sending. Please select P13 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Welcoming Newborns

Volunteers contact new parents soon after birth or adoption and deliver gifts, including a parenting booklet, a cross handcrafted by the Over the Hill Gang, a bib and a blanket to welcome the child. Cards are also sent to grandparents in our congregation. Please select P14 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Transportation Team

There are three different opportunities to help provide transportation as outlined below. Please select P15 to P17 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Church Event Transportation in Your Vehicle
Volunteers can bring non-driving church members to worship services and other church events such as fellowship events. You will be contacted a few days in advance for availability. Some drivers make monthly drive commitments, such as communion Sundays. Please select P15 on your Time and Talents Covenant.

WHEELS Outpatient Transportation
Volunteers use their own vehicle to provide roundtrip transportation for a church member to an outpatient medical procedure, waiting during the procedure and assisting with any discharge instructions such as pharmacy pickup. Please select P16 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Transportation for Personal Appointments
Volunteers can take non-driving church members to personal appointments or errands. You will be contacted a few days in advance for availability. Please select P17 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Cards for Those Living with Cancer

Volunteers support church members and families of members living with cancer by sending cards of encouragement to remind them of God’s constant and watchful care. This is an excellent ministry for those constrained by time and mobility issues. Please select P18 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Capacity Building

Curious about Becoming a Stephen Minister

Wondering about deepening your relationship with God and tapping God’s influence in your life to care others? Let us know. Stephen Ministry is a lay-led care ministry matching trained volunteers in one-on-one care relationships, while also providing continuing education and ongoing peer supervision. Stephen Ministers report they gain and grow immensely through their service. Those discerning a call to Stephen Ministry complete an application and meet with a small interview team of member leaders. Mutual discernment might lead to the 50-hour study course. The study is a well-tested, ecumenical, widely received curriculum which is uniquely Christian and also orients Stephen Ministers with resources in mental health, self-advocacy, self-care and understanding of dynamics around common life challenges. Participants are asked for a minimum two-year commitment. For information on Stephen Ministry and the next training class, please select P19 on your Time & Talent Covenant.

Alzheimer’s Arkansas Walk at the Zoo

This annual event underscores our concern for families and loved ones caring for someone with dementia. Alzheimer’s Arkansas is one of our community partners supporting dementia care. You might join the walk in honor/memory of a loved one. Or you might join the leadership planning team this year. Alzheimer’s Arkansas co-sponsors our ongoing caregiver support group. They offer funds for caregiver respite needs. They also continue to be a recipient of our annual church mission grants. Please select P20 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Volunteers knit or crochet prayer shawls for members living with illness, those recovering from surgery, Friends at Home (home-confined members) and others in need of a reminder of the embracing love of God. We also prepare a prayer shawl for each of our graduating high school seniors. Volunteers are invited to gather monthly on the second Monday 4:00 p.m. in the church library to share joys and concerns, work alongside each other, and enjoy fellowship. We also receive your knitted and crocheted shawls prepared at home. Please select P21 on your Time & Talents Covenant.

Card-making Ministry

Volunteers gather once a month to make greeting cards with other church members to ensure adequate cards are available for Sunday morning. The group meets from 2:00-4:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month. Card-making materials are provided. Please select P22 on your Time and Talents Covenant.

Prepare Food for the Pastoral Care Freezer

Volunteers are asked to prepare casseroles, soups, breads or desserts to be placed in the Pastoral Care freezer to be used by the Pastoral Care Ministry for people who are ill or in bereavement. We ask that you label well with date prepared, your name and description. Please select P23 on your Time & Talents Covenant.