This fall our church has made some changes in the way we minister to each other. Early this fall the Care Committee decided that many of them needed to step down from their responsibilities. The leadership team had been in place for 17 years. So, this transition was understandable. We thank them for their hard work over almost two decades.
Though Care was not an official committee, they performed an important ministry under the leadership of Deacons. This fall, the Deacons have stepped in and put together a transition team to organize this ministry going forward. The transition group was made up of seven current and former deacons who have served on Care. We met initially to evaluate the ministry needs of our church. We discovered that we want to expand this ministry to meet new needs we were not able to address. We have identified three areas of ministry we want to organize. We have put together a plan to help more people get involved in this ministry.
We are calling the new effort - Open Hands Ministry
Funeral Receptions/Collations - We will continue to offer Funeral Receptions. Funeral and Memorial Service Collations bring church members and families together, provide support and lift our spirits. The Open Hands Ministry Group will recruit teams of people to assist in serving food after a funeral or memorial service. We are streamlining this process and re-organizing some of the responsibilities to make them easier.
We will need volunteer servers for these receptions. There will be an opportunity to sign up to help and be part of team to work on funeral receptions.
Transportation - We have had a number of requests for rides to worship, and we are organizing people to offer these rides. We will try to match people up with folks who live near each other.
If you can offer to drive someone to church on a regular or occasional basis please consider volunteering for this ministry.
Friendship - There are lots of benefits to having a friendship ministry and we believe that is a strength to the church. We won’t assign people a ministry friend unless you tell us that you would like to have a friend who looks in on you or calls regularly to see how you are doing.
If you would like to be a volunteer in the Friendship Ministry you will have a chance to sign up this fall. We are in the process of putting together some training sessions for volunteers in the Friendship Ministry so you can learn the things that are most helpful to say to someone when you call or visit.
Please pray about whether you feel called to be involved in one of these aspects of the Open Hands Ministry. Sign up sheets for all these jobs will be available on Sundays.
Transitions are never easy but I have been very pleased and impressed by the Deacons and the way that they have stepped up to evaluate what the church needs and how best to address it. They have been pastoral, thoughtful and positive in their evaluations and in their exploration of the wider Church’s best practices for this kind of ministry. We are still exploring resources from other Protestant Churches for how best to train volunteers.
I am very hopeful that Open Hands Ministry, under the guidance of the Deacons, will help us minister to one another and will build up Pilgrim Church in faith and spirit.