Letter from the Minister on Pastoral Care
23 April 2017
‘Be devoted in love to one another.’ Romans 12:10.
‘For a sincere love of your brothers, love one another deeply from the heart.’
1 Peter 1:22.
Dear People of Beecroft Presbyterian Church,
It is the fervent hope of Session and everyone in our church that we care for one another and grow in our care for one another.
Whereas we all would wish for more elders who had more time to be eldering, our present reality is that our elders are few in number, and though generous with their time, the demands of work and family often limit time for church work.
The truth that comes home to me is that we must all strive to care for one another, not just waiting for the minister, elder, or small group leader to do it. Our recent seminar on pastoral care with Jill McGilvray was based on this point: we can all learn how to care for others.
Caring for each other is much improved by having times when we are together, for example, talking together on Sundays over morning tea, or attending church activities. In particular, it is helpful if you are able to be part of a small group like the PWA, KYB, Connect Women, Connect Men, and other growth groups or prayer groups. Meeting together enables us to get to know each other, and care for each other. Time in Bible reading, prayer, and conversation helps us to carry each other’s burdens, which is what Christ commands.
We try to include an elder in each small group of the church, but if that’s not possible, then we will seek to connect the leadership of the group with an elder.
Of course, some people are not able to be part of a small group. How do we provide pastoral care for them?
Here is the plan of care that we are envisioning. The names of those who are not in a small group will go on an elder’s list who will aim to check in with each person on his or her list, especially at church morning tea. It’s good if you both can make a point of greeting each other and sharing about important concerns.
Over the next month or so, an elder will let you know that he or she is your elder. Then have a chat over Sunday morning tea to get to know each other better and, perhaps, share any pressing prayer concerns.
Our church has many people, as well as a minister, elders and small group leaders, who genuinely want to love and encourage you. Let us thank God for each other, and pray that we can grow in this work of pastoral care, not only for ourselves, but for new people who visit our church as well.