Home » Community  »  Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care

WHEN TO CALL A PASTOR

 

Sometimes people wonder when they should call or contact their pastor. Here are some suggestions as to when to notify a pastor: You can make contact by using your worship registration card, calling the church office or calling one of our pastors directly.

Notify a pastor when . .

You’re going into the hospital. Please tell your pastor when you going into the hospital, or if a family member is. Your pastor likes to visit people who are in the hospital for a few days or more.

You would like a prayer said for you. Your pastor is always happy to do this. (Please note: If you would like yourself or a loved one to be included on the Prayer Chain or included in the Prayers of the Church you can fill out a card at the information desk or notify the office. Sometimes people want things kept confidential, so a pastor typically will not mention anyone by name in church unless he or she is asked or given the okay to do so.)  If you would like a pastor to pray for you prior to surgery, hospitalization or some other important event that can normally be arranged.

You are not able to come to church for more than a month. If you are sick for a prolonged period of time or recovering from illness or surgery and can’t get to church, one of our pastors can come to you. They can see how you are doing, pray with you, have a short devotion, and even bring you Holy Communion. (Speaking of missing church, you can still see and hear the pastors’ sermons even when you are not in church. They are posted each week on YouTube and can be accessed via Facebook and a computer or tablet.) Over lengthy periods of recovery trained lay visitors might be used to supplement the pastors’ visits. Your pastors and congregation family want you to stay connected to God’s Word and the Sacrament. We all constantly need what God gives us when we gather together in God’s holy house even when we cannot physically be there.

You have a question or concern about something at church. Many church-related questions that people have can be cleared up easily. Likewise, if you have a concern about something at church, let the pastors know and let’s talk about it. Or if you have a suggestion for something that can be done that is new or different, also let your pastors know. While the congregation may not be able to implement every suggestion, your input does matter!

Call a pastor when you or someone you know needs help. Most pastors will readily admit that there are few easy answers in life, but pastors also know about resources and options that can help. Contact a pastor when a difficult decision confronts you. Life-changing decisions should not be made alone. Most pastors can help people think through the options that face them in life. Pastors are also available for crisis intervention or short term counseling. While pastors are not professional counselors they can help you focus or perhaps get things on the right track towards greater help and healing.

Your conscience is troubling you and you want assurance of God’s grace. God does not leave us alone to struggle with temptation and guilt. God invites us to confess our sin and receive  forgiveness. In strict confidence you can confess your sin to one of your pastors and receive assurance of God’s forgiveness and absolution delivered personally to you. You are welcome to come even if no particular sin is troubling you. It’s faith-building to receive God’s forgiveness at any time.

You’re wrestling with a spiritual issue or have a question about something the Bible says. Questions often come up when you’re talking religion with coworkers and friends. Call a pastor if you have a question about a Bible teaching. Talk with them about it. If you encounter something in a sermon, Bible study, or in your own personal Bible reading that makes you scratch your head, share it with a pastor. Pastors love to discuss God’s Word and to see people grow in their understanding of it.

Planning a wedding. If you are planning a wedding be sure to pick up a wedding information packet in the church narthex or access the one here at our website under forms.  Fill out the form and submit it to the office.  One of the pastors will be in touch with you about your wedding plans. Pre-marital counseling and wedding planning require time. Too often couples set a date and a location for a wedding without including a pastor in those discussions. The result is that sometimes the pastor is unable to perform the wedding because of other obligations and commitments. If you have questions about the process call one of the pastors and they can give you further guidance.

Planning a funeral. Call a pastor before making funeral arrangements. The pastor will be sensitive to helping plan a funeral service that while faithful will meet your needs and desires. They will want to visit you and work with you in making the service as meaningful as possible. The pastors will also provide support in a time of grief. When death occurs, one of the pastors should be among the first notified. The congregation also provides Funeral Service Planning forms for this who desire to pre-plan their funeral services. Call the Church office or speak to a pastor if you would like such a form. (Or download it online under forms.) The forms are then kept on file in the office. A pastor will be happy schedule a time to work with you on filling out the form if you desire.

Birth of a child. Call a pastor when a baby is born. Babies are seen as the symbol of new life. Pastors want to rejoice with the new parents and ask God’s blessing on the child. They will also want to work with you in planning your new child’s baptism.

Baptism – If you, someone in your family or an acquaintance desires to be baptized then let one of the pastors know. They will give you a baptismal form to fill out and return to the office. (Or download it on the website under forms.)  They will then contact you about setting the date and making necessary preparations.