Pastoral care is the ministry that pastors offer to
members of their community of faith and, when appropriate, to the wider
community surrounding the congregation. Pastors care for others by being
available to visit persons in the hospital, in nursing or rehabilitation
facilities, and of course, in their own homes.
The Laying on of Hands with Prayer and Anointing of
the Sick is offered to the faithful whenever it is needed.
Pastors are also available to provide prayerful
leadership at public events as requested, especially during those times of
Pastoral care also helps to ensure that the
sacramental ministry of the Church is extended to those in the body of Christ
who cannot regularly attend corporate Worship. Lay Eucharistic Ministers are
also trained by pastors to bring the consecrated elements of Communion out to
those who seek to receive the Lordís Supper on a regular basis thereby also
maintaining an even closer connection to their sisters and brothers who had
gathered for Sunday Worship.
Pastors are also called whenever a person is in
danger of dying. The ancient prayers
of the Church are prayed over the person asking God to forgive their sins,
prepare them for death, and to anoint them as a reminder of their Baptism. A
final Communion is then offered to them as food for their journey home into
their new life in Christ Jesus.
Counseling for personal or family issues is also
available from pastors on a limited basis. The
pastors do not engage themselves in the work or role of licensed therapists but
instead will refer a parishioner to a professional if more than several sessions
are required. Pastors offer
insights, advice and a perspective derived from the Scriptures and from the
teachings of Christ and his Church.
Pastoral care involves shepherding people through
their lives by comforting, helping, strengthening, encouraging, guiding and
challenging them as they grow deeper in faith and as they pursue the holiness of
Christ through Godís grace.
In all forms of pastoral care, a pastor is called
to model to their flock a faithful and Christ centered lifestyle.