Congregational Care Ministry
As brothers and sisters in Christ, our purpose is to seek, support and nourish the spiritual well-being of persons within the church in their times of illness or special need. The Caring Connection Teams minister in various ways – by sending cards, making meals, knitting prayer shawls, telephoning, making home and hospital visits, supporting new mothers and by being alert to individual needs and concerns. We support people through showing Christ’s love and providing a caring community within the church. As the Caring Connection, we offer a vital partnership with the pastoral staff of Christ Lutheran Church. All the work we do is done on a confidential basis. Also, several of the teams meet regularly for study and training.
Areas of Caring Connection Ministry
Individual Care Team
These lay ministers support and nourish the spiritual well being of persons within our community on a one-to-one basis. The length of the care these ministers provide can be short term or may last as long as a year or more. These ministers report back to the pastoral staff at the church on a regular basis regarding the person they are caring for and bring any issues to light.
Individual Care Team Ministers receive specialized training and are commissioned yearly by the pastoral staff to serve the needs of the congregation. Care Team ministers may visit at home, the hospital, at a coffee shop, ‘do lunch” or even arrange for meals or for administration of the sacraments by a pastor for homebound members. Most of all, Individual Care Team Members are trained to listen and care in a nonjudgmental manner.
Confidential Prayer Tree
Congregational members or church staff may share a prayer request with the members of the Confidential Prayer Tree. These lay ministers are updated at least once a week with prayer concerns of the congregation and the community. They sit with these confidential issues in prayer on a daily basis with the belief that those whom they pray for are held before God on a continual basis.
Several volunteers within the congregation hold and uplift others through a ministry of greeting cards. These volunteers send get-well, sympathy, congratulations, and words of encouragement on behalf of the entire care team, and the congregation.
This ministry seeks to support new mothers within the congregation. Small gifts made by congregation members are given to these mothers soon after the new baby arrives. The new mothers can be connected with Chefs for Christ if they need meals brought in. Information on the church nursery, CLC’s baptism classes and the MOPS ministry (Mother's of Preschoolers) is also shared at this time.
Prayer Shawl Knitters
Prayer shawls have been made for centuries in many different faith traditions and are symbolic of being wrapped in the embrace of a loving God. The shawl wraps, enfolds, comforts, hugs, and shelters its wearer.
Shawls can be used by those undergoing medical procedures or who face a long term illness, as a comfort after a loss or in times of stress, during bereavement, by expectant mothers, during any surgery and recovery, when ministering to others, etc. There are endless possibilities! Prayer shawls are made by church volunteers who make knitting a spiritual practice which embodies thoughts and prayers for the one who receives the shawl. The blessing of the shawl is two-fold as both the creator and the receiver feel the unconditional embrace of a sheltering and loving God.
Care and love through knitting and crocheting have been combined into a prayerful ministry that reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace. Many prayers and blessings are woven into every shawl. Created in prayer, as prayer, for prayer; the shawls are passed-on, hand-to-hand, heart-to-heart. Those who have received a shawl have been uplifted and affirmed by this caring ministry.
Chefs for Christ
Chefs for Christ is a large group of volunteers who make meals for others in the congregation and in the community. These volunteers make and deliver meals after surgeries, long term illnesses, and during bereavement. These chefs also provide food for church events and help assist whenever food is needed by individuals or groups. Anyone who is need of help with meals is welcome to use this wonderful service!
Pastoral Care and Counseling
At Christ Lutheran, the Pastoral Care Ministers are committed to offer a listening ear for your present needs while strengthening you for the future. This is done through individual counseling that can be done prior to weddings, funerals, for bereavement or any other counseling-type issues. The Pastoral Care Ministry’s passion is to be connected to you while you are experiencing peaks and valleys in your walk with faith. Within each of us lies the desire to find meaning beyond the moment…to discover our true selves…to grow closer to God and one another. Through the good times as well as through the tough ones, whatever your circumstances, the Pastoral Care ministers are here for you:
Pastor Tom Shelly, M Div, MACP