Empowering the Laity for Pastoral Care
“Care of the sick must rank above and before all else so they may truly be served as Christ, who said, ‘I was sick and you visited me,’ (Matt. 25:36)...” (The Rule of Benedict, Chapter 36)
Pastoral care is how clergy and lay people answer the call to minister to others — taking the love of Christ to one another through the ups and downs of life. All disciples with a servant’s heart whether in an urban environment or a rural or mountain ministry setting, discover how to encourage and equip laity to share in the ministry of pastoral care. Complementing our pastoral care ministry with trained lay chaplains helps to consistently and compassionately meet the many and varied pastoral care needs of people …loss, grief, illness, life changes, loneliness, isolation… just to name a few.
Community of Hope Lay Chaplains gain an understanding of how they can make a positive difference and become additional “hands and feet” who offer a “listening ear” while being present to those in our church community.
Our Community of Hope Lay Chaplains at Faith Presbyterian Church are commissioned on a yearly basis to continue their pastoral care ministry. Our lay chaplains visit, send cards, make phone calls, and offer the sacrament of Holy Communion to our shut-ins. The Community of Hope Lay Chaplains remain united in prayer and community as this ministry leads them to serve in the congregation and in the wider community. The program is rooted in Benedictine Spirituality and each participant is encouraged to make this experience a journey into wholeness, to use this opportunity to explore a rule of life, to practice sacred silence, to share in Christian meditation, to practice compassionate listening, to develop pastoral identity and lectio divina. Our Lay Chaplains attended a 14-week, 42-hour curriculum training. This training is based on the classic "clinical pastoral education" model used in many hospitals to train pastoral caregivers.
Our lay chaplains meet monthly at a Circle of Care gathering to experience growing as a Benedictine community through prayer, sharing a meal, mutual support and other spiritual practices that bond a Christian community.
To learn more about Community of Hope International click here www.cohinternational.org
Questions? Contact Cynthia Oliphant at CPOliphant1@verizon.net.