A comfortable working relationship with the minister
is essential for the successful operation ion of a Pastoral Care Team
and the health of the church. The minister and the Pastoral Care Team
have to be seen as working hand in hand, one the extension of the
other, in order for the congregation to feel the security of an overall
integrated caring presence.
Whether the Pastoral Care Team is initiated by the minister or a
lay person is not as important as the ability of the two to support
each other; communicate openly about what each are doing, and find a
comfortable division of responsibilities that work to extend the caring
ministry to the church community. Initially the responsibilities of the
Pastoral Care Team need to be clearly defined, as well as the method in
which the activities of the Pastoral Care Team will be reported to the
In programs like ours where the duties of the minister and the
Pastoral Care Team may overlap, like visiting the ill in the hospital
or supporting members going through a life crisis, the reporting to the
minister needs to be more frequent Our minister receives a print out of
everyone we are seeing and which member of the Team is working with
that person, once every two weeks. The minister attends some of our
Pastoral Care meetings. He is free to call any member of the Team to
inquire how any given person may be doing. The coordinator keeps the
minister aware of any new person who has become ill and the minister in
turn notifies the coordinator when help is needed. The coordinator of
the Team needs to be sensitive to the areas of pastoral care that the
minister feels is his/her domain and this will vary from minister to
minister. The need for clearly defined areas of responsibility must be
intentionally and carefully discussed between the coordinator and the
minister as an ongoing topic for open and frank discussion.
For his/her part, the minister needs to encourage, support, and
enable the Pastoral Care Team to develop:
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
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Last updated on Wednesday, May 4, 2011.
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