Personal Access to Ministry and Pastoral Care
We need one another when we mourn and would be comforted
We need one another when we are in trouble and afraid.
We need one another when we are in despair, in temptation, and need to be recalled to our best selves again.
We need one another when we would accomplish some great purpose, and cannot do it alone.
We need one another in the hour of success, when we look for someone to share our triumphs.
We need one another in the hour of defeat, when with encouragement we might endure, and stand again.
We need one another when we come to die, and would have gentle hands prepare us for the journey.
All our lives we are in need, and others are in need of us.
—George E. Odell (from Reading #468, Singing the Living Tradition)
Our faith community provides not only an opportunity for us to come on Sunday mornings to worship, but also an opportunity to speak our personal truths in a safe setting.
Ministers' offices should be wheelchair accessible, or there should be accessible, private, comfortable rooms (with doors that close) for pastoral care.
Personal amplification systems, such as Williams Pocketalkers, should be available for use by people with hearing impairment.
Environmental essentials, e.g. space for wheelchairs, good lighting, should be followed in any room used for counseling or pastoral care (see general information about fellowship and meeting rooms).
Ministers and pastoral care providers should have a good knowledge of community services that are available for people with disabilities.
Ministers and pastoral care providers should have training in counseling (or training by a counselor or social worker who has worked with people who have disabilities.)
Sign language interpreters should always be used if a person seeking pastoral care is a Deaf sign language user. Counseling/pastoral care communication must take place in a person's own language.
Ministers and pastoral care providers should refrain from wearing personal scents and make personal accommodation (such as using unscented detergents) because of the chance that people may have chemical sensitivities.