Publicity is a crucial part of a successful Pastoral Care Team, but it is complicated by the necessity to maintain confidentiality of those who have been helped. Because the Pastoral Care Team offers new services never before available, it is important to repeatedly remind the congregation in many different ways of their availability, especially in the beginning.
It is very important to have the minister's support and public endorsement, Our minister has written articles about the Pastoral Care Team in his column in the biweekly church newsletter. He also acknowledged the Pastoral Care Team from the pulpit. We have an annual dedication of the new Pastoral Care Team the first Sunday in May when the Team is presented to the congregation. We had a re-dedication of the Team this fall.
Each member of the Team wears a special nametag with our Pastoral Care Team logo so we can he identified at all church activities. We write articles in our biweekly church newsletter telling the congregation what we have been doing: entitled the Pastoral Care Corner.
A member of the Pastoral Care Team attends each service to write down the Joys and Concerns that are shared during the service. We follow up with cards for the Joys and a phone call to the person with the Concern to determine if we can help. We keep a Joys and Concern notebook at the church to collect the information.
Referrals come from people calling the Team directly, the church office, the minister or the director of Religious Education. We get referrals indirectly when others tell us their concern about specific church members.