Pastoral care involves clergy and laity responding to challenges of faith, life crises, and ordinary questions along our various paths. This may include a note to ease a long recovery, calls to those awaiting surgery, meals to those who are bereaved and visits to those in nursing homes. It is prayer with one who is anxious about a loved one’s well being. It is guidance through decisions about family issues. It is a parishioner knitting a prayer shawl to give to someone in hospice care. Spiritual and emotional needs are individual and particular. Thus we seek to minister to members in specific ways as needs arise–always preparing the way for the Lord so that God’s presence may be known.
Pastoral Care Team
An essential characteristic of Christian community is the profound willingness and ability to care for each other. From the earliest gatherings of “Followers of the Way” or “Followers of Jesus the Christ,” Christians have been known for the way they care for each other—as well as for “outsiders.” At St. James’s, we hope to continually foster this sense of caring in many ways. Pastoral Care Team ministers are people who represent the community of St. James’s. They are trained visitors, observers, and listeners. They keep confidence with those they visit, while reporting necessary information to parish clergy.
If you would like a visit from a member of the Pastoral Care Team, please contact us.
Sacrament of Healing
In the past, we have offered the Sacrament of Healing every Sunday at the 9:30 service. A special area for healing prayer is set aside at the back of the church with rugs, kneeling stations, and icons. Anyone who would like to request healing prayers for themselves or on another’s behalf is invited to go back to one of the healing stations after receiving communion. The Sacrament of Healing is not currently being offered, but hope to offer it again sometime in the future. Information on this sacrament is provided below.
This sacrament begins with a priest making the sign of the cross with Holy Oil on your forehead. You then have the opportunity to privately tell a small team of healing ministers the nature of your need for healing, body, mind, and/or spirit. Healing may also be sought for relationships that are in distress or for strength and guidance at some specific crossroad of life. The healing ministers will pray softly (to ensure your privacy) for God’s blessing. You may also request this sacrament in proxy for another person. In this sacrament we do not teach that one’s medical or other problems will be removed, like magic. Rather, we affirm that God’s love itself is healing, and that we can be healed (that is, a whole person, at peace) in the embrace of God. All requests for healing prayer will be held in confidence; your requests will be made known only to the healing team members who will pray for you on a particular day.
To date we have blessed and delivered well over one hundred prayer shawls for people who are sick or going through a difficult time. People who have received these prayer shawls find them to be a real blessing and a source of comfort. If you would like a prayer shawl for a loved one, please contact the parish office.
Casseroles are available for those who have recently expanded their family and for anyone facing personal or family crisis such as injury, illness, or death in the family.
Expanding families, contact: Kerri Raissian (email@example.com)
Others, contact: Cheri Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please send details regarding location, timing and dietary restrictions.
Caregivers/Grief Support Group
A group of us who spend time caring for a loved one meet once a month to support, connect and encourage one another. We have grown closer to each other through the sharing we do at our meetings. The group looks out for the health and quality of life for the caregivers. We hold each other in prayer and accountability to care for ourselves. The group has also provided guidance and much needed information on resources—doctors, home healthcare agencies, rehabs, in-patient care facilities, etc.
Clergy are available for pastoral care, spiritual direction, and the Rite of Reconciliation (Confession) as needed and requested. Visit our staff page for contact information. They are also available to assist you in planning your funeral/burial service. For more information, please go to our Weddings and Funerals page.
For more information about these and other pastoral care opportunities, please contact the church office or one of the clergy.