Pastoral Care in the 1990’s

Congregational care was a broader commission in 1990’s than it was a decade later.  

Originally 1989 when commissions were organized it was a group of volunteers to develop a “plan for identifying parishioners who have special needs and coordinate support services.”  At the time they mentioned various support groups – grief support, parent support, support for divorced and separate persons,  retirement and  marriage enrichment.

By 1993, it  was used to  satisfy the need for small groups, to provide  outreach and meet specific needs of retirees, improve the stewardship of personal resources, to coordinate visitations with lay and clergy, provide transportation help.  It also took on the Parish Directory

By  1995, it had included hospitality, such as the greeters fellowship and new members.

It developed a Neighborhood Crisis Care Ministry in 1995 to speed assistance to those affected with crises. This would establish functional groups on a geographic basis. They worked by zip code, subdivisions and streets. Gail Braxton and Pearl Galatas were the original leaders.  Neighborhood leaders would be created for the process. The division would also be used for Vestry call. 

The process of gaining assistance would be for the affected individual to call the rector advising the rector of a crisis situation. There was an Emergency Services Coordinator  who would contact a neighborhood leader. Leader contacts another group who would agree to help. They also documented how support groups would be created.

By 1997, several Vestry members considered expanding into as a stewardship canvas tool, a way to spur newcomers incorporation into the church. However, there was a backlash against that idea.

By 1999 there were discussions about the wisdom of combining many functions into this one commission. They were put together originally due to lack of volunteers for the separate commissions. In March, 1999 a memo from Cal Reneau read -“Simplify the organization of the commission by forming committees to perform selected related functions” (March, 1999).   Pastoral care would be encompass “neighborhood situations”. Coffee Hour would be its own committee, possibly a fundraising opportunity for groups.  Newcomers would handle greeters, pew card and “progress through supper club”

In 2000, pastoral care was split into 3 commissions – Fellowship, newcomers and pastoral care. It was overstretched with its many functions. Not helping it was the growth of the church in the late 1990’s.  The Parochial reports show growth in the church in terms of communicants from 820 in 1997 to 857 in 1999 and then a larger jump into 2000 – 969.