Rev. Joe Walker, Minister of Congregational Care

“Ah, things slow down over the summer months, right?” Well, maybe a little, but…

Our newly elected Deacons and Youth Elders and Deacons are being welcomed into their particular Circles of Care community assignments. They are receiving orientation on how we as a church maintain our relationship with members who are homebound or hospitalized. Each Circle has one homebound member and the other members of the Circle take turns visiting once a month with communion and conversation about what is happening in families, at church, and in our world. If you would like to help maintain our caring and prayerful relationship with an elderly or frail person, call, text, or email me.

Speaking of hospitals, illnesses, slips and falls, and “that old knee injury” do not take the summer off. As a church community we are visiting, taking flowers, making phone calls, sending cards, and praying for members and friends in hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

Sometimes our conversations go down the path of whether to continue living at home or down-size and move. We are always helping members and friends prayerfully discern the best choice for them.

Those types of conversations are just one example of the work of our Stephen Ministry. Another class for Stephen Ministry training begins this fall. The classes explore the spiritual gifts of listening and accompanying persons who need a caring conversation partner as they deal with changes or losses.

Our Stephen Ministry is excitedly making plans for a special presentation by author and aging specialist, Helen Emmott, “Stubborn is not a plan.” This will be especially helpful for the adult children of aging parents. Add this to your calendar for the evening of Mon., Oct. 21, 7:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.

Our Green Burial presentation was very popular. We plan to offer it again here and other congregations have inquired about taking it on the road.

That evening sparked a lot of discussions about advance directives, organ donations, and final arrangements. We are looking to host sessions on those topics including the new Transportable Physician Orders for Patient Preferences (TPOPP).

Each month we hear a brief story from a guest at our Faith and Grief Lunch. Every month those are powerful, personal testimonies of how real people got through the pain and confusion of losing a loved one. The next lunch is Tues., Aug. 6, noon, hosted by our partner Village Presbyterian.

Finally, whatever the season or situation, we are honored to offer beautiful funerals for loved ones who have gone before us and for their families. This Saturday our Funeral Guild will help welcome guests as we celebrate the life of Gwen Miller as her family gathers first in our Sanctuary and then returns to her hometown area in central Missouri for a graveside service.

All of our ministries welcome your particular spiritual gifts – listening or arranging flowers or writing cards or… To learn how you can be a part of our hopeful and healing ministries, call, text, or email me anytime.