When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
As we embrace our mission of giving, receiving, and growing, we are all part of Congregational Care. The Congregational Care team offers support and comfort to members and friends in times of need and provides the opportunity for congregants to give that support to others. Here is how it works:
GIVE care: Congregational Care opportunities vary widely and engage different groups within the congregation at different times. Cyber Coffeehour and our weekly Cycle of Life meditations in worship are our main vehicle for letting the community know of the needs of others. If you’d like to offer help in one of the ways described below, contact either of the Congregational Care co-chairs directly: Kathy Coskran (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kathy Urberg (email@example.com).
- Meals: Deliver a meal to an individual or family in a time of need (Contact: Kathy Coskran, firstname.lastname@example.org )
- Memorial Services: Usher, greet, supply bars or cookies, help set up for the reception or clean-up afterwards (Contact: Joyce Case: email@example.com )
- Comfort Shawls: Knit or crochet a comfort shawl on your own or meet with the group that gathers between services on the first Sunday of the month in the Bride’s room (Contact: Shirley Olson, Olson271@umn.edu and Pat Foulkes, firstname.lastname@example.org )
- Deliver Flowers to somebody in their home or in a care center (Contact: Pam Vincent, email@example.com )
- Transportation: Provide transportation on an occasional basis to church on Sunday morning or to a medical appointment during the week. (Contact: Anne McBean: firstname.lastname@example.org )
- Visit a congregant who is unable to come to church or who is in need of support (Contact: Rev. Jen Crow, email@example.com )
- Care Circles: Facilitate a Care Circle for our congregation. Examples include our Grief Circle and Caregivers Circle. (Contact: Rev. Jen Crow, firstname.lastname@example.org )
- Blood Drive: Coordinate or help with our annual blood drive (Contact: Pat Gottschalk, email@example.com )
- Caring Corner: Stop by the Caring Corner in the church social hall to send a note to individuals or families in need of support.
- The Gathering: Provide volunteer staffing to The Gathering, an adult day program for people with dementia at Bethlehem Lutheran Church (Contact: Parish nurse: Pat McLaughlin, firstname.lastname@example.org)
RECEIVE care: If you or someone you care about, is in need of Congregational Care, please call the church office at 612 825-1701 or email Rev. Jen Crow email@example.com to arrange confidential support.
The Reverend Jen Crow works closely with the ministerial team and the Congregational Care Team,, co-led by Kathy Coskran and Kathy Urberg, to organize and lead this church-wide effort. Pat McLaughlin, our parish nurse through our affiliation with TRUST (Toward Renewed Unity in Service to Others), offers valuable advice and recommendations.
- Cycle of Life: Each week, individuals and families who are going through a life transition, experiencing a joy, or a time of difficulty, are included in our Cycle of Life meditation in worship and in our weekly Bulletin. If you’d like to be included in our Cycle of Life, please contact Sandy Dinanni in the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (612) 825-1701.
- Receive Meals. If the ground has shifted beneath your feet, let us bring a meal or two to offer comfort and care. Whenever possible, the Congregational Care team enables congregants to provide meals for each other on a short-term basis in times of need. (Contact Kathy Coskran, email@example.com )
- Receive Transportation: We are in the process of creating a transportation plan to offer rides to church on Sunday morning and hope to also offer transportation to medical appointments, with at least a week’s notice. (Contact: Kathy Coskran, firstname.lastname@example.org )
- Grief Circle: Once each year, we offer this 8-week circle for individuals who have lost a partner or spouse. Facilitated by church members, Rev. Mary Bohman and Kim Kindler, participants explore their grief and loss together and share in support. (Contact Rev. Jen Crow, email@example.com for more information)
- Caregiver Support Circle: Are you caring for a loved one? Explore your experience, your questions, your joys and frustrations, and deepen your spiritual resources with others who share a similar experience. This circle meets once each month. To find out more, contact Anne Frenchick, firstname.lastname@example.org )
Congregants who offer support in these various areas are all volunteers and thus the church is not able to offer the kinds of help that need very specific training, such as assisting with bathing and dressing or providing an around-the –clock presence
GROW in to love’s people: It is by being intentional about both giving and receiving with love and grace that we become a stronger community together. There are several opportunities for individual growth in community.
- Live Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change: Participate in series of workshops that offer a supportive community and practical expertise in navigating the spiritual and practical realities of life’s uncertainties. (Contact: Hal Schroer, email@example.com ) Read more about this in the September 2013 Liberal on page 7.
- Daytime Connections- If you are in the second half of life and would welcome a chance to connect with other congregants outside of Sunday services please join us for these monthly gatherings. Topics range from social to spiritual, with an opportunity to stay and share in a simple lunch together afterwards. Our ministerial intern, Terri Burnor (firstname.lastname@example.org) , will convene these gatherings. Look for dates and more information in the weekly Bulletin and our monthly newsletter, The Liberal.
- Cyber Coffee Hour. This is our most efficient way to let others know of needs within the congregation. You can participate in regular communication via Cyber Coffee Hour by clicking here.
- Give support to others: Giving is a blessed act—see GIVE Support above.