Ministries of Care
St. Augustine's Church has a long history of "in reach" to one another in the parish community, focused on four organized and ongoing ministries described below. Contact persons for each ministry are listed below.
Good Samaritans: Barb Caspersen and Julia Joehl
Eucharistic Visitors: Rev. Kristin White
Lay Parish Visitors: Barb Caspersen and Julia Joehl
Prayer Shawl Ministry: Carolyn Eby, Kristie Webber, Mary Ellen Davis
Good Samaritans serve as an immediate and loving presence to those among us who are in temporary need, by providing concrete assistance. This support might include meals, rides, shopping, visits or phone calls, and written notes or cards. Good Samaritan volunteers serve two-week shifts. When "on call" the Good Samaritan, in collaboration with clergy, makes contact with parishioners identified as needing support and arranges help using the list of volunteers. Some rotations are very busy and others are quiet, depending on the needs of that time.
Just as in our parish's invitation to communion, "everybody, everybody, everybody," is invited and welcome to become a Good Samaritan volunteer. Likewise, all in this community are encouraged to let the clergy or Good Samaritans know of your needs. God does not require too much of us: Love God, love one another. Let us do that for each other. Barb Caspersen and Julia Joehl
Eucharistic Visitors bring the consecrated bread and wine from the Sunday service to members who are shut-ins, are in a hospital or nursing facility, or have temporary conditions that don't allow them to attend church. These Visitors "take the Consecrated Elements in a timely manner following a Celebration of Holy Eucharist to members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, were unable to be present at the Celebration." This ministry allows individuals in those situations to continue feel a part of the St. Augustine's family even while unable to attend services, but it does not replace the regular planned visit of our priests to the same individuals. Sue Carlson
Lay Parish Visitors act as the faces, voices, and spirit of St. Augustine's Church when our members are unable to actively and regularly participate in the life of the parish. There is no specific training needed for this ministry, just the ability to share news, listen with care and patience, and often relieve the loneliness of older parishioners. We visit those who are not able to get out easily, telephone them occasionally, and hope to ease the isolation of members whose spiritual and social circles may be lessening because of illness or physical disability and lack of mobility. When a person is unable to be in church, it is a wonderful comfort to have the sense that you are part of the whole, that your presence is missed and that your friends are reaching out to you. The Lay Parish Visitors meet during the year to share updates on the individuals they are following and to identify members who may need us. Julia Joehl and Barb Caspersen
The Prayer Shawl Ministry is a group of women (open to all, though as yet we have no male members) who want to share our time, lives and knitting (and crochet) skills. We have varying skill levels and even have members who are just learning. And we love to share the shawls we make with the larger community. The shawls are available for anyone in the congregation who sees a need. That the shawls have been so appreciated and meaningful is incredibly gratifying to our ministry.
This is the prayer we use at the beginning of our gatherings: As we begin our work, we offer this prayer to God, who gives us minds to think and hearts to love and hands to serve. Please unite these three gifts in us as we endeavor to bring comfort to others, that the shawls we create are imbued with our love and caring and your sustaining love and presence. Amen.
Parts of this prayer are taken from A Litany for Thanksgiving in the Book of Common Prayer. The combination of minds, hearts and hands is particularly well suited for creating prayer shawls. Carolyn Eby