“Pastoral care” can appear to be the soft part of what we do for each other. With pastoral care we tend to the needs of our people who are ill or stressed, are grieving or in emotional distress. It is also supporting people beginning something new or challenging, like a new job or a new family – very exciting stuff.
Pastoral care is personal. It is providing support, an ear, a prayer, or just helping with the dishes, but whatever it is, it is to help one person or many get through, get stronger if possible, and to have dignity always. At times this means hearing a Confession, or taking communion to one who is dying, or anointing a person who is gravely ill.
The mission of the Church is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ,” and people join churches so to help that happen within their communities. Pastoral care is provided to help people grow stronger so that they might re-engage in this mission wherever they are in their lives.
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