Christ Church has a very active program of pastoral care ministry under the overall supervision of the Rector and the Priest Associate. It is designed to help parishioners of all ages who are in need of pastoral assistance because of a serious illness, a death or other problem where faith and prayer may be helpful and comforting.
It was eight years ago, that David Holroyd joined the staff of Christ Church as the Associate for Pastoral Care in October of 2009. It is a ministry that is very important to him, especially as we move through times in this world that seems to give rise to more questions than answers.
“When I was first ordained and began my ministry in Maine, our Bishop offered a support group for all of the neophytes in the Diocese. We were discussing pastoral visiting (in hospitals, homes, workplaces, etc.) and the Bishop said this: “Whenever you make a pastoral visit, you are saying three things. You are saying that you care, that the church cares, and that GOD CARES.” That has been the foundation of my pastoral ministry ever since.
Being able to provide Pastoral Care is indeed a gift. It is, of course, all about people. The time that I spend with other human beings is usually my most energizing time. Whether I am making formal visits, planning an event with a committee, organizing a ballgame trip, or just being at church and greeting you after the service, the real payoff for me is just being with others. The greatest gift I have received on this earth is people.
In an age when technology seems to rule the world and has even promised to simplify our lives, I am discovering that people are still my greatest gift on earth! Maybe that is why I refer to Pastoral Care as a gift and not a job. It all comes down to people, being in communion and in community with others.
Many years ago I saw an Episcopal Church slogan that said this: I’VE NEVER SEEN A TELEVISION SET THAT CAN GIVE HOLY COMMUNION!” (Not even the latest iPhone can give communion!) And that is why Christ Church nurtures me and why I give thanks to all of you for the gift of Pastoral Care.”
Members of the Pastoral Care Team serve in a variety of ways. We presently have five faithful members who serve as Lay Eucharistic Visitors. Known as LEVs, these are people who are licensed by the diocese, to take the sacrament of Holy Communion to church members who are homebound or temporarily unable to attend church. Anyone who would like to know more about becoming a LEV needs only to contact Rev. David Holroyd phone or email so that you can meet and discuss what is involved. New members can be trained by David and by those who are already involved in this ministry. Safe Church Training is required, provided by various local churches.
David presently offers monthly Eucharists at Riverwoods on the third Thursday of each month and at Langdon Place on the fourth Wednesday. He always welcomes those who would like to assist and also interact with the residents who attend these services.
We also sponsor special gatherings with our many independent living members at Riverwoods and I am grateful for the members of our team who provide refreshments and hospitality for these wonderful events that have been so well received.