A couple of weeks ago, we hosted a meeting following our Sunday Services to begin a dialogue about how we care for one another during times of trial and transition. The former Caring Committee has become dormant (even though there are volunteers involved with caring), and we have an opportunity to build something new. We were thrilled to have so many people show up, and so many others express an interest in getting involved.
Our hope is to re-launch a Caring Network in the Fellowship that matches the size congregation to which we have grown. Some of you may wonder what types of caring we offer one another in our congregation. There are many ways we support each other here, and the following are but some examples: cards, calls, visits, meals, rides, pastoral appointments, healing circles, caregiver groups and respite.
At the meeting, we explored a number of topics and questions, and I wanted to share some of them with you.
- When was a time in your life that you needed support, and what was helpful/ would be helpful to receive from our community?
- What kinds of caring do you enjoy offering others?
- When was a time that you felt nurtured through a transition by our community? When was a time you felt disappointed by us?
- What kind of caring structure will serve us well?
- How do we create caring expectations that are sustainable for our minister, staff and volunteers?
- How can we best communicate what is available, so that all our members and friends have the opportunity to offer care, companionship, and support, as well as to receive care, companionship and support?
- How can we best connect our members and friends to other resources in the region to help them find the support we cannot offer?
It was a very creative meeting. Ideas came forth, such as hosting a cooking party at the Fellowship, and then freezing meals for people just out of surgery, having a baby, or who have lost a loved one. Another idea was creating a bank of people who have been through a particular challenge, who are on the other side of it and willing to talk to others who are going through that challenge.
I am looking forward to meeting with a newly forming Caring Taskforce that will set in motion a Caring Network that you can connect with this spring. Many thanks to Tricia Armstrong for agreeing to facilitate this taskforce.
If you have any thoughts about the new Caring Network, please email our administrator, Mandi Huizenga, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will send your thoughts along to the Caring Taskforce.
May we be a community that is here for one another, as well as here for the world.
Rev. Alison Miller