Rector’s Weekly News Article
Good morning and welcome to Church. It’s great to have you here especially if you’re new or visiting. We’d love to meet you after church over a cup of tea.
At St Peter’s committee meeting this week there was a healthy discussion on the topic of pastoral care. This week I want to write of a few thoughts on pastoral care around our parish and how we can seek to love one another well.
‘Pastoral Care’ can end up sounding like a somewhat abstract concept that exists within the policies and staffing of a Church. When I talk about pastoral care here, I’m simply talking about the way we as a Church family care for one another. This is one of our primary responsibilities as Christian brothers and sisters.
We are a Parish of four churches who have many similarities, common members and overlap but which also operate quite independently. My observation of our 4 Churches is that each do a very good at loving and caring for one another. That is no reason however not to think about how we can do better and particularly how we can make sure that people don’t fall between the cracks. We want to be a community (or 4 communities) that are always looking to welcome outsiders in and that look after our own well.
Depending on the size of a Church there are different models of how to ensure that people are looked after well. In small Churches like ours much of the pastoral care should be able to happen in a relatively organic way. There’s a real possibility that each of us can get to know the majority, if not all of the other members of our congregations. Ideally that will mean that we know when someone is struggling. This is particularly possible where people are part of a bible study or a growth group outside of the regular Sunday Service. Though it’s good to share a bit of your life over a cup of tea after the service, meeting regularly with a smaller number gives a much greater opportunity to develop relationships. I do understand however that being a member of one of these groups is not always possible, with small things like full time work and family commitments really complicating life! It’s also worth remembering that different personalities share different amounts at different times. In summary, if you can join a small group, it is a great way to care for and be cared for.
As the pastor, it is one of my primary responsibilities to love and care for everyone in our Churches. Some would say that the rector’s responsibility is to organise and co-ordinate pastoral care. Again, different sizes of Churches demand different approaches. I am however firmly of the belief that in a Parish our size the rector should not be too busy to be actively involved with caring for people.
To the end I want to remind everyone that I am willing and available to drink tea with you and pray with you in difficult times and in joyous ones. Sometimes I will be intuitive enough to know that you need a call, and many other times I’ll fall short in that area. Please understand that I will never be offended if someone calls me to let me know that there’s someone in need who might appreciate a visit. Please also feel free to invite me round for a cup of tea if you would appreciate a chat. It is my goal to stay busy, but never to be too busy to be able to spend time with you all. That’s one of the very things I like to be busy with.
Would you like a CD of any sermon you may have missed or want to hear again? Contact Geoff Brimley.
CMS Summer School – leaflets including application forms are now at the back of each church. Summer School is on from 6th -12th January, 2018 at Katoomba.
BCA Boxes – September is opening time – bring yours to church next week and hand in to Judith Finney at St Aidan’s or Carol Crowther at St Peter’s.
A Date for your Diary – Sarah will be with us for the week starting Sunday 5th November until Friday 10th November. Sarah’s latest newsletter is at the back of the church, feel free to take one.
A Women’s Event with guest speaker Nerida Cuddy will take place in St Aidan’s hall on Saturday 14th October 2pm – 4.30pm. Nerida’s theme will be “Living in the midst of the mess – how faith can interact with grief, suffering & everyday chaos.
St Peter’s Committee is planning a Spring Fair to be held on Saturday 21st October – 9am -3pm. Stalls will include – BBQ, Tea/Coffee/Cordial, Bookstall, Cakes & Jams, Face Painting, Jumping Castle, Plants, Church open & a Choir presentation and White Elephant Stall. Also music from Lithgow Pipe Band during the day. If you have any saleable items could you kindly set them aside for collection closer to the date. Unsold items will be collected by the Salvation Army but they will not take large furniture, electrical items or stuffed toys. Enquiries – Margaret Gough – 0414 980 398, or Carol Crowther – 47878261.