There are times in life when we all need someone to listen. You may be struggling with financial or relationship problems, or you may need an objective ear as you grapple with a long-standing and exhausting issue.
Many times, your first thought is to turn to our minister for help in such situations. Of course, a minister can’t be everywhere at once, and there are also times when you may feel more comfortable sharing your thoughts with someone else. That’s where Emerson’s Pastoral Care Team comes into play. This select group of Emerson members has had extensive and specialized training in listening skills and has committed to respond with emotional support for people who need help. You can identify them at church services by the bright yellow name tags they wear. Team members also read the list of Joys and Sorrows at each Emerson Sunday service.
Members of the Pastoral Care Team aren’t therapists or psychologists, but they can listen as friends and offer encouragement, empathy, sympathy and support. They are typically called upon when there is an illness or death in the congregation, when people are dealing with marital or child-rearing issues, when changes in the congregation or the community are causing unusual stress, or when people are feeling unusually anxious or depressed. The Pastoral Care Team also has a host of resources to which they can refer people, including local therapists and a variety of community services.
You can contact the Pastoral Care Team by calling or emailing the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org and requesting their help. You need not disclose the nature of your issue when you contact the office and you can trust that anything you share with a member of the Pastoral Care Team will be held in strictest confidence, unless there is a life-threatening or legal issue involved. The Team takes confidentiality very seriously, since trust is such a necessary component of helping others.
Keep in mind that the Pastoral Care Team helps with emotional support, listening, and resource referral. Emerson has other groups that offer other kinds of help, as well.
The Helping Hands Committee email@example.com handles requests for short term help such as meals and transportation.
The Conflict Resolution Team firstname.lastname@example.org handles conflicts among members or complaints related to the congregation.
The important thing to remember is this: If you’re struggling with a problem or an ongoing issue, you don’t have to face it alone. Emerson has people ready and willing to listen and help.