Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care at St. John’s

Commitment to Pastoral Care is a priority at St. John’s. It is the way we minister to each other. It incorporates the work that is shared by clergy and can include visiting the ill and homebound, being present with the dying and grieving, and supporting spiritual care. It also involves work performed by lay persons, including tasks such as, sending greeting cards to parishioners, home, and hospital visits by trained Lay Eucharistic Visitors, and providing meals in emergency situations.

We are dedicated to providing lifelong care to our members and to bringing Christ’s love and compassion into times of great happiness and great sorrow so that we share each other’s joys and burdens. Included below are some of the ways we use in caring for our members and those in our community.

“Who are the ministers of the Church? The ministers of the Church are lay persons, bishops, priests and deacons.” – Book of Common Prayer, pg. 855

Pastoral Visits & Hospital Visitation

If you or a loved one is in the hospital, please call us as soon as you can and let our clergy know. Clergy are available for visitation, Communion, Anointing of the Sick, and Ministration to the Dying.

There are times in life when we simply need someone to be present with us. Sometimes it is a moment of crisis, other times it is support to those who are otherwise lonely. The clergy work with a team of members who are dedicated to helping make these regular visits. We work to schedule regular visits for those we know are in need and do our best to respond to other needs as they emerge.

If you would like to receive pastoral care, contact us through the church for more information about these offerings and someone will contact you. A video conference or, if necessary, a personal visit may also be arranged.

Lay Eucharistic Visitors

The difficulties of being separated from church services and fellowship with the congregation, are eased through visits from our Eucharistic Visitors at St. John’s. These visitors are trained to provide the sacrament of Holy Communion to those who are hospitalized, home-bound, or living at retirement and residential care facilities. If you would like to have communion brought to you at home or at your facility, please contact the church office.

Prayer Support

The Parish Prayer List is updated as information is received and can include the names of both parishioners as well as friends/loved ones of parishioners. Those on the Prayer List are also listed in the Sunday bulletin as well. To include a name, please contact us through the church. If you would like to be prayed for but do not want to appear on the Prayer List, you may make this known by speaking directly to a member of the clergy or staff.

When to Call a Priest

Any parishioner may call at any time during the day or night, seven days a week, in the event of a pastoral crisis such as a death in the family, serious illness, an accident, or any other pastoral emergency.

If possible, a priest should be called whenever someone is near death in order to administer Last Rites and pray with the family.

Please call the Pastoral Care Team at Saint John’s:

  • When someone is ill or hospitalized.
  • When someone is experiencing distress and needs pastoral care.
  • When someone wants to discuss spiritual or theological matters.
  • When someone has reason to celebrate.
  • When someone wishes to talk to gain spiritual comfort.

Anyone may contact the church to set up an appointment for a non-crisis visitation by calling the Office.

Wednesday Service of Healing and Hope

This quiet gathering each Wednesday at 12:00 PM offers Healing Prayer, the proclamation of the Good News, and time to be in the presence of God and one another. Each week, we celebrate and learn from the Holy Women and Holy Men who intercede on our behalf. During the time of Covid-19, the congregation gathers within the Sanctuary observing social distancing.

Homebound Transportation Services

When a new parent cannot leave the house, a parishioner has had surgery, or a disabled individual is kept inside by extended inclement weather or lacks the ability to get to around, a volunteer may be able to provide transportation to church services or to medical appointments until the church member is, hopefully, able to function independently once again. Along with a helping hand and an attentive ear, these pastoral ministers can bring reassurance and compassion to those they help.

House Blessings

Occupying a new home can be a joyous occasion. The clergy of St. John’s are available to help sanctify your new home by offering a blessing on behalf of the church. The priest, with members of the household and others as convenient, may move from room to room saying a prayer over each space. House blessings may possibly conclude with light refreshments for any guests who participate in the celebration.

Greeting Card Ministry

Acknowledging important events in people’s lives is provided through this ministry of sending a greeting card for birthdays, the birth of new babies, condolences, and special selected occasions.

Meal Train Ministry

While prayers and presence are the mainstays of pastoral care, there are times when we have other immediate needs as well. Meal Train volunteers organize meals to be delivered by parishioners or local restaurants following such occasions as a birth, surgery, or illness, etc. The MEAL TRAIN app makes ministry easy for volunteers.

While it cannot meet long term needs, a few meals can make a big difference as one returns home from the hospital or is in other temporary need.

To volunteer with or learn more about any of the aforementioned ministries, please contact the Church Office by phone at 717-299-1188 or by email at info@stjohns-lancaster.org.