Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care Team Logo

Caring for one another is one of the fundamental characteristics of the Christian community.  At St. James’ whilst we have a team of dedicated, trained Pastoral Assistants, we also seek to remind everyone that we are all responsible for the pastoral care of one another.

Our desire is to be there for each other in times of sickness and in joy, in sorrow or celebration, in crisis or transition.

  • To pray.
  • To listen.
  • To share.

The “Presence” of Pastoral Care

Jesus calls all of us to care for and to be “present” to others.  Pastoral care is a ministry of “presence,” based on faith and prayer to provide support and love to those who are in need.

Pastoral Care Providers

Pastoral care can be provided by anyone with a listening heart who is willing to set themselves aside to support another person in need of a friend or listening ear. A pastoral care visitor is a person of prayer.  Compassion, sensitivity, and patience are also attributes of a pastoral care visitor.

Care and Cure

It is important to realise that in Pastoral Care, the emphasis is on “Care” not “Cure.”  To care is to be present with, to grieve with, pray for, and to listen in times of need or trouble.  The pastoral care giver is not primarily intended to “fix” any situation, provide advice or provide solutions to problems.  However, they may be able to refer people to others who can help them.  Pastoral care is a ministry of caring enough to give one’s time to be truly “present” to someone in times of crisis, joy, happiness or sadness.  A pastoral care giver listens with a prayerful heart, a heart connected to a caring, loving God.

Pastoral Care Situations

Circumstances in which pastoral care support may be needed are many and varied.   Times of change, stress, loss, illness are occasions in which a listening ear and the presence of another can be helpful.

Prayers for those caring for others

Guide me Lord God, 
and help me to accept my own imperfections and brokenness, 
and to share in the imperfections and brokenness of others. 
May I share their needs for healing and wholeness. Amen.

Heavenly Father,
may my presence, my touch, my eyes,
my tone of voice, my whole being
echo your love, assurance, and peace.
May I be an agent of your support and comfort.
Above all may he/she turn to you for spiritual, emotional
and physical strength and comfort.

I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent You who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do,
because You who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever You wish, knowing You go there with me.
I will be healed as I let You teach me to heal.

Isaiah 41:10

Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

James 5: 14-16

Are any among you sick?  They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.  The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.  Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.  The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.

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