Last week was beautiful Fall weather in Minnesota ! I believe that it is good to follow Jesus’ example ever once and a while of taking ourselves away to a place apart, taking time out from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. On my vacation I was able to spend some time outdoors, take some time to pray, and have some time with family. My return to the office included attending a Search Committee meeting on Tuesday evening.
You will hear more about what the Search Committee is up to in the Transition News, but I’d like to pull out one item on which to reflect a little. Among the five top things of value that you all identified at the Sept. 27th meeting on Core Values and Mission was that St. Stephen’s has been “a strong and loving community”. Discussion at that meeting, and in previous venues for conversation this year, people have identified that St. Stephen’s has been a great support community for them and one of the reasons for staying after the first visit or two. But people have also identified that there is room for improvement in this area, that Outreach is strong but Inreach to one another has not been as strong in the last few years, and for a variety of reasons.
In response to the need to strengthen our care for one another, several things have happened in the last six months.
- We reconstituted a Pastoral Care Team who have begun to send cards and visit those who need a bit of cheer and prayer.
- We have recruited several folks who make sure a few people, who are without means of transportation, are able to get to church regularly on Sunday.
- Several people have visited folks in the hospital and cared for the spouse of the hospitalized person in a variety of ways.
- Several people attended an information day on Stephen Ministry, a training for those who want to commit time to walking alongside someone during difficult times of life ( especially in time of grief) and three folks will be taking the initial training sessions (What they learn will be shared with the Pastoral Care team).
In order to continue to strengthen our care for one another, it is important that to communicate with one another when we are in need. (Myself included! I give many thanks for the support I received during the time of my father’s death.) Emails or phone calls to me or our deacon, Sherm Everett, or to Meghan in the parish office, to let us know of prayer needs or visits are always appreciated!
“Love one another as I have loved you.” May the One who calls us to care for one another give us the grace and where-with-all to do so!