- Supports people through crises, transitions and difficult situations
- Listens compassionately and helps individuals sort out what can and cannot be changed
- Is present with people in their pain, loss, struggle, anxiety, and joy
- Relates gently to individuals as whole people
- Offers encouragement and comfort in times of trouble
- Is available to everyone at any stage of life
Seek Pastoral Care
During crises and transitions such as divorce, health issues, retirement, death of someone close to you, marriage, family concerns, mid-life crises, coming to terms with sexual identity, losing a job, making a career change or financial distress
You need to talk confidentially with a compassionate listener, even if you are not sure what is bothering you
You are facing a major life decision
You are grieving or hurting and need emotional and spiritual support
Pastoral Care Process
1. A First Parish member or friend contacts a minister or associate to express his or her concerns.
2. The minister or associate talks with the member to better understand his or her needs.
3. Together, the member and the minister or the associate decides what type of support or referral would be helpful, and initiate support.
4. The minister or associate follows-up with the member to see if the pastoral care support has been beneficial and whether further support is needed.
Pastoral Care Visit
Please click on this link to view a video of a sample Pastoral Care Visit by one of the Pastoral Care Associates.
How Can You Be Involved?
You are encouraged to let us know, through the ministers, the church office, or one of the groups below, when you or someone you know is in need of support.
The ministers offer counseling, hospital or home visits, and phone calls. Please call the church office (978-369-9602) to schedule an appointment or email the ministers directly:
Before coming to First Parish, she offered pastoral care to individuals and families across the lifespan as a chaplain resident at Mass. General Hospital. Prior to that, Liz was the intern minister at the UU Church of Reading. Her ministry there included supporting the church’s pastoral care teams and leading a bereavement group.
Senior Minister: Seth Carrier-Ladd, firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-369-9602
Minister of Religious Education: Amy Freedman, email@example.com, 978-369-9602
The ministers are assisted by the Pastoral Care Associates, who companion parishioners who are in need of spiritual and emotional support during hospitalizations, bereavement, and long-term illness; they offer support for elders, caregivers, and families in crisis. The Pastoral Care Associates are selected by the ministers. They receive significant training and meet monthly for supervision, reflection and support. Please click on this link to view a video of a sample Pastoral Care Visit by one of the Pastoral Care Associates. Contact Rev. Liz Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
|Sally Brandon Bemisemail@example.com|
|Dana Snyder Grantfirstname.lastname@example.org|
| Virginia Taylor
Caring Connection Services
The Caring Connection provides concrete assistance to parishioners by preparing and delivering meals, offering rides, writing personal notes, welcoming new babies with gifts, and providing opportunities for parishioners to reach out to others through card writing, shawl ministries, and friendly visits. Contact one of the ministers or the associates to request these services or to volunteer.
Meal Delivery brings meals to parishioners during illness, injury or bereavement.
By Your Side Singers are a pastoral choir that helps through life’s transitions by singing rounds, chants, lullabies, choral music, hymns and spirituals to parishioners in their homes or at the hospital.
Friendly Visitors are matched with members and friends of First Parish who would like to be contacted regularly.
Shawl Ministry provides shawls to those who are experiencing a time of loss, difficult transition, illness or injury.
In addition, there are other Pastoral Care Services that you may contact directly.
New Baby Welcomers: Louisa Paushter, email@example.com
Holiday Memorial Wreath: Judy Dembsey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Holiday Plant Delivery: Caitlin Selle, email@example.com
Pastoral Care Brochure
If you would like a printed copy of the Pastoral Care Brochure you can pick one up outside the office at First Parish or click on this link: Pastoral Care Brochure-2019
Pastoral Care Newsletter
If you would like to receive a copy of the weekly Pastoral Care Newsletter to your email, please sign up here.
We have compiled a very useful list of available on-line resources to assist with caregiving, parenting, family support, health and mental illness on the On-line Resources page.
Personal Information Form
This form is of help to members, their families, and their ministers. In the event of serious accident, illness or death, when immediate family members are not nearby, First Parish is sometimes expected to serve as a source of information.
This form is kept in a confidential file and only accessed if and when needed. Some items are merely “memory joggers” and may remind you to review documents you have in your own files. Please fill out this Personal Information Form to any extent you wish, and send to the attention of one of our ministers. It is also helpful to keep a copy of the completed form with your own personal papers.
Mission, Vision, Goals
Pastoral Care offers compassionate support and practical assistance to members and friends of all ages who are experiencing transition, loss, struggle, anxiety or joy; and creates opportunities to deepen spiritually and enrich connections with others.
Click this link to view a copy of Pastoral Care Mission Vision Goals fy19
Pastoral Care offers workshops on aging, preparing for death, living well and communicating with compassion. Stay tuned to FP Weekly and the Sunday Announcements for more information on upcoming events.
Pastoral Care Lending Library
The Pastoral Care Lending Library is a self-serve library, located in the hallway leading to the Peter Bulkeley room, available to all parishioners. To view a list of books available in the library, click this link: Pastoral Care Library Catalogue 11-8-19.
My Faith Community Is Important to Me
If part of conveying your wishes is making sure that First Parish in Concord is contacted in case of your bereavement, serious illness, hospitalization, or death, then you should communicate your wishes to your loved ones or representatives who will speak for you. To facilitate that process we’ve developed a simple form, “My Faith Community is Important to Me.”
Download this form, print it out, fill it out, and save it with your other important documents. If you reside in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility make this form available to your caregivers there.
The form provides those who care for and about you with the contact information for First Parish in Concord. It will be easy for them to let us know of your situation, and we will follow up with you.
Small Group Ministry provides a safe and caring way for small groups of members and friends of the congregation to come together and explore the greater meanings of our lives.
Small Group Ministry groups will meet during a term of approximately four months with a trained facilitator. At the core of each meeting is a topic or activity that serves as a spring-board for reflection on deeper issues of who we are and what gives our lives meaning. Topics cover a range of spiritual and experiential themes such as Forgiveness, Creativity, Mentors, Conscious Consuming, Gratitude, Doubt.
Caregiver Support Group
If you are taking care of a spouse, parent, friend, or family member, you know how exhausting it can be. Consider joining FP’s Caretaker’s Group. This confidential , Zoom group has been meets on the first Monday of every month 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. In this group, you will be able to share the challenges you face and explore ways to take care of yourself.
The Holden Fund of First Parish
The Holden Fund was established at First Parish in 1901 when Ellen Emerson contributed $3,500 in honor of Nancy Holden for “daughters taking care of mothers in straitened circumstances.” Those original instructions have been interpreted more liberally since then to support residents of Concord (and First Parish members wherever they reside) who require care so they can continue to live in their own homes. Monthly stipends of varying amounts, based upon need, are awarded to help support caregivers (family members or paid professionals). Questions or request for application contact: Rev. Liz Weber, Minister for Pastoral Care, firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-369-9602 X414
Holden Fund Panel: Rev. Seth Carrier-Ladd, Susan Dobbie, Alice Van Deusen, and Rev. Liz Weber