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Congregational Care Protocol

by Molly Baskette

We are blessed with a deep bench of pastors and other caring people in our community! But that can make it a little confusing as to how we organize ourselves to meet each other?s emotional and spiritual needs.

Revs. Kit, Rachel and Molly have refined the congregational care protocol so that we can be as effective as possible in caring for the needs of our community without duplicating efforts. The protocol also empowers each of you to the high calling of caring for one another, as you take your place in the priesthood of all believers!

Here?s how it will work:

Pastoral Emergency Line: Any time you have a pastoral emergency (sudden illness, death, other critical incident) you are invited to call the pastoral emergency number:510/859-8876. Kit, Rachel and Molly will take turns being on call, and whoever is on call will get back to you ASAP.  We suggest adding this number to your contacts (do it now!).

?Chaplaincy? by age and family structure: For more general and less pressing pastoral concerns, Kit, Rachel and Molly each have in their purview a subset of the congregation: Rachel, families with young children; Molly, families with teenagers, and Kit, young adults. This doesn?t mean folks in those age groups should feel they can?t speak to a pastor who is not their ?chaplain,? only that we have broken down folks by age/affinity so that we can have a more intentional primary relationship with those we have program responsibility for, and to balance the workload fairly.

For adults age 35+, all three pastors are available to you! As your needs arise, we will talk amongst ourselves and decide who among us will take the lead to accompany you through your difficulty.

Office Hours:  Kit hosts weekly coffee shop office hours, open to all (for time/location, check the First Church google calendar). Rachel hosts regular office hours with folks at the Lake Park Retirement Community. Molly?s hours are Wednesdays, 8:30-10 am at Musical Offering at 2430 Bancroft Way. This is a good time for 1:1 conversation and prayer about whatever is on your mind, or stay with all gathered and crowdsource your spiritual needs amidst community!

Along with your able pastors, here are the other ways we support each other through hard times, big transitions or just the ordinary ups and downs of this human life:

Befrienders: BeFrienders are trained lay volunteers who are matched one on one with anyone who needs a confidential listening presence. Our current Befrienders are: Carolyn Ash, Leonard Ash, Ann Jensen, Rick Ayer, Jacki Dennis, Annis Kukulan, Wendy Atkins-Pattinson, and Kathy Helliesen. Please contact Rachel (rbauman@fccb.org) if you would like more information or if you are interested in being matched with a BeFriender. Befrienders are available for short-term pairing after critical incidents or longer-term support.

Visitation Team: Visitation team volunteers are linked with members of the congregation who are 75+, and/or have mobility issues and therefore find it hard to get to church, and/or who would like a monthly visitor. Please contact Louise Halsey (lhalsey@fccb.org) if you are interested in joining the visitation team or if you would like to be matched with a visitor.

Healing Prayer: Both staff ministers and ministers who are members of the congregation are available for extemporaneous healing prayers during communion on the first Sunday of the month, 11 am worship and, in the aftermath of the fire, at weekly worship during the offering collection.

Parish Nurses: Our parish nurses Robin Kempster (rkempster@fccb.org) and Demetrhea Therrien (dtherrien@fccb.org) are available for questions about medical issues and/or referrals to local health resources.

Operation Love Notes: The art of snail mail is alive and well at First Church! The Ministry of Care, Fellowship and Invitation hosts card writing for those in our community who are homebound, faraway, ill, recovering from injury, surgery or having a difficult time. Open to all ages, and held quarterly on Sunday mornings.

"Helping Hands" Meal Train Ministry: Because the needs of the spirit sometimes means we need help caring for our bodies first, the Ministry of Care, Fellowship and Invitation helps coordinate meals and/or other support for those in need due to surgery, illness, a new baby or other life challenges, using email, phone and the web-based service Lotsa Helping Hands. Want to request meals/support for yourself or others? Contact Helping Hands coordinator Linda Sawyer at FCCB.Helping.Hands@gmail.com or Rev. Kit at knovotny@fccb.org. Interested in being some of those helping hands? Again, contact Linda Sawyer.