Circle of Care
Our ministers are primarily responsible for all pastoral care and counseling in the church community, and are the first tier of pastoral care expertise and responsibility. Given the size of the First Parish congregation, the ministers’ pastoral activities are devoted primarily to crisis work – severe illness, accident, or death, and short term counseling.
Pastoral Associates are trained members who assist our ministers in pastoral care and have two roles: First, they bring cheer, consolation and companionship in times of difficulty and transition. Their involvement will be carefully considered, confidential and time-limited. Psychological or pastoral counseling is not part of the work of a Pastoral Associate. The Pastoral Associates take turns being primary-on-duty for a month’s period. The name of the Pastoral Associate on duty is announced at the beginning of each month on the First Parish listserv.
If you need assistance or want to share news about life transitions, please contact the church office. Such information will be given to the Pastoral Associate on duty. In an emergency the information will also be promptly passed along to the ministers. You may also email the on-duty Associate directly at Pastoralcare [at] firstparishcambridge [dot] org. The ministers and Pastoral Associates meet monthly to share information and coordinate care efforts.
Secondly, the Pastoral Associates link congregants who are experiencing short-term needs with volunteers in our Circle of Care. All members are encouraged to nourish and care for our community by participating in the Circle of Care. The Circle of Care provides congregants with the practical and spiritual support we all need in times of sorrow, pain and difficulty. Examples of support include sending a card, transportation to church events or doctor appointments, help with shopping or errands, and providing a meal or help with a new baby. You can participate by filling out the Circle of Care Volunteer Service Form. This is a way to honor our mutual covenant by continuing the long tradition at First Parish of helping one another during times of need. In doing so we not only answer the call of love, but we also increase our shared strength to serve the larger community and our world.