Eleven Lay Pastoral Care Associates serve under the Minister’s supervision to offer more extended pastoral care to WUU members and friends — in a confidential setting. They are: David Hopkinson and Jane Reilly (co-chairs); Flora Adams, Laura Bronstein, Martha Elim, Cynthia Frezek, Carolyn Greathouse, David Hamilton, Ruth Hopkinson, Charles Tankersley, and Trenna Tankersley.
The 2016-17 LPCA team was selected from applications and interviews, and then trained over 15 hours from May-August 2016 in a model of care patterned after the UU Church of Richmond. As an extension of the minister’s usual professional duties of pastoral care (e.g. funerals, acute hospital calls, etc.), LPCAs offer ongoing supportive contacts to UUs in bereavement, long-term disability, declining health, social isolation, emotional upheaval and the like – any life altering situation that calls for extended spiritual and/or relational outreach from a fellow UU. They will supplement both the “first responses” of the Caring Committee and those activities that properly belong in the hands of the minister. LPCAs don’t provide “treatment” or expert advice, in fact don’t undertake to “fix” another UU’s life struggles. Their training is in showing empathic, compassionate and discrete support, in walking alongside their troubled compatriots.
LPCAs operate as a team under the minister’s supervisor and direction. Personal situations attended by each LPCA are shared in confidence in team meetings, so that knowledge, background experiences and ideas can be pooled for maximum benefit of the UU recipient of care. Except in rare matters of urgent health and safety any information received in confidence is held within the team as a sacred trust.
The team receives referrals directly from the minister, from recommendations made by the Caring Committee, and directly from a UU to an LPCA. The minister makes the assignment of pastoral care to himself/herself, to the Caring Committee, or to the LPCA team.
Please note that pastoral care is not professional counseling. Nor do we offer judgment or advice. We do offer confidentiality and a listening presence on behalf of the congregation.
We invite you to read Pat Hoppe’s story of her need for, and commitment to, pastoral care.
Click on the image below to download our Pastoral Care brochure.