Lay Pastoral Care Ministry Mission
The mission of the Lay Pastoral Care (LPC) Program is to provide a confidential, caring presence to congregants undergoing stressful life challenges. The LPC Program is an extension of Reverend Burnette’s own pastoral care presence.
The team provides one-on-one or similar support through phone or in person contact, typically on request from congregation members, family, or friends. Members of the pastoral care team provide compassionate listening, and sometimes feedback or suggestions in their role. Pastoral care team members cannot offer professional advice, counseling, legal or other expertise.
The Lay Pastoral Care Program Is:
- An extension of the Minister’s own pastoral care presence
- A group of associates recruited by and reporting directly to the Senior Minister
- A unique ministry independent of the staff and committee structure of the congregation
- A program visible to and accessible by the congregation
- A means for maintaining a sustained connection between the members and the congregation, especially when service attendance becomes impractical or impossible
- A program that provides a structure for responding to emergencies that affect the congregation
The Lay Pastoral Care Program is NOT:
- A program providing practical, logistical service – the function of the Caring and Concerns Committee
- A “support group” for congregants
- A source of specific (especially professional) advice
An LPC Associate provides care that is:
- Sustained – Conducts regular, dependable, progressive meetings, and conversations that can continue to explore a line of thought
- Trained – Knows how to listen, recognize needs, be sensitive and empathetic, guide or prompt spiritual thinking, and support needs for spiritual practices
- Confidential – Accepts secrets, admissions, or other non-public thoughts
The pastoral care team is comprised of a group of Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation members whose role is to provide emotional and spiritual support to members of the VUU community. The team serves as an extension of the congregation and minister in reaching out to those facing times of significant life challenges. Administered by Rev. Andy Burnette, Lauree Perry, and Charlie Thomas, the Lay Pastoral Care Associates are:
- Carl Anderson
- Janet Cantley
- Steve Grams
- Nancy Woomer
- Dan Schulte
- Michael Woomer
How does this ministry operate?
With a large congregation, more pastoral care is needed than one minister can provide. The Lay Pastoral Care (LPC) Program is a concrete way of sustaining the caring presence of the congregation as we grow. The pastoral care of the congregation cannot fall exclusively on the shoulders of the settled minister. Support and honest concern is best provided through a structured program. The LPC Program is responsible for the recruitment, training, education, and support of those appointed as Lay Pastoral Care Providers.