The Congregational Care Team’s focus is to foster a climate of caring within the congregation by deepening relationships, encouraging shared vulnerability, and mobilizing people to respectfully respond to needs in keeping with the abundant compassion of the congregation.
What We Do
Birthday Cards and Prayer Concerns
Volunteers send cards in response to prayer concerns and in celebration of birthdays.
Direct Support Volunteers
Occasionally a member of our congregational community reaches out to Jane or to the Congregational Care Team looking for some specific help. The nature of the request can vary—doing a household chore, cooking a meal, or simply visiting or calling. The Congregational Care Team maintains a list of people willing to help in some of these situations. When a request comes in, Jane emails the volunteer list, taking into account any preferences of the person receiving assistance about who is contacted. Anyone who can fulfill the need can reply to say they will offer the necessary support.
If you are interested in being part of the Direct Support Group of volunteers, contact Jane McBride. Please consider joining this group; the more of us who volunteer, the easier the tasks will be!
Elder Lunches play a profound role in creating connection, belonging, and recognition for our elders. These casual social gatherings take place via Zoom at noon on the third Wednesday of the month.
The Congregational Care Team has been working to create ways to more effectively support members of our congregation who are grieving the death of a loved one, both in the immediate aftermath of the loss and during the more enduring experiences of grief. We recognize that we all grieve in our own unique way and that we all have our own unique feelings about wanting and/or accepting support while we are grieving.
One of the ways we are offering this support is through the Remembrance Form, which is a way for those who are grieving to receive the acknowledgment and support of the congregation, not just immediately after a death, but also during the months and years that follow. Many people have used the Remembrance Form, and others remember their loved ones during our church services at the time of community prayer.
The team continues to identify steps we might take as a congregation to support those who are grieving and at the same time honor the unique ways in which each person grieves. Our aim is to empower the entire congregation to be a supportive, informed, and comforting presence for those who are experiencing grief.
The team has also curated a list of resources to help those who are grieving and those who support the grieving.
New Member Connections
Part of caring for members of the congregation means connecting with and supporting new and prospective members. We hold group meetings with new and current members of the congregation to facilitate connection and belonging. We monitor new member inquiries through Jane and respond on a case-by-case basis, either individually or in a group setting.
Summer Reconnection Gatherings
During the summer of 2022, the Congregational Care Team hosted several small outdoor gatherings to help church members reconnect after two years of pandemic isolation.
We realize that parking can be an issue at First Church, especially during the winter months. Valet parking is available every Sunday; valets will meet you at the 8th Ave. entrance, assist you in getting inside, park your car, and get it for you after the service.
As part of the Congregational Care Team’s focus on providing support for those who are grieving, we maintain a list of resources that can provide both practical and emotional help. This is an ever-evolving list—it will continue to grow as we discover more resources.