THE LOVE WE GIVE ONE ANOTHER
Pastoral Care is core to every congregation's mission, and it is a too-often neglected act of Social Justice. We believe strongly in the power of presence, of being with and attending to those in need. We also believe in the ministry of absence - the way we prepare one another to attend to our own health and healing, our own self-care.
The road to wholeness is paved with connection, and it is with connection that the pastor assists. Building space for connection is a practical art that takes place in one on one conversations, vigils, prayer or meditation circles, worship, justice re-caps, education classes, and honestly in just about every arena the congregation provides. The aim of pastoral care is to attend to those in the most trying and tender moments of their lives – death, illness, incarceration, job loss, anxiety, family drama, grief, crises of the soul, ethical dilemmas, and more.
We honor the holy power of hearing people into speech with active listening. We model attention and patience in non-anxious ways and offer both compassion and difficult truth.
We work to maintain the utmost professional conduct – proper boundary observance, punctuality, hard work, excellence – but also personal connection, deep listening and integrity. These are important components of our ministerial identity.
PASTORAL CARE IN LAKE CHAPALA, MX
Rev. Scott and Rev. Anya spent some sabbatical time with the Lake Chapala Mexico UU Fellowship. There they shared worship and offered Pastoral Care to a vibrant aging community. The fellowships leaders shared their hope to build a Pastoral Care Team, and Rev. Scott arranged, once back in the states, for two of his Pastoral Care Team members to visit Lake Chapala, and teach the art of Pastoral Care.
Both Rev. Scott and Rev. Anya maintain regular commitments to local retirement communities. Many new members have found their respective congregations through these connections, and many more have been served by monthly lunches, like the one pictured here at Ashby Ponds, Ashburn, VA.
JANUARY 23, 2023
A NETWORK FOR PASTORAL CARE
The Chesapeake Pastoral Care Network was created by members of Accotink UU Church to assist lay leaders in preparing for the most vital ministry of caring for the sick, ill and frightened. The CPCN arose from tragedy and grief, as AUUC lost two teenagers and a young fathers in a three-month span in 2005. The CPCN members embraced professional training from the start helping much larger UU congregations meet their needs for 'continuing education.' Soon social workers, regardless of denomination, from Northern Virginia thru DC, Annapolis and Baltimore began to join and learn with them. Rev Scott, who has supported and strengthened the CPCN with his ministry shares, “Our most powerful ministry comes from pain and struggle, and Accotink’s Pastoral Care Team shows that.”