At the heart of Central’s ministries of caring is the Parish Visitors. Central reaches out to its seniors who, for reasons of age or health, are no longer able to attend worship or activities at church. The mission of the Parish Visitors is to nurture seniors through regular visits, cards, telephone calls and, of course, cookies. Under the guidance of Denise Van Berkum, Central’s Parish Visitor Coordinator, the Parish Visitors make over 100 visits each month in addition to calls and cards.
Denise has taken numerous courses from the Gerontology Network, deepening her understanding of such areas as Alzheimer’s and dementia, grief and loss, end of life issues and advocacy. She is a trained Stephen Minister. The Parish Visitors working with Denise are Sue Arthur, Betty C. Garzelloni, Chris Hughes, and Joann Johnson.
Some of the elders cared for by Parish Visitors may be confined for only a few weeks following surgery or illness. Other Central seniors are “regulars” on the Parish Visitor rounds.
Denise and the Parish Visitors meet together monthly for prayer and support. Every spring, the team plans a special “Golden Circle” outing for elders and their caregivers which includes a worship service in Central’s chapel.
The Congregational Care Committee has started a project. It has come to our attention that a number of our members need a ride to church on Sunday mornings. You can help by looking at the map in the main hallway; notice where there are “flags” with the name, address and phone number for a rider. If you live near by or if your route to church comes near one of those persons, then call to arrange a ride! It is so easy. The follow up is to call the rider when you are unable to make the trip on Sunday and they will do the same. If you need a ride to Sunday worship, please call the church office, 722-6545. This effort is part of our member vows: to share our prayers, presence, gifts and service.
Gladys Treman coordinates Central’s Prayer Quilt Ministry. Quilts are made and dedicated to those we wish to blanket with God’s love. Persons attending worship help tie the quilt with knots and prayers. Contact Gladys for more information, 780-1188.
Care Grams are sent on a regular basis to Central’s elders and as expressions of thank you or concern to others. Those attending worship on Sunday have the opportunity to sign the Care Grams that are then mailed on Monday morning.
Congregational Care also involves ministries of friendship. The Family Activities Committee, under the leadership of Erika Paulson, host opportunities for people of all ages to come together to play, have fun and celebrate.
Some groups get together for study. But other groups get together to share common interests, long-standing relationships, and, of course, food! Circle of Friends, Faithful Remnant, Romeos and Juliets are some of Central’s fellowship groups.
Post High Outreach
Caring Ministries stays in touch with high school grads who have gone on to college or to new lives in the community. Care packages, greeting cards, and other remembrances are arranged by Lisa Lively.