Last Friday I was honored to be invited to the hospital bedside of a person at the end of life. As I sat with the person and their family, I listened as they told stories, laughed and cried. We prayed and gave permission for the person to let go, which they did, passing from this world. It is a sacred time to be together, accompanying a person on their journey until we no longer can.
These are moments when many people choose to contact their minister, times of major transition—birth marriage, death. Often ministers help honor those transitions with a rite of passage—dedicating young ones, marrying couples, offering memorials or celebrations of life. These are also times when people who don’t have ministers look for one to accompany them. I am always honored to be invited in and say yes whenever I can.
There are other times when you may choose to reach out to me as your minister. Some people seek pastoral counseling at a time when they are grappling with a spiritual question or experience, or a major life transition. During those times, I listen, reflect back, and offer information or resources when requested. I usually meet with people up to three times. Sometimes I help people find on-going support with a counselor or support group.
Other times people ask for pastoral care when they are struggling with an illness or medical difficulty, their own or that of a family member. This may be a request at the time of an accident or scheduled surgery. It may be a request for support during an on-going illness or caregiving. During those times, I listen and offer support that may be helpful, such as a connection with a member of the Pastoral Care Team or Caring Friends.
And, sometimes people ask to meet with me so we can get to know each other better. Each of us has a story to tell and sometimes you want your minister to hear your story, especially your spiritual journey. I am honored to witness those, too.
On Sunday mornings, I am present to our entire community and hold the sacred space for all who choose to come together in worship. At other times, I hold sacred space for an individual or a few people as they travel on their journey. If you would like the support of your minister on your journey, please do reach out. I ask for your patience as it may be a few weeks before we can meet if it isn’t urgent. And, I make time when it is urgent. I am here for you.
Blessings on your week,