The ministry of pastoral care is about sustaining a caring and loving meeting community. It includes caring for both the individuals and for the meeting community through a huge range of activities including:
- Clearness and leadings
- Care for marriages
- Addressing conflict
- Nurturing families
- Welcoming and guiding new members
- Supporting Friends in need
- Dealing with death and divorce and tragedy
- And so much more…
In our Quaker tradition, all of this is held by a committee of people who are nominated for their gifts of care, volunteer their time, and are led by love.
Training for Pastoral Care Committees
PYM is excited to be exploring a training opportunity called Stephen Ministry that provides skill-building to Friends for offering care to people in their meeting who are experiencing life difficulties.
Stephen Ministry offers a proven and effective way to organize, equip, and support a team of congregation members to provide high-quality, one-to-one, Spirit-centered care to people in the congregation. It is a program used by more than 190 denominations across the continent and has been “equipping God’s people for ministry since 1975.” It has allowed more than 600,000 people learn how to listen to, care for and walk with those going through difficult times.
A physician who trained in Stephen Ministry shared that it “revitalizes my spiritual life every day. The training helped me improve my caring skills, and putting them into action is truly rewarding.” You can read more about Stephen Ministry and the experience of Stephen Ministers at the program’s website.
The values and approach of Stephen Ministry is in alignment with the Religious Society of Friends. It focuses on supporting lay people rather than congregational staff trained in pastoral care. It takes a relational approach both in how Stephen Ministers support Friends in need and support one another. It begins from a place that is rooted in Spirit.
Stephen Ministry is a faith-based program that uses a Christian approach and language. Some Friends may find that they need to translate the training to a more universal tone. Many Friends will find that training with people from other denominations enriches their own faith life.
The program requires significant commitment. One or two people from the meeting complete a ten-week online training with a cohort of participants from across the country. They then facilitate a 40-hour training for the members of their meeting committee.
The cost for a meeting to complete the training would be $3,000 -$5,000. The full amount will be covered by the grant for several meetings in PYM. This experience will allow us to discover whether further investment will be meaningful for more PYM meetings.
Friends and meetings who are interested in participating in the training are encouraged to contact Melinda Wenner Bradley, Director of Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worship & Care Package
Stephen Ministry is the pastoral care element of the Worship & Care Package for PYM. The Care Package is a recently announced endeavor to support worship and pastoral care in our yearly meeting. It includes a collection of resources and opportunities that expand our capacities for healthy and vibrant worship and pastoral care practices.Help Make the Care Package a reality by giving to PYM. Your new or increased gift will be matched thanks to a PYM family.
How to Give
You can give online
You can send a check to our processing center which can deposit your gift the same day it is received
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
PO Box 536767
Pittsburgh, PA 15253-5909
Do you want to know about your own giving history or talk to someone about making a gift? Contact:
Interim Director of Development
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