To be human is to seek meaningful companionship with others, not only to share the everyday experiences of life but also to belong to a people that celebrate individual joys and mourn individual sorrows. Caring for one another is a cornerstone of congregational life at Cedar Lane.
As relationships develop and strengthen between people, much of the love and support Cedar Lane offers is informal, gestures of support and concern between friends during difficult times. But caring for one another is also a spiritual practice, something the congregation offers as an expression of our shared compassion and faith. Here is an overview of the intentional ways Cedar Lane members and friends give and receive care:
Through prayer we name – with the subject's permission – the personal matters of our friends and members: births, deaths, illnesses, accomplishments. Pastoral prayer is also a time to acknowledge national or global events outside of our walls that give us pause. If you want to have you or a loved one named in prayer, please connect with the person leading the worship service before Sunday morning. You can also complete a prayer request online and the prayer team will pray for you during the week.
Sharing Joys & Sorrows
Have you ever wondered how member news is announced to the congregation? Our Pastoral Care Team and ministers hear about them throughout the week and weekend, and then Rev. Katie Romano Griffin compiles them during the week and submits them for our weekly eNews publication. Our weekly Worship Associate reads them from the eNews as well as any others that the ministers pass along and they are read aloud in worship on Sundays.
So how do you get something recognized? It's easy! Just let Rev. Katie or any of the Pastoral Visitors know. What do we include? Anything that's weighing on you, anything you'd like prayers or blessings for, or anything that you're celebrating and would like to share with our Cedar Lane community, births, marriages, promotions, good news, anything. Remember that we can only publish something we have permission to share, so if it's about another Cedar Lane member, it might not be able to go in until we've gotten their permission. Please do feel to share and helps us to nurture our Beloved Community.
EXPLORE OUR Caring MINISTRIES
In a large congregation like Cedar Lane, members often need to find support, connection and meaning through small groups. While small groups in general offer supportive environments (Soul Matters, Adult Religious Education, etc.,) some small groups have more of a pastoral focus.
As part of our Soul Matters Small Group Ministries, Rev. Katie Romano Griffin or Rev. Abhi Janamanchi records a monthly meditation centered on the monthly theme. The video is about ten minutes, so please find a comfy, quiet space and take a short break to meditate on November's monthly theme of Abundance.
This is a lay-led ministry team that ensures that Cedar Lane members connect with one another and receive practical support in times of crisis. The Cedar Lane membership area is divided into "neighborhoods," designated by a number. Cedar Lane members can find their neighborhood number on their nametags. Each neighborhood has a chairperson (or co-chairs) that coordinate(s) care in their area.
This ministry team addresses both long-term and temporary pastoral needs and includes team members Rev. Katie Romano Griffin, Betsy Binckes (Pastoral Care Team Coordinator), Anne Meyer, Bob Harrison, Cheryl Zocchi, Helen Pechacek, Janeil Stewart, Kathleen Holmay, Phil Smith, and Tim Persons. These trusted volunteers receive training in basic pastoral care skills and make on-going visits with church members – the home bound, the infirm, the terminally ill and those going through periods of transition, such as healing from surgery, the birth of a child or a divorce.
Our ministers at Cedar Lane make themselves available for pastoral counseling sessions. These meetings are intended for short-term support; long-term counseling requires the services of a professional therapist. Pastoral counseling functions more like spiritual direction (finding "the sacred" in a given situation) than traditional psychotherapy or practical problem-solving. If you wish to have an opportunity to be listened to, to make better sense of a difficult situation or to pray with a religious leader, contact one of the ministers for an appointment.