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Good Shepherd Anglican in Curtin recently launched a new pastoral care team.

‘The impetus for starting the pastoral care team wasn’t so much driven by COVID, growth or a lack of staff but by God’s word’ says Reverend Tim Purser. ‘We dream of a church that truly reflects Ephesians 4 where every member of the body is serving the others for the growth of Christ’s kingdom. It’s this biblical basis which has driven the creation of a 60-person strong pastoral care team. However, this team wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for the many hours that Lynne Pezzullo and Elaine Purser put in behind the scenes. For this our church is grateful.’

In establishing the scope of the pastoral care team it was acknowledged that pastoral care ministry involves shepherding the flock, where shepherding relates to protection, tending to needs, strengthening the weak, encouragement, feeding the flock, making provision, shielding, refreshing, restoring, leading by example, comforting and guiding – as Jesus the Good Shepherd cares for us (Psalm 23).

Jesus admonishes Peter to ‘feed my sheep’ three times in John 21:15-17, referring to the sheep as believers in the body.

In a nutshell, pastoral care is the body of Christ caring for each other, by knowing the needs in the Good Shepherd community and willingly and lovingly aiming to meet those needs and grow in loving-kindness.

From this foundation two streams of pastoral care were formed:

Practical

  • Meals ministry
  • Home help – domestic services such as assistance with shopping, cleaning or gardening
  • Babysitting/childcare club
  • Transport or accommodation assistance
  • Clothing and home goods
  • Other assistance as needed

Relational

  • Counselling/prayer
  • Home visits for encouragement and support in times of hardship, grief/loss, sickness, loneliness or other adversity
  • Hospital or nursing home visits
  • Prison visits if ever required
  • Social connection opportunities (invite and accompany to GS events)

In a church people can often slip between the cracks so Lynne developed three nets to hopefully catch people who otherwise would slip between the cracks.

They are the Service Connectors, Small Group Connectors, Patch Leaders.

Each service has two dedicated Service Connectors. Their pictures and contact details are all over the church, our website and even the back of the toilet doors! They are people that members of a congregation can reach out to with a need. The Service Connectors operate alongside the Small Group Connectors. There’s a Small Group Connector in each small group and their role is to link needs of members of the small group to the Patch Connectors. The Patch Connectors are the engine room of the Pastoral Care Team ensuring that the practical and relational care is provided to the members who’ve been referred by either the Service Connectors, Small Group Connectors or through reaching out directly via the website.

Story details provided by Lynne Pezzullo and Reverend Tim Purser

Picture below by Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash.com

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