The first time, as Health and Wellness Advocate, I visited someone in our congregation that was not able to get to the church for services; her face lit up, as she greeted me in front of her Senior Living apartments, and she said, “let’s go for ice cream!” That was not at all the greeting that I was expecting, but I went with it, because ice cream is delicious, and would of course upgrade any ordinary visit. I drove her to Culvers, and we had such a lovely chat while enjoying our frozen custard. Although ice cream is not always a part of my visits to people (though, perhaps it should be), the stories I hear, and the relationships that are built are so very meaningful to me, and I hope for the person(s) I am visiting as well.
It is worth celebrating that Central United Methodist Church has had a longstanding Parish visitors ministry that focuses on visiting our members that are not only in care facilities, but also those that are homebound, or can no longer get to church services in person. The Parish visitors ministry also includes the visits that happen when Christmas Poinsettias are delivered to the homebound population in our church. Each Christmas season, over 60 poinsettias and cards are delivered to folks by members who are able to attend services in the church building.
Not only do we have volunteers who visit within our church, but we also have a transportation ministry, where volunteers can sign up to provide rides to members in our church who may not be able to drive to medical appointments.
Along with transportation and visits, there are wonderful volunteers who sign up to provide meals for folks who are celebrating the arrival of a new child in their family, for people who are caregiving, and for those in mourning. What a blessing it is for a family to receive a home cooked meal when they are facing a time in life when cooking is not something they have the time or energy to focus on.
As we celebrate the reaching beyond our doors in caring ministry, we also acknowledge that the need is ongoing for volunteers to help in so many different capacities, from writing encouraging notes in cards, to visiting in person, or even making calls. Let’s work together to continue to grow these caring ministries in our faith community and show love through acts of service together, beyond our doors.
If you would like to learn more about the Caring Ministries of Central Church and how you can be a part of the team, please contact Sarah Drews, Health and Wellness Advocate.