The Congregational Care Team at First Universalist offers practical assistance and comfort to members and friends in times of transition, challenge, and hardship, and provides the opportunity for congregants to give that support to others.
How can we help?
We’re here for you! Rev. Ruth MacKenzie works closely with the ministerial team and the Congregational Care Team, co-led by Mary Ellison and Susan Schonfeld, to organize and lead this church-wide effort.
Cycle of Life: Each week, individuals and families who are going through a life transition, experiencing a joy, or a time of difficulty, are included in our Cycle of Life meditation in worship. If you’d like to be included in our Cycle of Life, please contact Sandy DiNanni at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 612-825-1701.
- Receive Meals. If the ground has shifted beneath your feet, let us bring a meal or two to offer comfort and care. Whenever possible, the Congregational Care team enables congregants to provide meals for each other on a short-term basis in times of need. Contact Susan Schonfeld, email@example.com.
- Transportation: Need transportation to church or to a doctor’s appointment? We can help with at least one week’s notice. Contact Ann McBean at 952-983-2897 or firstname.lastname@example.org (email or text message preferred).
- Expecting a baby? Let us know! Contact Sara McMullen (email@example.com) or Sara McLoone (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a visit from our new baby welcome team.
- Grief Circle: Once each year, we offer this 8-week circle for individuals who have lost a partner or spouse. Facilitated by church members, Rev. Mary Bohman and Kim Kindler, participants explore their grief and loss together and share in support. (Contact Rev. Ruth MacKenzie, email@example.com, for more information)
- Caregiver Support Circle: Are you caring for a loved one? Explore your experience, your questions, your joys and frustrations, and deepen your spiritual resources with others who share a similar experience. This circle meets once each month. To find out more, contact Anne Frenchick, firstname.lastname@example.org )
- Home Chore Help: If you need help with simple tasks—changing filters, light bulbs, draining hoses, etc., chores that don’t require professional expertise, contact Mary Ellison, email@example.com.
Congregants who offer support in these various areas are all volunteers and thus the church is not able to offer the kinds of help that need very specific training, such as assisting with bathing and dressing or providing an around-the-clock presence.
Need additional help? We’ve put together a resource list of community organizations that can provide help in a variety of areas. The list includes organizations that specialize in crisis support, domestic violence, shelter, food distribution, legal aid, and more. Click here to download the brochure.
Cyber Coffee Hour. This congregant-led communication system is an efficient way to let others know of needs within the congregation. You can participate in regular communication. To subscribe, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congregational Care opportunities vary widely and engage different groups within the congregation at different times. Cyber Coffeehour and our weekly Cycle of Life meditations in worship are our main vehicle for letting the community know of the needs of others. If you’d like to offer help in one of the ways described below, contact either of the Congregational Care co-chairs directly: Mary Ellison (email@example.com) or Susan Schonfeld (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Meals: Deliver a meal to an individual or family in a time of need (Contact: Susan Schonfeld, email@example.com)
- Memorial Services: Usher, greet, supply bars or cookies, help set up for the reception or clean-up afterwards (Contact: Mary Ellison, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Comfort Shawls: Knit or crochet a comfort shawl on your own or meet with the group that gathers between services on the first Sunday of the month in the Bride’s room (Contact: Pat Foulkes, email@example.com )
- Deliver flowers to somebody in need of a day brightener. (Contact: Mary Ellison, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- New Baby Welcome: Support new parents with a meal and a visit. (Contact: Sara McMullen (email@example.com)
- Transportation: Provide transportation on an occasional basis to church on Sunday morning or to a medical appointment during the week. (Contact: Anne McBean: firstname.lastname@example.org )
- Visit a congregant who is unable to come to church or who is in need of support (Contact: Rev. Ruth MacKenzie, email@example.com)
- Care Circles: Facilitate a Care Circle for our congregation. Examples include our Grief Circle and Caregivers Circle. (Contact: Rev. Ruth MacKenzie, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Caring Corner: Stop by the Caring Corner in the church library to send a note to individuals or families in need of support.
- The Gathering: Provide volunteer staffing to The Gathering, an adult day program for people with dementia at Bethlehem Lutheran Church (Contact Parish nurse Ann Dunnagan at ParishNurse@trustinc.org)
- Home Chore Team: Help with simple household tasks—chores that most of us can do easily…until we can’t. (Contact Mary Ellison, email@example.com.)