Independent Presbyterian Church
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Shepherd Ministry

Shepherd Ministry


“It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.”

       The words of this old Irish proverb ring true for those who have depended upon family and friends in a time of need or have delighted in community in a time of celebration.  We need people with whom we can share our joys and our concerns.  We need people in times of transition.  We need people who miss us when we are absent from the whole body.  The Shepherd Ministry is here to provide the loving shelter of each other we know as the church.
 The Great Ends of the Church are outlined in the Book of Order of the PCUSA. 

The Shepherd Ministry teams have taken to heart the great end which reads: “the shelter, nurture and spiritual fellowship of the children of God.”  These men and women have answered the call to share their many and varied gifts as well as their time to provide shelter, nurture and fellowship to the members of Independent Presbyterian Church. 

Read further for a description of each team. If you know someone who needs our care, contact the Rev. Lucy Turner at 205.933.3706 or lturner@ipc-usa.org.  If you would like to serve on one of the Shepherd Ministry teams, contact Jeannine Usher , Executive Assistant, in the Congregational Care office at  205.933.3694 or jusher@ipc-usa.org

I am the Good Shepherd and I know my own.

 

photo by Paul Romjue 

Grief Support—This team represents our church membership to fellow members who experience the death of a loved one.  Care may be offered in a card, letter, visit or others offerings of love and support.

Celebrations—The Shepherds rejoice in the successes of our church members when joyous events occur.  Examples include: weddings, births, baptisms, scholarships, community recognition and promotions at work.  

Homebound—Members of the church who are unable to participate in church services and activities because they are confined to home or have limitations of one kind or another are not forgotten.  Monthly visits, phone calls and cards keep these members connected to the church.  Wonderful relationships develop between the shepherd and the homebound.

Home Communion—The Shepherds deliver communion to members on the first Sunday of the month.  This may be for someone at home, in a nursing home or in the hospital.  An ordained officer of the church must be present when communion is served.  The other member of the communion team does not have to be ordained. 

Hospital Visitation—The Shepherds assist the clergy in making hospital calls.  This gives the clergy some time for rest and offers the faith and witness of the whole church to those in the hospital. 

Love Thy Neighbor—This team provides a frozen meal to members convalescing from a hospital stay or to those who have had a death in the immediate family.  Love Thy Neighbor Plus extends the amount of the food to those who may be temporarily homebound without family support, and to those members who may be under significant stress caring for a loved one.  This team is comprised of cooks who prepare the meals and drivers who deliver them. 

Intercessory Prayer Group—The group meets every Tuesday at 11:00 am in the chapel to pray for our members, their families and their friends.  When prayers are completed for the day, the shepherds send cards to members and friends in special circumstances.   Anyone is welcome to come and to pray with this group.  No invitation is necessary.  Just come.

Transitions—Life is full of expected and unexpected transitions.  Sometimes they are happy ones and sometimes they are sad.  This team of Shepherds is here to hold the hands of our members as they face the changes in their lives.  This team does not take the place of pastoral counseling, but serves simply as a listening ear and a shoulder to lean upon.

Just Checking In—As we age, it never hurts to have someone checking in, especially when no other family member lives in town.  These Shepherds are here to remind our members that we are here for them and care for them.