Nurture, which is more than education, also includes care of members in crisis, celebration of their achievements and helping them stay connected with the church family.
Our first strategy to accomplish this is a Congregational Care Committee, under the leadership of two elders. They track members with physical problems, provide meals for parents of newborns, supply food for families of deceased members, and maintain contact with our college students. Our Health Ministries is a subcommittee of Congregational Care.
We also have a Prayer Chain. Members with needs may contact the coordinator of this group and receive prayers for help. In conjunction with this is a group that meets on Mondays to pray for the church.
Another aspect of nurture is a Congregational Assistance Fund, a permanent fund managed by PC(USA) Foundation. Currently, $77,000 is in the fund, but it should double over the next five years. The interest from this fund provides the pastor and a crisis committee with approximately $5,000/year for members with pressing needs.
Individual members volunteer to be in touch with several families in the church. They send cards, make calls, and seek other ways to be in contact with their flock. In the event of crisis, they are the first line of defense, providing care as well as informing the staff of special needs of their individuals.
In conjunction with the pastor and staff, these committees do a fine job of monitoring the joys and sorrows of our members.