We at St. Andrew’s believe that the backbone of a flourishing and healthy parish is a strong system of pastoral care. We are committed to providing lifelong care to our members and to bringing Christ’s love and compassion into times of great happiness and great sorrow so that we share each other’s joys and burdens. How do we love one another especially the sick, the tender, the hurting, and the vulnerable among us? How do we share the love of Christ with one another? The ministries of pastoral care answer these questions by providing guidance and comfort and by refusing to let go of those who are unable to participate actively.
We believe pastoral care to be a ministry shared by clergy and lay care givers alike. Our baptismal covenant commits us to live out our baptismal vows in our daily lives by seeking and serving Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves, and respecting the dignity of every human being.
Our Pastoral Care Committee, a group of clergy and specially-trained lay persons, is charged with coordinating pastoral care efforts within the parish to ensure a good response to congregational needs and to build a pastoral ministry team of both clergy and lay persons working together. Our programs include pastoral counseling, grief support, prayer support, outreach to care facilities, home and hospital visits, and assistance to those in need.
Because our hospitals can no longer distribute information to the churches about patient admissions due to privacy laws, please notify the church office (814-237-7659) immediately if you or a family member is hospitalized so a visit by a pastoral care minister or a priest can be arranged. If you have a scheduled surgery, please let the church office know in advance if possible. Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Holy Unction (also known as the Anointing of the Sick) are available on request. When a parishioner is near death, the rector should be notified immediately so that the Last Rites may be administered. Calls for this purpose can and should be made at any time of the day or night.
Lay Eucharistic Visitors
For the members of our church family who are unable to leave their homes, we have a team of Lay Eucharistic Visitors – women and men who are trained and approved by our bishop to carry the Holy Communion from the church to the people. Housebound members can also receive a visit from a priest from time to time. If you would like to have communion brought to you at home or at the hospital, please contact the church office, 814-237-7659.
Prayer support is available in several ways. Our prayer chain includes many members of the parish who are willing to pray for the needs of others. Requests can be made by contacting Carolyn Holt at email@example.com or by calling 814-237-1985. Our chapter of the Order of the Daughters of the King takes a vow of daily prayer and will pray for those who make a request. Please contact Kitty Mussett at firstname.lastname@example.org to be included on the Daughters of the King prayer list. For those wishing to be named on Sundays during corporate worship, a sign-up sheet is available in the narthex to make requests. These requests are printed in the Sunday bulletin so that members of the congregation can continue to pray during the week. Names can also be added to this list during the week by calling the church office at 814-237-7659. Healing prayer is available during the regular Wednesday Eucharist at 12:15 p.m. or by request by contacting Linda Hoover, Lsh4488@gmail.com, 814-238-4488
Our Life after Loss program provides an educational support group for persons grieving a significant loss: the loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, loss of a job, or any other significant loss. This ecumenical offering runs twice a year at St. Andrew’s and is available at other times through other churches in the community. The six-session program typically runs weekly for six consecutive weeks. Each session begins with a light meal. The program is free and confidential and is open to all persons in the community who are at least 18 years of age and at least 3 months past the start of bereavement. For information or to register for the group, please call Linda Hoover at 814-238-4488 or Lsh4488@gmail.com or the church office 814- 237-7659.
The clergy is available to hear confessions – also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The traditional Anglican rule concerning confession is this: All may; some should; none must. Many Christians find making their confession regularly to be integral to a healthy and vibrant spiritual life and an excellent way to prepare for Christmas and Easter. The rector is happy to give advice on how best to prepare for this sacrament and what is involved.