A Ministry of Caring and Presence

".............I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me."
Matthew 25:36

Pastoral caregivers extend the reach of the church in a very personal way; they bring Jesus' compassion and God's never-failing love to those in need. In our mission to "know Christ and to make Him Known", the members of the Lay Pastoral Care Team venture in to meet the needs of the Body of Christ as He sends us. Although all the members of the congregation of St. Andrews play a part in promoting a community of compassion and caring, there are times when we need more than words of encouragement or hugs from friends. This is when the members of the Lay Pastoral Care Team are here for you.

The members of our Lay Pastoral Care Team are volunteers who have recently completed extensive training through the Community of Hope in compassionate listening and caring, as well as caregivers who have been involved in this ministry for many years. They are available to support those who would welcome a visit or who are experiencing difficult circumstances or times of transition. The goal is to provide a ministry of hope, caring and prayer support so that no member of the congregation need suffer or struggle alone through life's hard times.

Lay pastoral caregivers: visit members who are ill at home or in the hospital; support those who are going through a major life transition or personal crisis; maintain contact with those unable to attend church due to illness or disability; support family and friends involved in care giving; comfort the bereaved; and provide spiritual support that is ongoing. Bringing communion from the church service to those who are unable to attend, as well as praying with and for those in need are both important parts of our ministry.

Why Lay Pastoral Care?

Caring for each other in an intentional way is important to the life of the church. The members of the Lay Pastoral Care Team find that time shared with a member or friend of our congregation is a blessing to all who are involved in the relationship.

Principles of Lay Pastoral Care:

Active listening -- There is a healing power in telling one's story. Our Lay Pastoral Care Team members have been trained to listen with compassion.

Nonjudgmental presence -- Respect and empathy help Team members listen and respond without judgment, accepting people as they are.

Caring, not curing -- Pastoral care is a process of companionship, not problem-solving or curing. Lay Pastoral Care Team members are there to support in ways that are non-invasive.

Trust and confidentiality -- Relationships of caring are built on a foundation of trust. Pastoral care recognizes that confidences must be private, and that deep relationships take time.

How does one access Lay Pastoral Care services?

Contact St. Andrews Episcopal Church: (360) 457-4862
Email us: sapa@olypen.com

Your message will be immediately forwarded to a member of the Pastoral Care Team. You may also wish to download a Pastoral Care Referral Form ( or pick one up in the foyer). These can be filled out and dropped off in the church office.

People may refer themselves for support, or may be referred by a concerned family member or friend. After a referral is received, a Lay Pastoral Care Team member will make an initial phone call of introduction, and inquire to see if a visit would be helpful.