Independent Presbyterian Church
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Congregational Care and Counseling
All people hunger for a sense of belonging.
We read in I Corinthians: “Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.” When the author Parker Palmer speaks about the spiritual journey, he often uses the expression “to know as we are known.” Belonging is about knowing others and being known by others; knowing God and being known by God. In addition there is the important knowledge of self.
The work of the Congregational Care and Counseling ministry is the pursuit of knowledge: knowledge of self, knowledge of others and knowledge of God. The pursuit is not for sake of knowledge alone, but for the building of relationships, the growing of faith and the creation of a joyful, loving community at IPC.
Through a variety of ministries IPC seeks to build up the body of Christ.
The Board of Deacons is called as officers of the church to provide “sympathy, witness and service after the example of Jesus Christ.” Each church member is assigned to a parish; each parish has a Deacon to care for those in need. The Deacons usher at all worship services and programs of the church.
The Shepherd Ministry provides congregational care through nine teams who specialize in areas of ministry. Some of those are: grief support, home communion, homebound visitation, intercessory prayer, meal delivery and phone calls to elderly members who live alone.
Prayer, study and fellowship are also our concern. The Spiritual Formation Group leads a Centering Prayer Group, retreats and classes to nurture the spiritual life of adults. IPC’s small group ministry is called Grace Groups. Twice a year, during Lent and in the Fall, the groups meet in members homes for a six-week Bible study. The Partners are parents of small children; they host covered dish dinners, an annual marriage retreat and the Fall Festival.
Why should the young parents have all the fun? The 4th Quarter is the name given to the older adult ministry. Some are fans of the famous football coach Bear Bryant who always claimed “the 4th quarter is ours!” Hence the name of this group who believe the 4th Quarter of life is theirs for fun and fellowship. The fun continues through the Bridge Groups. The Knitting Ministryis a way to find fellowship and minister to the congregation at the same time.
Knowledge of self may grow through the Counseling Ministry at IPC. In addition to the care offered by the pastors, two licensed therapists provide counseling with individuals, couples, families or small groups. Medical and psychiatric consultation is available as needed. As a part of the ministry of IPC, no one needing counseling is turned away due to an inability to pay.