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Care & Nurture

Congregational Care Programs

Congregational care is a calling and responsibility of all church members. This important work cannot be done by just one person. We are all called to “bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

Our Congregational Care ministry is comprised of a variety of programs and committees involving the church staff and members. As a community of believers, we use these opportunities to extend the love of God, the understanding of the Holy Spirit, and the comfort of God’s grace to each person in need of care – in our church and throughout the community.

Prayer Needs & Visits:  If you or someone you know who would appreciate a call or visit from a pastor, or prayers and support from the congregation, call the church office at 919-489-4974, send an email to prayersandcares@wpcdurham.org, or contact Cherrie Barton Henry, Associate Pastor & Congregational Care & Mission.

Care Teams:  Care Teams are led by volunteers who help assess and address needs when they arise in our congregation. Pastors refer people to a Care Team when there has been an operation or illness, a death, a new baby, or for any reason that seems appropriate for some extended care.

Stephen Ministers:  Stephen Ministers are members of our church who are recruited, trained, and supervised to provide caregiving on behalf of our congregation. They are trained to provide care to individuals experiencing a crisis or challenge such as medical problems, divorce, grief, loss of a job, hospitalization, relocation, or loneliness. Stephen Ministers are assigned a care receiver and meet with that care receiver for about an hour each week. This caring relationship will last as long as the care receiver needs it. The Stephen Minster does not offer solutions to problems; they listen, care, pray, and help the care receiver find his or her path to healing and wholeness.

Prayer Shawl Ministry:  This group of church members knit shawls that can be given to those who are struggling with illness, grief, or any other issues. The shawl gives a visible sign of the caring ministry of the church. If you want to give someone a shawl or be a part of this knitting ministry, please contact the church office.

Hospital & Homebound Care:  Westminster’s pastors regularly visit members and their friends when they are in the hospital, convalescent home, hospice, or are in their own homes. As permitted by the individual or family, concerns are shared with the congregation to encourage cards, visits, and prayers. Personal confidentiality is always respected.

End-of-Life Care:  Thinking about our own memorial service can make us uncomfortable and perhaps even feel a little morbid. But, it eases the stress on our loved ones and lets us have input in the service celebrating our life and bearing witness to the resurrection. At Westminster, we have an End-of-Life Wishes form to help families and pastors when someone is dying or dies. For family, it offers details such as where your will is located, or whether you want to be cremated or buried. For pastors and church staff, it provides your Bible passages or hymns you would like included in your memorial service. We encourage adults of all ages to complete this form and return it to the church office.

Westminster also has a Funeral Planning Guide available to assist families with the details of a service for a loved one. Please contact the church office with any questions, and we will be happy to assist you.