In Acts 20:28 Paul says,
"So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God which he has made his own through the sacrificial death of his Son."
The mission statement of St. Michael's Pastoral Care Team states our aim is to provide relevant, effective and accessible pastoral care and support services based on Christian commitment, insight and values and operates to the highest standards of ethics and practice to the members of St. Michael's Parish Church, Linlithgow and also to non-members residing within the parish, irrespective of faith, cultural background, ethnic origin or life choices.
Sharing the joys and sorrows of people is one of our greatest privileges as it mirrors the love of Jesus for all those whom He met. Thus, the care of members of the congregation and people who live in the Parish is one of the most important acts in the life of St Michael's, and something that we take very seriously.
There are several ways in which this care is provided.
- The Ministry Team is often the first to know about and address pastoral needs, whether by visits in the home or hospital to those who are ill or bereaved or troubled in any way.
- The parish for church/care purposes is divided up into districts, and each district has one or two elders whose priority is to visit and get to know all the people connected with the church who live in their district. We hope that the district elders become friends of those whom they visit, and can be a support to them, especially in times of need.
- In addition, we have a Pastoral Care Team (PCT), which works alongside the Ministry Team, caring for those in the parish who are bereaved, or in need in any way. This team also assists the ministers in taking communion to those unable to attend church.
- The PCT also supports our team of Church Visitors who visit people who are unable to get out. These visits take place wherever people happen to be, at home, in hospital or in a care home. If the person could get out if accompanied, then the visitor can arrange to take the person out. The Church Visitors also deliver recordings of the church services to people unable to get to church for whatever reason and this is a greatly valued service. Within our team of church visitors, we have people experienced in helping young families as well as the ability to offer support to older people.
- The PCT support, train and supervise our bereavement support team. For the full range of our bereavement service, please follow the separate link.
- Flower Ministry - the PCT deliver posies of church flowers to those who's names have been added to the flower list kept in the church office.
- Prayer Ministry - click here for more info.
Because sometimes we do not learn quickly enough of the needs of the congregation and parish, we place cards in the pews. There, people attending church services may write information about anyone in need of a visit either at home or in hospital and pass the cards on to one of the ministers or duty elders.
And then there are the people who visit the church, whom we do not know, but who find the atmosphere of worship and prayer helpful to them. Many just sit quietly, and that is enough. Others find it helpful to put a request for prayer in the prayer box in the Queen’s Aisle, where a quiet time is held every Wednesday at 12.30 p.m. and these requests are mentioned in prayers that day. Anyone wishing to come to this time of prayer would be made most welcome. Members of the congregation are encouraged to leave their requests for prayers regarding their concerns about church members and others that they know. People can also ask for the prayer chain to pray through any concern. Contact the church office for the telephone number. We have a team who offer confidential prayer in the Queen's Aisle and at Springfield after each morning service.
Thus it is our hope and prayer that the love of Jesus spreads out from St Michael's to all, especially to those in need.
Further details of the Bereavement Support Group are given here.
Remit of the Pastoral Care Team
To assist and support the Ministry Team and Eldership in the provision of pastoral care to the Church congregation and Parish.
Main Areas of Responsibility
- To develop pastoral care policies for St. Michael’s Parish Church.
- To implement and evaluate pastoral care polices following agreement from the Kirk Session.
- To maintain an up to date pastoral visiting list.
- To assign Church visitors, including those delivering service recordings and those visiting people in homes and hospitals.
- To develop, train and support Church visitors and the Bereavement Support Team.
- Carry out short- term projects as agreed by Session.
- Co-ordinate activity with other Session Teams.
- Monitor budget and expenditure and liase with the Treasurer on any anticipated or actual difficulties.
Specific Tasks and Activities Overseen
- Development, training and support of our Church Visitors.
- Development, training and support of our Bereavement Support Team.
- Home Communions.
- Sending of bereavement cards on first anniversary of death.
- Sending of first wedding anniversary cards to those married in St. Michael’s Parish Church.
- Updating of Cradle Roll.
- Wednesday prayers.
- Prayer chain.
- Support of our Prayer Team who offer confidential prayer in Queen's Aisle after each morning service.
- Oversight of Funeral Support Team.
- Any other matter pertaining to Pastoral Care.
Pastoral Care Training
Please check this page regularly for information regarding training events. All training is open to church visitors, elders, members of the congration and any other interested person. For further information or to book an event please email Sheila Rae.
St Michael's works in conjunction with Quiet Waters Charitable Trust in Falkirk who provide training in Pastoral Care.