Pastoral Care

My grandma Maxine was a big proponent of "Jesus au gratin."  To her, a lifelong Methodist and choir member, the truest expression of faith was to show up at someone's door with a casserole dish.  Regardless of problem at hand (illness, job loss, any of life's crises), the solution usually involved love and kindness baked into a Midwestern casserole with crackers crumbled on top.

Pastoral care in Unitarian Universalist congregations doesn't always look the same as what I just described.  Minister serve two roles: we provide care during emergencies and on an ongoing basis to the congregation, as well as developing a congregational culture of caring for each other.

One thing that my grandmother understood was the power of simple presence.  I found both while I was sick and when I worked in a hospital there are moments when words fail, where there is nothing that can be said to make a situation better, or even okay.  In those moments, presence and an openness to listen is what is most important.

And maybe a broccoli casserole.