The Ministry of Pastoral Care is a shared responsibility of all people within the church community of ESC, clergy and laity. This ministry begins with awareness within our church family so that we provide a network of care in times of joy, sorrow or sickness. As members of the Pastoral Care Ministries we network together to offer help in situations which pastoral support is needed insuring that “no one walks alone” as challenges arise, life changes and need occurs. As Christians, we walk together in community, fulfilling God’s commandment to love one another as God loves us. Through Pastoral Care we share in “Christ’s mission and as members of Christ’s body, we are His hands, His feet, His eyes and His heart.” For good effective pastoral care involves the whole parish and helps equip the saints in their mission to care for the world around them.
Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential, one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. A Stephen Minister is a lay person who has received 50 hours of training in providing emotional and spiritual care and is someone who will "be there" for his or her care receiver, meeting faithfully for about an hour each week for as long as there is a need. Stephen Ministers are ready to provide the emotional and spiritual care we need when faced with a crisis or difficulty.
Acute Pastoral Care
Acute Pastoral Care members visit parishioners daily that are hospitalized and also, maintain communication with those parishioners sent to rehabilitation centers after their hospital stay. The APC member’s brief visit offers spiritual care through listening and prayer.
Eucharistic Visitors are laity of the church, who receive diocesan mandated training and are licensed by the bishop to bring communion to homebound or hospitalized parishioners.
Pastoral Care Companions
Pastoral Care Companions are friends to members of the congregation who are homebound, in a nursing home, may not have family living in the area or just need to know someone cares. Providing regular contact through visits, cards and phone calls extends this personal ministry beyond Sunday mornings.
Feed My Sheep
Preparing and delivering meals to parishioners who are homebound, recovering from surgery or other sickness, or just need to be touched by the warmth of a delicious meal is the gift the servants of this ministry bring to ESC.
God will mend a broken heart if you will give him all the pieces. At ESC, trained laity offer healing by laying on of hands and anointing at the 8, 9 & 11:30 a.m. Sunday services and in the chapel on Thursday morning at the 9 a.m. service.
Members of the prayer chain pray daily for the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of those who have requested their support.
Flowers from the altar are divided into smaller bouquets after the 11:30 service and delivered to parishioners in the hospital, at home sick, to families who have lost a loved one and/or delivered to parishioners in celebration of their 80th+ birthday. At Christmas and Easter the flowers that have adorned the church are shared with parishioners that are homebound, live in a retirement community or have faced a crisis during the year.
Recognizing that dependable transportation is an essential need for some to attend service on Sunday mornings, the ESC van is driven by assigned volunteers making designated stops to pick up congregants needing a ride for the 9 a.m. or 11:30 service depending on discretion of the driver.
Parish Friends teams are available to help families in our church at the time of a death in the family. They prepare and organize receptions for the bereaved family and friends following the funeral or memorial service.
Ladies on Their Own (LOTO)
Ladies on Their Own enjoy fellowship and social opportunities. Single, widowed and divorced women share in community over lunch, dinner or other planned events.
New Moms Ministry
A gift bag that includes a pair of handmade booties or a bib is given to expectant moms. Before the new little one arrives communication through notes and phone calls offers care and support. Once the baby arrives meals are delivered.
Retirement Community Communion
Branching out into our community and offering the service of Holy Eucharist is important to ESC. Providing that spiritual link to those unable to attend their place of worship helps to keep the congregants in relationship with one of the two great sacraments of the Gospel. Services are held monthly at Atlantic Shores and First Colonial Inn. Atlantic Shores: Second Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. in the Anchor room. First Colonial Inn: First Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m.