Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care Week 2011 is October 23 – 29. This week seeks to:

  1. To celebrate the education for and practice of Spiritual Care.
  2. To interpret and promote spiritual/pastoral care.
  3. To honor and celebrate all practitioners of pastoral care.
  4. To express appreciation to institutions and their staff who support pastoral care ministries.
  5. To publicize the work of pastoral care organizations within the Commission on Ministry in Specialized Settings.
  6. To promote continued education for clergy, laity and institutional servants regarding the values of pastoral/spiritual care. 

as found at Pastoral Care Week

Pastors (and spiritual leaders) come in all shapes, sizes, colors, denominations, ….or as found in this cartoon of various breeds.

As the daughter of a retired pastor, I have had the privilege to  meet a variety of pastors and have experienced the dynamics of various congregations. What I have observed is some congregations are very clear on the “breed” of pastor who will best suit them. And they respond appropriately with support and assistance appropriate to that breed. Some dogs need space to run (a particular ministry to develop) while others  like to curl up in a lap (focus more on the one on one interactions and the sermon).

I have also experienced congregations that say they want a particular breed (maybe a sheep dog to bring people gently back to the fold) but what they really mean is they want a bird dog (someone to hunt out people to do tasks). I have also witnessed congregations that are of the breeds listed in the cartoon above.

What kind of pastor do you have? To what breed of congregation are you a part? While I choose to dodge these questions in this post, I will share some related views. I see myself as a mutt – a little of this a little of that. Traditional with a twist in my approach to worship. I believe that I was baptized into ministry along with all my brothers & sisters of faith. My pastor has accepted the yoke of sharing God’s word & administering the sacraments of the church. Together we are all to be service dogs to those in our church, our community, our country, our world.

I leave you with a song that speaks to joint mission to which I feel called.  Take a little time this week to thank the spiritual leaders in your life this week for their service.


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