Consider Becoming a Pastoral Care Associate!

Since 1997, First Church has offered a Pastoral Care Associates Program which trains and commissions members of our congregation whose talents, experience and skills enable them to respond to fellow members in times of need. This one-to-one lay ministry is designed to complement, not replace, the pastoral care that our ministers continue to provide.  This is ministry of “being” rather than “doing”, a ministry of presence and quiet listening. (Our Pastoral Care Providers program is a ministry of “doing” by providing meals, and rides.)

Who is a Pastoral Care Associate?

  • A warm, caring and accepting person who can respect confidentiality
  • An honest, authentic person who has grown through the challenges and pain of their own life
  • An active, interested, accessible member of First Church who is willing to take risks, is ready to grow and learn and can accept uncertainty, rejection, and ambiguity

Being a Pastoral Care Associate is as much about growing and becoming this kind of person as it is about being this kind of person. The ongoing training involved in the program is designed to facilitate this development as well as to foster a strong sense of group support among the Pastoral Care Associates.

For Whom is Pastoral Care Given?

  • Families with a new baby, foster or adopted child
  • Members facing an important life transition, surgery or chronic illness
  • Those experiencing job loss, divorce, terminal illness, the death of a friend or family member, or other crisis.

Is Training Provided?

Training  focused on cultivating a listening presence and helpful approaches to outreach will be provided by PCA Lead Trainer, Laurie Petersen, and PCA Coordinator Jane Peterson, both of whom are experienced PCAs themselves. The training is also guided by our Associate Minister, Dena McPhetres. All Pastoral Care Associates must participate in all of the following training sessions, which will take place at the church on Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m. September 22 & 29 and October 13 & 20, 2018

What is the Time Commitment?

Following the training, if interested in proceeding, each Pastoral Care Associate is available for a minimum of two visits per month, unless they are out of town. PCAs also attend monthly meetings with the other Associates for ongoing support and learning. Pastoral Care Associates serve for three years.

What is the Selection Process?

If you are interested in serving as a Pastoral Care Associate, please complete an application online on our church website by midnight Sunday, April 15. Selected applicants will be interviewed by Laurie, Jane, and Dena during the month of May. Approximately ten people will be selected for the training. All applicants will be informed if they have been selected by the end of May.  Toward the end of the training, there will be a “taking stock” discernment to decide whether you still wish to commit to becoming a Pastoral Care Associate.


Pastoral Care Associate Application 2018

Application Deadline: Sunday, April 15, 2018 by midnight. MANDATORY PCA TRAINING will be held on four Saturdays: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., September 22 & 29 and October 13 & 20, 2018. PCAs must attend all four sessions.



For more information contact:

The Rev. Dena McPhetres

414-273-5257 x 202