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Dena’s Digressions: Listening

The healing power of one-to-one listening simply cannot be over-estimated. To be truly heard by another human being is rare in our fast-paced lives. Those of you who have received the calm presence and deep listening of a Pastoral Care Associate when you were feeling out of balance — grieving or ill, suffering divorce or job loss, recovering from surgery, dealing with a difficult transition — would likely join me in affirming the value of this quiet listening ministry. And the PCAs in turn value the honor of being present with you. Here are some things our current PCAs say about their ministry:

  • “Through serving as a PCA, I’ve learned how many people appreciate a listening ear and how caring the PCAs are the members of our church and of each other.” – Jane Peterson
  • “I’ve learned to become a better listener. In most cases, the people I’ve called upon need someone to talk to especially if they have lost a loved one.” – Gordie Mueller
  • “I’ve changed since serving as a PCA. I feel my reflections are on a deeper level. I take more time to draw conclusions. My interactions with people are on a better level. I want to take more time to know the people I care about.” – Michele Burke.

Every three years, we invite members of our congregation to apply to serve a three-year term as Pastoral Care Associates. If you feel called to the ministry of compassionate listening, please consider applying to become a Pastoral Care Associate. Look for upcoming Information Sessions to find out more or ask me or any of the current PCAs (their photos are on the wall at the entrance to the Common Room). Pick up a flyer around the church or visit our website to read answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Mandatory training is provided over a series of four Saturdays next fall. Application forms are available on our website, due by midnight on April 15. Applicants will be selected for interviews, references contacted and background checks completed, as we consider this position of service to the congregation with the greatest care.




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