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Personal & Spiritual Development

Dena’s Digressions-Pastoral Care Ministry

Rev. Dena McPhetres

I recall with deep gratitude the first few times that a friend truly listened to me. Those experiences made me feel loved and beloved. Being truly listened to as I express feelings I don’t know how to name and while I process perplexing life situations make me feel like I belong, like I matter in all my complexity and vulnerability. I am a firm believer that listening helps to create the beloved community.

Do you enjoy listening to someone tell you about their life? Can you be present to someone going through a hard time without giving advice or trying to fix them? Are you aware of cultural differences and open to connecting across difference? If so, you might be who we are looking for as we gather a new team of Pastoral Care Associates this Spring.

The ministry of pastoral care is one way that we accompany one another through difficult life situations and transitions. Pastoral Care Associates (PCAs) are members of our congregation who are trained listeners committed to maintaining strict confidentiality. The PCA team works closely with me, your Associate Minister, for support, consultation, spiritual development, and accountability.

If you are interested and curious about this important way to grow your soul and serve our congregation, please let me know or contact one of our current PCAs to learn more. We’ll offer information sessions online this winter and accept applications this spring. Applicants will be interviewed via Zoom and those who are chosen will need to permit us to do a background check.

We require new PCAs to participate in a 20-hour training which will occur in Fall 2021. As the COVID-19 vaccines roll out, we don’t know yet when it will be safe to gather in person. The training may be online or in-person or a combination. I look forward to hearing from you if serving as a PCA seems like your next calling. This opportunity only arises every three years.


The Rev. Dena McPhetres, Associate Minister

If you are interested in becoming a Pastoral Care Associate, you can find information here.

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