Pastoral Care at St. John’s
When to Call a Member of the Clergy
• Any parishioner may call at any hour of the day or night, seven days a week, in the event of a pastoral crisis such as someone dying, someone in grave danger, or other pastoral emergency.
• If possible, a priest should be called when someone is near death to administer Last Rites and pray with the family. If not possible, a priest should be contacted whenever a parishioner has died.
• When someone is ill or hospitalized.
• When someone is experiencing distress and needs pastoral care.
• When someone wants to discuss spiritual or theological matters.
• When someone has reason to celebrate.
• When someone just wants to talk to a priest. Any parishioner may call the church office to set up an appointment for a non-crisis visitation.
When parishioners are sick and/or hospitalized, the clergy of St. John’s, once informed, are happy to make a pastoral visit. You may request a pre-surgery visit, time spent with the family during surgery, and/or a post-surgery visit. In the case of an extended hospital stay a member of the clergy and/or a lay Eucharistic Visitor is available to bring communion.
The goal of our pastoral visits is to provide comfort, to pray, to perform the laying on of hands for healing if desired, to share in Holy Communion, and to exercise a ministry of godly presence.
To receive a hospital or other medical-care oriented facility visit, contact the church office or call St. John’s clergy directly. Please do not presume others will notify the clergy.
Parish Prayer List
The Parish Prayer List is updated monthly and includes a section for both parishioners and friends/loved ones of parishioners. The full list is printed and made available in the church entryway. Parishioners on the prayer list are listed in the Sunday bulletin as well. To include a name, please click here. If you would like to be prayed for but do not want to appear on the Parish Prayer List, you may speak to or e-mail a member of the clergy directly.
Home Visits and Communion
Sometimes people are unable to attend worship services due to illness, prolonged recovery, or simply the aging process. In such instances, lay Eucharistic Visitors will be glad to bring Holy Communion to you. This ministry exists to supplement rather than replace clergy visits. If you desire home communion, please contact the Parish Office.
At St. John’s we use a team of trained lay Eucharistic Visitors to provide the sacrament to those who are hospitalized, homebound, or in nursing homes. Those engaged in this ministry must be licensed by the bishop and undergo a diocesan training session.
Reconciliation of a Penitent
In the Episcopal tradition, we make a public and corporate confession of sin each time we celebrate the Holy Eucharist. Sometimes people desire and situations warrant making an explicit, private confession of sins to a priest, from whom the individual seeks absolution. Please contact a member of the clergy directly to schedule this sacrament.
Conversations held during a declared confession of sins are confidential. To insure that confidentiality, be sure to inform clergy that a particular conversation constitutes a confession.
When the penitent has confessed all serious sins troubling the conscience and has given evidence of due contrition, the priest gives such counsel and encouragement as are needed and pronounces absolution. Before giving absolution, the priest may assign to the penitent a psalm, prayer, or hymn to be said, or something to be done, as a sign of penitence and act of thanksgiving.
Occupying a new home can be a joyous occasion. The clergy of St. John’s are available to help sanctify your new home by offering a blessing on behalf of the church.
If convenient, prayers for the several rooms of the house may be offered. The priest, with members of the household and others as convenient, moves from room to room saying a prayer over each space. House blessings may conclude with light refreshments for any guests who participate in the celebration.
Thanksgiving for the Birth of a Child
The clergy of St. John’s are always delighted to come to the hospital the day of or after childbirth to offer a brief service of thanksgiving. It is particularly appropriate to include any siblings and close family members in this joyous occasion.
As is true with most parish clergy, the priests at St. John’s are not certified and trained professional counselors.
They are, of course, willing to listen carefully, offer encouragement and challenging direction if appropriate, provide spiritual insight and perspective on a given situation, make an assessment of what is needed, and make appropriate referrals to individuals who are certified and trained to respond to certain needs.
By Canon Law, a clergy person may not meet more than three consecutive times with an individual on the same “clinical” topic before making a referral to the appropriate trained professional.