The Concise Guide for Congregational Care

Words to Use in Every Setting

Book - Paperback
The Concise Guide for Congregational Care
Paperback ISBN: 9781791024109
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E-Book ISBN: 9781791024116
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Published April 2022

Pastors and congregational care ministers of all kinds must offer the right words and presence in any place, at a moment’s notice: Words of scripture offering comfort, encouragement, and wisdom. Words of truth providing accurate information. Words of prayer offering connection with God. And a calm, capable, attentive presence. The Concise Guide for Congregational Care is the tool for the task.

This easy-to-use book provides words of scripture and prayer, along with important information to share with people in hospitals, care centers, and homes. The full texts of scripture, poetry, and prayers are included, so there’s no more flipping back and forth in your Bible or other books. The small size makes the book easy to carry in your bag or pocket, and appropriate to use in the most intimate settings and sacred moments.
Part 1 offers quick reminders of the foundations for care, including key points on theology, boundaries, procedures, and the use of technology.

Part 2 provides scriptures, prayers, and other relevant words for times of crisis and events or situations during which people need care. It is organized by situation, including addiction, anxiety, cancer, COVID-19, death, depression, divorce, infertility, sexual assault, and suicide.

Part 3 equips you to be a meaningful spiritual guide in important moments beyond crisis care. These include adoption, blessing of a home, graduation, retirement, and many other transitions, milestones, and seasons of life. This section includes words of scripture and prayer for each situation, plus instructions for conducting a simple service of anointment.

Melissa Gepford is an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church and serves as the Intergenerational Discipleship Coordinator for the Great Plains Conference, UMC. She launched Caring Congregation Ministries at churches in Kansas and Nebraska, and is an organizational consultant for The Caring Congregation, which strives to create excellence in church care ministry across the United States.

Contributors Laura Berg and Joy Dister-Dominguez provided original prayer texts and helped to shape the scripture selections for this book. Laura Berg is an ordained deacon in full connection in the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. She has served as a minister of congregational care, hospice chaplain, and chaplain for the fire & police departments of New Smyrna Beach, FL. She co-established a congregational care ministry in her church and has worked with leaders and laity in churches across the U.S. to develop care ministries for their communities. Joy Dister-Dominguez serves as associate pastor at Arlington Heights United Methodist Church in Ft. Worth, TX, where she oversees congregational care and discipleship and preaches regularly. Joy is an elder in full connection in the United Methodist Church. She is an ICF trained coach and uses those skills to guide leaders and congregations in creating strong, sustainable ministries of care.

About the Author

Melissa Collier Gepford

Rev. Melissa Collier Gepford is the Intergenerational Discipleship Coordinator of the Great Plains Conference, in which she helps congregations establish healthy discipleship systems. She grew up in East Texas and graduated from Perkins School of Theology, and as an ordained deacon, she connects church people to the world. Melissa is a writer, speaker, and resource curator. She enjoys drinking good coffee, working out, and testing her semi-green thumb. Melissa and her husband Bill enjoy dancing when they can and love playing with their son, Finnegan.