Have you ever noticed that some First Parish members are often running around in circles….Circle Ministry, Circle Dinners, Care Circle? Maybe we do so because a circle, being round, keeps us connected to one another – whether over dinners, sharing deep thoughts among a circle of friends, or caring for one another during illnesses or times of joy.
Perhaps many of you have wondered about that third circle: Care Circle. Care Circle has been in existence at First Parish for at least 40 years. It began during the ministry of Ed Atkinson, a long serving minster of First Parish.
The Care Circle originated as a positive, short-term way parishioners could reach out to one another and do the ministry of the church.
How do we minister? The ways are simple: providing a family meals during an illness or after surgery; sending someone a card or flowers during a difficult time or the arrival of a new baby, transporting someone to a local doctor’s appointment, or providing a ride to church for someone unable to drive.
Each month you may have noticed listed the name of a Care Circle Coordinator in the weekly blast and on the back of the bulletin. That person has volunteered to be someone who, once informed of a concern by Bob, the church administrators, or a member of the church, then finds a parishioner willing to help out.
We have kept a notebook over the years of who has been ministered to by the Care Circle and who has responded. This folder is passed on monthly to each volunteer coordinator. It is a treasure trove of our love and caring for one another.
So where is your place in this circle of caring?
You can help in one of several ways:
1. Let the minister, office or Care Circle Coordinator know if you or someone you know in the church could use some TLC. We are only as effective as our lines of communication. Even if someone doesn’t need a meal, they can be warmed by our call or from receiving a card.
2. Be willing to respond, when asked to provide a meal, ride or flowers (everyone in the church directory is a part of our volunteer list). If you can’t help, when first called, let the coordinator know when are good times to ask you.
3. Contact the administrative office at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will let coordinators Carol Martin or Jane Ellis know that you would welcome being an active part of the Care Circle as we are sometimes shy about asking new members of our community.