Caring Ministries is an extension of the ministry to parishioners and others who are experiencing acute or chronic personal or family crises. Headed by a team of church volunteers, and assisted by church staff member Anne Kapper, First Church Caring Ministries seeks to respond collaboratively to congregational need by empowering a wide array of lay members for the tasks of ministry. We have many wonderful volunteers involved in many ministries, and good opportunities exist for new volunteers to become involved as well.
For more information regarding Support & Caring Ministries at First Church, contact Anne Kapper at email@example.com
Anne Kapper is parish visitor for the congregation. In this capacity she visits older members in their homes, nursing homes, and in the hospital, thus keeping them in touch with the church. Phone calls are made and notes are sent to people who are ill or unable to attend church. This ministry of visiting is an important link to our members. When people are visited, their lives are touched; and in this way they realize the church is there and praying for them.
Nursing Home/Assisted Living Visitation
We have a large number of older members of our congregation, and we seek to respond the various needs of this community. The nursing home/ assisted living visitation ministry is involved with many homes in the Bloomington area. We presently are visiting and are actively involved with, Bell Trace Assisted Living and Skilled Care, Sterling House, Beverly House, Alterra House, Meadowood Retirement and Skilled Care, and Red Bud Assisted Living Home.
The hospital visitation ministry visits area hospitals to give comfort and support to congregants who are patients. The lay members have been trained by Anne Kapper, Parish Visitor of First Church, and ongoing supervision is available for them when needed.
The follow up ministry was established to continue personal contact with members after they come home from the hospital. Our caregivers check in on such parishioners at several intervals to both express the ongoing care of the church, and to inquire if there are other forms of care that would be beneficial to the parishioner.
Food Crisis Ministry
The food crisis ministry is set up to give meals to members of our congregation after being in the hospital, having a newborn baby, and other crises that might affect the routine of a home. Members needing care are referred to the Caring Ministries Coordinator who makes arrangements for meals. We have about 15 members of our congregation who have volunteered to offer meals and deliver them to the homes of our members.
Bereavement Food Ministry
The purpose of the bereavement food ministry is to offer to members of our congregation food for a reception at the church or at the home of the member following the funeral. This ministry has about 60 members of our congregation that have volunteered to bring food or assist with the reception.
Parish nursing is a partnership between health care providers and churches. Parish nurses are available for congregation members in a role of coordination, facilitation, and support in health-related issues. This concept does not include hands-on nursing but involves the nurse in personal health counseling, in health education, and as a resource person. Parish nurses may also help congregation members see the close relation between faith and their state of health, which includes their bodies, minds, and spirits. Most important, parish nursing involves listening and caring.
Members may reach the parish nurses through the church office. Maintaining a health topic bulletin board in the Gathering Place, contributing health articles to “The Chimes,” visiting hospitalized members, and participating in the Bloomington Hospital Parish Nurses Community Network are other regular activities. Any interested registered nurse is welcome to join this ministry.
Our church offers both ongoing and short term support groups for individuals dealing with personal challenges and spiritual crises. The church offers various support groups designed to bring care, encouragement and companionship to members in uniquely stressful circumstances. Additionally, the forms of caring ministry response continues to grow. If you wish to offer a particular form of Christian caring, or if you think you could benefit from such a ministry, contact one of the church ministers, who can put you in touch with an appropriate ministry team.
DivorceCare – Meetings To Resume In The Near Future
DivorceCare is a weekly support group for men and women who are experiencing (or have experienced) separation and divorce. It is a place to be around people who understand what you are feeling and where you can hear helpful insights on the healing process. They explore issues around loss, anger, loneliness, finances, children, forgiveness, new relationships, other challenges, and God’s unshakable love and His plans for your future.Each session is “self-contained.” You are welcome to take part in all sessions or only what your schedule allows. For more information, e-mail DivorceCare@fumcb.org or call the church at (812) 332-6396.
First Church provides facility space for meetings of a number of support groups and other nonprofit organizations in our community. These include 12-step groups, Habitat for Humanity, Adoptive Families of Bloomington, Middle Way, and others.
The staff depends on you for notification that a member or friend of First Church is in the hospital. If you are hospitalized or someone you know is hospitalized, please contact the church office, 332-6396, so we can be sure to visit. If you do not notify the church, we may not know of the hospitalization.