Web of Care Ministry
One key value and always present goal is strengthening our “beloved community.” We do this in lots of informal ways, and even in a variety of structured ways throughout our congregation. Many of our structured offerings focus on responding to needs but do little to proactively connect with each other.
Unfortunately, there are a variety of joys and concerns that slip through the gaps and people can wander to the edges of our community – even slipping out entirely – without our being fully aware of what is happening.
As our congregation grows, we want to be more intentional about how we develop a support structure for ALL our members and active participants, proactively, that focuses on regular and routine connection which is a lay-led and lay-driven ministry. In If This is the Way the World Works: Science, Congregations, & Leadership, the authors identify that a key scientific insight is the “interrelatedness of all that exists. Given the basic unity of all reality, relationships become critical. Developing relationships is as important as formulating a mission statement or setting goals for the next year. Indeed, the best way to attain goals may be to attend to the relationships in the community, because relationships form the bedrock for outreach.” We want to create a Web of Care that is more like a spider’s web than a fishnet. Both “catch” things, but the fishnet has no focus or central point and only works by drawing the edges together. The spider’s web also has many connections, but they are convergent so that information is transmitted and collected easily. The Web of Care is a lay-led congregational care ministry, which will be collaborative with the work currently being done by our wonderful Pastoral Care staff and ministers.
We look forward to the rich connections that will develop as a result of this ministry and for the multitude of ways it will strengthen our “beloved community.”
Avery, William O. & Beth Ann Gaede, If This is the Way the World Works: Science, Congregations, & Leadership, 2007, The Alban Institute. Pp.24-25.