Finding Pastoral Care Resources at UUCA

There are so many lessons that working with people can grant you. One of the biggest ones is that there is no perfect way to grant care. Every situation and every person has individual needs and timing – whether it is a time of grief or a joyful transition. In my ministerial internship here at UUCA, a significant part of my focus and work has been involved with pastoral care. I am Care Ring Coordinator, supervise pastoral care when Rev. Marti Keller is away, and also participate in pastoral care rotation. At Emory’s Candler School of Theology, where I attend seminary, I have taken course work on pastoral care and the many ways in which we respond to grief and loss in the past year at UUCA. As many of you realize, members and friends have experienced a significant amount of loss and grief in the past year at UUCA. Grief and loss are not easily quantified or simple things to respond to in our lives.

I will be facilitating a short course on Wednesdays between 7:30-9 pm from March 25-April 29 called “Responding to Grief and Loss.” How we individually respond to grief and loss can be as unique as our own fingerprints. These experiences are not easily mapped and can leave us with more questions than answers. These emotions and experiences are often complex and life changing. This course will be a six-week discussion and reflection group. There will be time for reading, discussion, and very importantly, personal reflection.

I want to briefly introduce some of the resources at UUCA for finding care in our own lives and those that we love:

  • UUCA is a spiritual community that strives to support one another. The ministerial staff, lay ministers, and Care-Rings are all pastoral care resources at UUCA.
  • Pastoral Care lay ministry associates work with the professional ministry staff to meet the spiritual and emotional needs that come about in stress, crisis, and even in joyful transitions. Dr. Tony Stringer is the lead lay minister and is one of the supervisors of pastoral care. If you would like to speak with a lay minister or feel the need to receive pastoral care, contact the Rev. Marti Keller at 404-634-5134 x215 or mkeller@uuca.org.
  • Care Rings are teams that provide care following a major crisis, such as major surgery or a death in the family. I am the Care Ring Coordinator and can be reached at jlepp@uuca.org or through the UUCA office at 404-634-5134.
  • Homebound congregants or those in fragile health are ministered to through the Missing You Team headed by lay ministers Ginny Sjoquist and Linda Serra.

Needs arise in many situations. Money stresses might rear up due to the rough economy or unexpected life circumstance. UUCA has provided for a ministerial discretionary fund for such times, and it is administered by the senior minister. UUCA also participates in local community ministries providing other forms of emergency relief and makes referrals to them.  We serve each other in care and the community in which we are a part. Whether through course work, powerful worship, hands on ministry, or small groups there are many avenues of healing, fellowship, renewal and care at UUCA.

In Spirit,
Julie Lepp
Ministerial Intern