The All Souls Caring Network provides a supportive presence to members undergoing stressful life challenges. Because it is sometimes difficult to ask for help, the Caring Network relies upon our entire congregation to identify and communicate the needs of our members. We hope to serve as examples of how we care for one in another in our community, while encouraging each member to strive to be such a presence in his or her own church group. Members and friends are often the first responders to one another’s pastoral care needs by listening, offering words of care, and stepping up to help.
As we are not a social work agency, our church volunteers can provide only short-term support with the following:
- Prepare or deliver a meal or groceries
- Send a card or call to cheer someone up
- Drive someone to and/or from a Sunday service or doctor’s appointment
- Visit someone in the hospital or in hospice
- Visit someone in their home
- Walk a dog or feed a cat
- Hold an infant, watch an older sibling, provide light housekeeping or drop off a meal for new parents
- Offer simple house repairs
- Sit with a member’s loved one so he or she can take a break from constant care
The clergy of All Souls Church can provide short-term pastoral counseling, spiritual guidance as well as referrals to community resources for ongoing support. When should you contact a minister for pastoral care or seek the support of the Caring Network?
- When someone is confined at home
- When there are family or personal problems
- When a loved one dies
- When someone is hospitalized
- When you or someone you love is dealing with a chronic illness or disability
- When drinking, drug abuse, or any compulsive behavior is a problem
- When you feel troubled, depressed, isolated or suicidal
- When your caregiving responsibilities require support, such as when you are caring for a newborn or a family member requiring constant care
- When you or a loved one is experiencing a reproductive challenge or loss, including miscarriage or stillbirth, infertility, pregnancy complications, adoption, unintended pregnancy, or abortion.
Rev. Rebecca Parker can be reached at (202) 332-5266. You may also contact the Caring Network by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Caring Network can also help facilitate support groups, which meet on a range of topics such as caregiving for chronically ill partners, living with grief and loss, coping with divorce or separation, unemployment, and other life events as needed. If you are interested in helping to start a support group, please email Rev. Parker (email@example.com).
We want to make sure that homebound congregants, those in fragile health or for other reasons are not able to participate in our service, stay connected through visits, calls, and cards. If you are in this situation or know a member of the church who is, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grief Support Group
All Souls is convening a facilitated, monthly, safe-space support group for UU adults experiencing loss. Not intended as therapy, this group is offered in the spirit of community and mutual self-healing to those who share similar life experiences regarding the loss of loved ones. An educational component regarding the grief process and healing development will also be provided. After an initial meeting we will ask interested members to commit to four more sessions. At the last meeting, the group and facilitators will evaluate the experience and consider possible further meetings and procedures for grief support at All Souls. We hope to provide on-going grief support as part of our Pastoral Care ministry. Rev. Susan Newman Moore and Will Hayes, MSW, will facilitate. Contact Will Hayes (email@example.com). First Wednesday of the month, 7:00- 8:30 pm, Tupper Room.
Survivors of Loss by Suicide Support Group
Contact Will Hayes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dementia Caregivers’ Covenant Group
Caring for a person with any of the various forms of dementia is bewildering and difficult. It can also bring insight, laughter, and growth. Facilitator Kathy Ferger found tremendous help from a support group as her husband progressed through early-onset Alzheimer’s. Now All Souls will offer that opportunity to fellow seekers. A group of 6-15 members will meet twice monthly to share the good and the bad of their journeys. You are welcome to participate if you have a spouse, a parent, a sibling, or any family member or friend with this progressive loss, whether or not you are the main caregiver, whether the person lives nearby or far away, and whether the person is in the early or late stages. We can learn much from one another. The group will determine together the format of the meetings. If interested, contact Kathy Ferger (email@example.com; 202-723-6320). Even if you cannot come to the first meeting, or you hope we might meet on a different day, let Kathy know.