Caritas: A Caregiving Ministry

 
Live in such a way
That those who know You
But don't know God,
Will come to know God,
Because they know You.

 

Caritas is a program of caring, by members for members. Caritas has two basic branches:  a  Meal Chain , which provides home-made meals to people who are having difficulty, such as following hospitalization, or after a birth, or some other crisis; and  Practical Services  which can include simple repairs, help with job-related skills, rides to various venues, and virtually everything else.  Friendly visitors are also a part of Caritas. 

The name Caritas was taken from a familiar chant of the Taize Community: " Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. " This phrase goes right to the heart of the Gospel message: "Where there are charity (care) and love, there is God."  The earliest strories of the Christian tradition reveal the central role of love within the Christian community of faith.  Not only did Jesus claim that his commandment to love God and neighbor embodied the whole of the law and prophets (Matthew 22.37-40), he further stated that love was actually a distinguishing mark of Christian discipleship.

Compassion , frequently used synonymously with love , literally means to feel or suffer with another or to walk with another.  Today, the Christian community continues to concern itself with compassion and love - through caregiving ministries.  Such ministries are an opportunity for all Christians, not just those who have acquired a certain type of expertise.  Caregiving is an opportunity to love others because God first loved us.

We here at Ellington Congregational Church have developed just such a caregiving ministry.  There are two aspects: pastoral and practical.

Pastoral:  The pastors, deacons and other members who have been trained, visit the hospitalized or ill, those in nursing homes or who are homebound, the bereaved, new members, etc., offering pastoral care and prayer.

Practical : Hands-on help is offered to those in our church family who are in need of a variety of services, such as meals, transportation, or shopping.

The Caritas program has been able to answer various calls for help, providing such services as wrapping Christmas gifts, meals, respite care and updating resumes.  Your help is needed. Can you occasionally offer an hour or so to provide a caring service to someone in need?  Do you have the time to visit a lonely or shut-in person?  If so, please sign-up. Thank you for participating in this important ministry!

For more information contact Peg Doffek at 860-454-7360 or Laurie Hazleton at 860-454-0772.

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