We are doing some revamping of our care ministries in the church for folks who are no longer able to attend worship or participate in church activities due to physical and emotional limitations. We generally have called these persons “homebound” or “shut-ins,” however these terms don’t fully reflect the diversity of situations that we are addressing, and I was wondering if your congregation has come up with a better way of describing who these persons are. They aren’t inactive members, for they desire to be active, and one of the things that we are looking at in this ministry is ways that folks can be involved in the work of the church even when they can’t leave the house. Leave your comments with suggestions for a new category name for these persons.
Published by Jay Voorhees
Jay Voorhees is a pastor, writer, and community activist located in Nashville, TN. Jay currently is the pastor of the City Road Chapel United Methodist Church in Madison, TN, and is engaged in helping to connect others to the example and teaching of Jesus Christ and to take seriously Christ’s call to love our neighbors in radical ways. Jay is the co-founder of The MethoBlog, a site that aggregates the writings of Methodist-related bloggers throughout the world, and is the former managing editor of The United Methodist Reporter. Jay has been involved in the United Methodist Church at both the local and national level since 1988. Jay is also the owner of Only Wonder Media, a boutique book and media publisher. View all posts by Jay Voorhees
4 thoughts on “Quick Question”
This question makes me think about This Holy Mystery and the discussion of “extending the table.” Perhaps you could play on that with your description: extended communicants, expanded table, or something similar?
Jay – Great question. We refer to the ministry to that group as “Silver Link” which does not necessarily refer to the persons, but instead to the ministry. Perhaps distributed members?
We often refer to these folks out west as the “mostly-at-home” crowd.
I don’t have a new name for you…we call them our Shut In members but have one way they can stay connected. The first Sunday of every month, after we receive Communion at morning worship, we take elements from the altar, load the Youth in the church van and deliver them to these members (after we stop for lunch of course!). The youth take a few moments to read a liturgy, serve the sacraments and pray. Over time, the youth and these members become especially close. I know from many conversations that these elder members look forward to our visits and relationships are formed that would normally never happen. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been touched over the years watching God’s hand at work.