Community of Hope
a Pastoral Care Ministry
The Community of Hope International trains and commissions Lay Pastoral Caregivers to work in hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers—places where people have special needs. The mission of the Community of Hope (COH) is to help create and sustain volunteer lay pastoral caregivers united in prayer; shaped by Benedictine spirituality; and equipped for and serving in pastoral care ministries.
Who We Are
Holy Trinity’s pastoral caregivers work under the direction of clergy and provide support as needed. COH is a ministry of presence – of being there when needed. It is intended to complement and augment, not compete with, any similar lay ministry training, and it is open to all Christian groups and is not exclusive to the Episcopal Church. Our goal at Holy Trinity is to walk with them in their needs, to be with them in their difficult times. Members are dedicated to the ministry of pastoral care.
Our training includes studies on Benedictine Spirituality (rooted in St. Benedict and his Order), Theology of Pastoral Care, Listening Skills, Coping with Grief and Loss, and the Practice of Confidentiality. At the completion of our training, we are commissioned as Pastoral Caregivers.
What We Do
The pastoral care ministries include visiting parishioners in hospitals or other health care facilities; providing support for those who are grieving; serving at Sunday healing stations by laying hands on and anointing with oil those who wish to receive prayer; delivering prayer shawls made by the Holy Trinity Knitters to those dealing with health issues or the loss of a loved one; and meet monthly to worship, debrief, discuss parish pastoral care needs and provide each other with mutual support and encouragement.
The Community of Hope awakens us to the awareness of God in our lives and in our communities. Community grows as pastoral caregivers come together regularly to pray, to listen to God, Scripture and each other. We come to recognize and understand our spiritual gifts and the value of relationships. As we grow, we experience the unfolding of pastoral identity as the ministry of presence to those we serve. The ministry of presence is a gift of grace to both care receivers and caregivers. The roots of community deepen as we gather monthly in the Circle of Care to provide each other with mutual support and encouragement.