Care, Share & Connection Ministries
The Highland Prayer Chain, the Heartbeat Prayer list and the Healing Prayer Ministry continue to support individuals requesting prayers for wholeness and healing. Connie Towers coordinates the Highland Prayer Chain and Dr. Osborne supports the Heartbeat Prayer list and Healing Prayer Ministry team.
Parish Visitation Team members make phone calls and pay visits (prior to the pandemic) to Highland’s congregation. With each person choosing the type of visit that they feel called to make. Highly trained professionals from all types of helping professions, care for and visit people/families in the congregation who need the same gifts of active listening, care, prayer and support as was accomplished by former Stephen Ministry Team members. The team meets monthly for training, updates on their visitations and prayer and support for each other. This team met monthly until the March 16 shutdown. Many of the team participated in the All-Church Connection Phone Contact Ministry activated when the Covid-19 virus prevented personal visits.
Health & Hope
A Highland Fund Grant provided funds for the start-up and first year of operations intended to support educational events, resources for families dealing with the effects of a family member with an addiction, and for speakers to provide networking and training to Highland’s members. Ministry goals included: reporting the survey results to the congregation, offering three training events to promote congregational awareness, and supporting members of the congregation with resources and referrals to provider networks. An additional dream was to locate an AA or Al-Anon group at Highland. Despite the March 16, 2020 shutdown, the group succeeded in holding one educational event, putting resource and referral information in the Narthex and hosting a “Closed AA Group” to meet in Room 208 each Friday
Small Nurture Groups for People Living Alone
Several small groups meet by Zoom and in person to support individuals who live alone. For more information contact Rev. Dr. Ann Osborne at 717-569-2651, ext. 222.
The pastoral staff offers pastoral care in nursing homes, hospitals, hospice centers and retirement communities each week. With closures due to Covid-19, the ministers contact individuals by telephone and with postcards. The Ministers and the Parish Associate continue to support the congregation’s needs for memorial and graveside services.
Resource Support for Grief Needs
Grief support for needs of the congregation is ongoing for congregants experiencing loss and grief due to illness, residential relocation, family issues, divorce and death of loved ones. Dr. Osborne continues to provide support and training materials, devotionals, and grief support materials to individuals and families needing this support. Resources are ordered annually to replenish what has been used during the year. Examples of such resource groups include: A four week “Blue Christmas Grief Support Group” met each Sunday during Advent; a Zoom Widow & Widower’s Small Group” met each Friday for four weeks; and quarterly Zoom Grief Support Groups are planned for 2021
Health & Equipment Ministry
In September 2018, the Deacons became responsible for the cataloging, tagging, maintenance and oversight of the medical equipment. The monthly care of the two AEDs and the six first aid kits also became part of this ministry. This ministry is now maintained by Highland staff for cleaning and equipment checkout with a volunteer Nurse Practitioner maintaining the AEDs and six first aid kits.
Hospital Visitation Team
Prior to the 2020 hospital shutdown for visitors because of the pandemic, Dr. Osborne directed Highland’s Hospital Visitation Team who visited members in local hospitals along with the Ministers. After training, each volunteer visited on a different weekday, receiving visitation assignments from the hospital pastoral care coordinators. Prior to in-person worship service shutdown due to the pandemic, Deacons visited on Sundays, taking flowers from the service to hospitalized congregants. Since March 16, 2020, the visits and flower deliveries are on hold until hospital allow outside visitation.
Board of Deacons
Dr. Osborne serves as the Minister Liaison to the Board of Deacons, providing leadership support, training and recommendations for congregants who need to receive Deacon telephone contacts. Visits, memorial flower deliveries and chancel flower deliveries and other Deacon ministries involving direct visitation and in-person contact are currently on hold until vaccines and the pandemic allow in-person visits to resume. The 2021-2022 Deacon Leader Team is Judy Schmoyer (Moderator), Leslie Aikens (Vice Moderator & Treasurer), and Chris King (Secretary). Each Deacon participates on a variety of Deacon teams to provide all the Deacon’care ministries to the congregation. Since March 16, the Deacons have not visited nor delivered flowers or comfort meals to people but were actively involved in the April/May 2020 All Church Connection Phone Contact Ministry and the Care & Share Phone Contact Ministry which involved telephone contacts to all Highland members.
Care & Share Connection Ministry
Many caring members from Highland make telephone calls to ‘connect’ with all of Highland’s members. Health professionals say that ‘staying connected with other people is the best thing that each person can do to maintain a positive and healthy outlook on life during this pandemic experience. Each Care & Share volunteer receives a list of phone numbers to call over a five-week period. A telephone script is provided with a series of conversation suggestions designed to enable the volunteer to have a short conversation with the folks on their list. The goal of the Care & Share Phone Call Connection Ministry is to make sure that each person at Highland knows that there is someone with whom they can talk about how things are going for them. There will be no need for the volunteers to complete a response summary. However, if changes in contact information need to be updated or there is a pastoral need that is discovered through the conversations, the Care & Share callers are encouraged to contact Pastor Ann to make her aware. We seek 50 people to help make Care & Share phone connections. If you enjoy sending cares and notes, you, too, can use your gifts in this ministry.
In addition, a monthly Care & Share Newsletter is mailed to people who would like to receive it. This bulletin will cover a particular topic each month. If you enjoy writing short articles or sharing your own story about how you handled a particular challenge, or contributing fun things (word games, comic stories, art, poetry, jokes, etc.) or have gifts of layout design, editing and proof-reading, the Care & Share Bulletin Team needs you!
Highland needs you. Highland’s mission statement is “Connecting You with Christ and Community.” This new ministry offers a practical way for you to do this in a safe way. This is a wonderful ministry for anyone who wants to reach out to another person to simply care and share with them. For more information, please contact Rev. Dr. Ann Osborne at 717-569-2651 ex. 222, or by using the form below.