Care

Deacons

Deacons seek to ensure an expression of Christian compassion for all our members. They are specifically charged with caring for and ministering to those who are sick, in need, friendless or in distress. The Deacons’ office is one of sympathy, concern and compassion for those members who need such attention.

DEACON SPIRITUAL CARE GUIDELINES

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.”
1 Timothy 2:1

Spiritual Care Guidelines:

The Office of Deacon is a Call to Personal Ministry. The focus of the ministry is to provide Spiritual Care to individual church members in need. Deacons develop a relationship with their Care Receivers through visits, phone calls, and written correspondence. Deacons provide Spiritual Care to their Care Receivers by:

  • Praying with them during visits as well as between visits
  • Listening to them
  • Helping them to recognize and express their feelings
  • maintaining appropriate boundaries
  • Remaining committed to the spiritual care relationship
  • Keeping confidentiality

Spiritual Care – Every Deacon provides Spiritual Care in the following areas:

  • Officer Meetings: Deacons attend monthly meetings and officer dinners (except in July) on the second Monday of the month, plus the annual officer retreat.
  • Home Visit Ministry: Deacons receive at least one member to call, send notes, and visit monthly as appropriate.
  • Grief Ministry: Deacons receive a grief assignment of a church member who has experience the death of a loved one and is open to having a Deacon visit with them. The Deacon follows up with the member for one year.
  • Hospital or Rehabilitation Visits: Deacons visit church members who are in local Hospital and Rehabilitation facilities. Deacons schedule a few months each year to watch for members who need visiting based on the Care and Concern daily e-mails.
  • After Worship Prayer: Deacons are available to pray with church members and visitors after Sunday Worship. Deacons select a date to serve once every few months.
  • Seasonal Flower Delivery: Deacons deliver poinsettias and Easter lilies to members who are at-home, elderly, or chronically ill, plus members who have experienced the death of a loved one within the past year. Church members 90 years and older also receive flowers. Deacons make a personal visit for each delivery.
  • Calling Ministry: Deacons, along with Officers on Rotation, call all church member families once a year to ask for prayer requests and to pray with the families.
  • Prayer: Deacons pray for their Care Recipients as well as for the Church’s Cares and Concerns. The Care and Concern list is distributed every weekday by e-mail.

Optional Areas of Service:

  • Serve Communion During Worship: Deacons and Elders are encouraged to serve Communion, on the first Sunday of the month. Annual training is from the Ministers.
  • Serve Home Communion: Deacons and Elders are encouraged to serve Home Communion at least once a year and is offered four times a year to church members that are not able to attend worship. Deacons and Elders are paired. Annual training is from the Ministers.
  • Worship Liturgist: Deacons and Elders may sign up to serve as liturgist in worship services.
  • Pray With the Ministers Before Worship: Deacons and Elders may sign up to pray with the Ministers before worship.
  • Other Resources: These resources are also available for Deacons when appropriate:
    a. Plants: Plants are often kindly donated for Deacons to bring to their Care Recipient.
    b. Prayer Shawls: Deacons are encouraged to take a Prayer Shawl to a member for comfort or celebration. The donated hand-made shawls are in the closet in the Bride’s Room, #228.

Areas That Are Beyond a Deacon’s Area of Care:

  • Medical Decisions: Deacons are not to be involved in a Care Recipient’s medical decisions. Deacons should excuse themselves when a medical provider (doctor, nurse, medical assistant, etc.) is present with the Care Recipient. If asked to remain in an uncomfortable situation, excuse yourself. Also, if asked to help with a Care Recipient’s medical decision, then excuse yourself.
  • Medical Assistance: Deacons are not to provide medical assistance to a Care Recipient. This includes helping them to take medication or convincing them to follow medical advice.
  • Physical Assistance: Deacons are not to provide physical assistance to a Care Recipient, which includes heavy lifting.
  • Maintenance: Deacons are not expected to fix or coordinate the fixing of a Care Recipient’s living facility. If Deacons have a concern in this area they may communicate it to the Care Recipient’s family directly or ask the Minister of Congregational Care to communicate the concern to the family. The church has a Handy Helper Ministry that can help with small repairs.
  • Conditions beyond a Deacon’s area of care include but are not limited to:
    a. Minors
    b. Those suffering serious mental or emotional disturbances including depression and personality disorders.
    c. Manipulative individuals.
    d. Substance abusers
    e. Those exhibiting suicidal behavior
    f. Those exhibiting violent behavior

Uncomfortable Situations:
If Deacons are in an uncomfortable care giving situation, immediately bring the situation to the Minister of Congregational Care who will follow-up with the Care Recipient and/or family.

If at any time Deacons or Care Recipients are not comfortable with the care relationship, then contact the Minister of Congregational Care to handle the situation in an appropriate manner.

Unable to Fulfill Deacon Responsibilities:
If Deacons are unable to fulfill their responsibilities as outlined in these guidelines then they are obligated to contact the Moderator and Minister of Congregational Care to discuss the situation and possible solutions. Some reasons may be, but are not limited to, change in health, over commitment in other areas, or extended out of town travel for business or leisure.

Deacon Resources:
The Deacon Resources list provides church and community information available to assist Deacons with their Spiritual Care Ministry.

Download the Guidelines and Commitment Form Here

DEACON RESOURCES

“The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace.”
Psalm 29:11

Primary Resources

  • Bible
  • Prayer – “My house will be a house of prayer” Luke 19:46
    • Personal Prayer
      • Pray before Deacon visits – a wise person once said “Pray every step of the way from your car until you reach your destination.”
      • Pray for people in between visits
    • Care and Concern
      • Officers receive a Care and Concern report each weekday by e-mail and are asked to pray for the concerns listed.
      • Call Care and Concern Line (210) 222-2273 to submit (press 2) or listen to prayer requests.
  • Time – We give the gift of time to those we visit – the time to listen, to show compassion, and to pray.
  • People – Moderator, fellow Deacons, Minister of Congregational Care, Administrative Assistant

Contact Information

  • Associate Pastor of Congregational Care
  • Administrative Assistant for Congregational Care
  • Moderator

Church Resources

  • Care and Concern Report
    • This is e-mailed on weekdays to all church staff and officers. Any church member may request to receive this report by contacting Congregational Care Administrative Assistant, Stephanie Lopez. It lists church members in the hospital and rehabilitation as well as deaths and prayer requests. The report is also on the Care and Concern line at 210-222-2273. Please pray for those listed on the report.
  • Workroom
    • Deacon Visit information cards are located in the workroom. These cards can be used to record details of hospital, rehabilitation, home, grief, and seasonal flower visits. Place the completed cards in Stephanie Lopez’s box. Visit details can also be emailed to stephaniel@fpcsat.org  or called in to Susan (226-0216 ext. 253). A record of all Deacon visits should be made and communicated to Susan in a timely manner. The visit notes are entered into the church ACS system and help Deacons and Pastors in their future visits.
    • Church note cards for visits are available in the workroom. It is helpful to keep some in the Bible that you take on Deacon visits to be readily available for writing a note if the member is asleep when you visit.
    • Staff and Diaconate mailboxes are also located in the workroom.
  • Sunday Hospital Flowers
    • Sunday Sanctuary flowers are made into smaller arrangements by the Church Sunday Flower Committee for Deacons to take on visits.
    • Five arrangements are made most Sundays. Hospital visits receive first priority. Sunday hospital flowers are not available when the poinsettias and lilies are in the Sanctuary during Advent and Easter.
    • Those with Sunday Hospital and Rehabilitation assignments should sign in at the Flower Room (room 225) before the last worship service. Flowers are ready approximately 20 minutes after the last service. Our members enjoy receiving these beautiful floral arrangements.
    • Any Deacon may request a floral arrangement to take to a Home or Grief visit, or to another church member that is in need. Use the last box on the sign-in sheet before the last worship service and then stop after worship to pick up the arrangement if there are enough.
  • Seasonal Flowers
    • Deacons deliver flowers to Home, Grief and 90+ church members for Christmas (poinsettias) and Easter (Easter lilies).
  • Shawl Ministry
    • The Church’s Shawl Ministry creates shawls and prays for the recipient of the shawls while they are knitting or crocheting them. Deacons may take shawls as a gift on their visits. The shawl closet is located in the Wyatt Bridal Room (room 228). A member of the household staff can open the shawl closet for you at any time. Record to whom the shawl is being taken on the sign-out.
  • Frozen Meals
    • Frozen meals are available to take on visits. They are located in a freezer in the Church Kitchen. The key to the meal freezer is in the Facility Director’s office (room 212) in a blue/white bowl on a small brown table. There is a sign-out sheet on the freezer door.
  • Maintenance Resources:
    • Handy Helpers are church members who volunteer their time to make minor repairs. Contact Susan Dullnig with the request and she will follow up with the appropriate Handy Helper if they are able to do the work.

Church Published Documents to Share on Visits

  • These documents help the church members to feel more connected to the church.
    • Sunday worship bulletin and announcements
    • First Press – monthly church newsletter (Mauze Lobby)
    • Past Sermons – e-mailed weekly to Deacons
    • First Cup Bible Readings printed in First Press (Mauze Lobby)
    • FPC Prayer Ministry Booklet
    • Special FPC or other Christian publications (Mauze Lobby)

Online Sermons

  • Members may access sermons online

Other Items to Share on Visits

  • Favorite devotional books – below are some devotional ideas but there are many others to choose from:
    • “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young
    • “God Calling” edited by A.J. Russell
    • “Meditations and Prayers,” distributed by Friends of Hospice San Antonio
    • “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers
    • “Streams in the Desert” by L.B. Cowman
    • “Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body” by Missy Buchanan
    • Prayer books by Rev. Edwin Walthall

Additional Community Resources
Dial 211 (United Way for local community service resources)

  • Food and Clothing
  • Legal help
  • Medical Care
  • Dental Care
  • Childcare
  • Housing
  • Counseling/Mental Health
  • Income Tax Preparation
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Project Cool – free box fans for senior citizens

Community Senior Service Resources Information

Meal Resources

  • Meals on Wheels is a resource for providing meals on a schedule to others.

Morningside Ministries

Transportation Resources

  • Northeast Senior Assistance Service – they can transport people to medical appointments and provide a grocery shopping service. If the person lives outside of their service area they can recommend another agency that can provide the assistance.
  • VIATrans – VIA will provide door-to-door transport service to medically handicapped people. A form has to be completed and approved. The pick-up/drop-off location must be within a certain distance from a regular bus stop. There is a fee fro each pick-up/drop-off. Often they will approve a person’s traveling companion to accompany the transport. Click here for more information

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