On October 11, 2022, sixty leaders, volunteers, and friends of the various Pastoral Care ministries gathered to recognize recipients of the second annual Pastoral Care Awards.
By the Rev. Greg Pickens
When I first came to this ministry, I was absolutely astounded at the selfless dedication of the volunteers who make this ministry so integral to Saint Michael. Each of you, gathered here, have accepted the call and responsibility of being ministers. We as disciples know that ministry is for our spiritual health as much as it is for the well-being of our parish family.
We serve this parish because we love it, even while remembering the importance of our Episcopal Polity. While God calls everyone to ministry—as Episcopalians, our ministry is delegated to each of us by this parish’s leadership team. We do ministry in the name of our Lord and under the direction of our Rector, Vice Rector, and Vestry. There are no Lone Ranger ministers at Saint Michael and All Angels.
Let’s talk about last year. We honestly thought the Pandemic was behind us, but Delta and Omicron arose. There was that day at the Capitol when no one was sure what was going to happen. We had an ice storm that took out the electrical grid in many portions of the state. Through all this, Pastoral Care continued to run—each volunteer giving even when it was outside their comfort level.
Through these ups and downs, Pastoral Care remained strong: over 8,200 touches by our Pastoral Care volunteers in the form of visits, calls, cards, and programs. We all dug a little deeper to look after our parishioners, neighbors, and friends.
Our Pastoral Care Awards are a sign of how much skin the participants have in this wonderful Par- ish. They are about recognizing our ministers who give themselves to their discipleship; they are a recognition of their devotion. The recipients were chosen from nominations and conversations with the body of Pastoral Care ministers. Today, we offer two awards: the Lifetime Service Award , given in recognition of extraordinary efforts sustained over a long discipleship, and the Servant’s Heart Award, given in recognition of faithful service to this parish and to his or her chosen ministries.
SERVANT’S HEART RECIPIENTS:
After serving at Church of the Ascension from 1978, then Grace Episcopal in Georgetown from 2001, Pat and Don found Saint Michael in 2011. Pat immediately involved herself in St. Mary’s Guild, and has been part of the Rector’s Bible Study, Pub Theology, the Prayer Shawl Ministry, and a lot more. Pastoral Care is honoring Pat for her work in our card ministry—as one of the few who write encouraging notes.Perhaps we can understand what it is like to be low in spirit and to receive a note from someone who has taken the time to write by hand. This act of encouragement shows someone that Saint Michael cares. In a world like today’s—where everything is super-fast, scheduled, and automated, a note from Pat must seem like a gift from God. Thank you, Pat.
Byrd is a child of a legacy. Her family could always be found on the Gospel side, three rows back, on Sunday. She has a long running dedication to our acolytes, her work as a chalice bearer, her knitting, Meals on Wheels, and being a verger. Byrd has been involved in our mission program and the Prayer Shawl Ministry— that team of knitters who lovingly pray and knit the prayer shawls for those who want a tangible reminder of our parish’s love. As one who gives those prayer shawls away, I have seen them bring tears to the eyes of people who were trapped in a hospital bed or rehab institution. Thank you, Byrd.
Jean has a long history of many ministries in this parish. She has been involved as a vestry liaison, worked tirelessly in the Faith and Grief Ministry— and I do mean tirelessly—was at our Stephen Ministry inauguration, has been an extended Care Cook, and a Parish Life volunteer. Jean has surely spent half a lifetime serving or thinking up ways to serve the adults and children of Jubilee Park. Thank you, Jean.
LIFETIME SERVICE RECIPIENT:
In a parish full of super smart and strong women who impact our parish and our city, Ann is, for many of us, the Queen. She has spent most of her ministry at Saint Michael. While priests come and go, Ann has remained—making connections, helping people meet and get to know each other, loving her parish and the people who worship here. On staff for many years, Ann served with Bill Power on the Christian Education team and in other roles. She has volunteered as an extended Care Cook and Angels Among Us. Ann has supported the Inquirers class, the Adult Confirmation Class and the Discovery classes in countless ways. She has led the Welcome Ministry and been a regional Good Shepherd as well as its leader. Let’s not forget her work with Prime Timers and the SMAA Book Club. She is everywhere— in front as a leader as well as in the background making sure all is smooth and meets the quality standards of Saint Michael. Thank you, Ann.
Thank you, all. Your work makes pastoral care ministries the best this parish has to offer. It is an honor to serve with you.
**This article was written by the Rev. Greg Pickens and was featured in the 2023 Spring Archangel.