Share the Care Project

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Dorsey, Melissa
Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
Large Parishes can have difficulty building a sense of community that can support individual persons in their times of personal need or crisis. As the volunteer Parish Nurse coordinator I periodically get phone calls requesting help in the homes of parishioners. This help 1s usually relating to a health issue. It could be assistance to the person who is sick or assistance within the home with babysitting of the children in the family while the parent or parents need to be with another family member in the hospital. In the past couple of years we have made contacts with members of a particular ministry the family member asking for help may belong to and they have taken the family on and helped them. It has come to a point that the health ministry needs to establish some type of additional, specialized ministry within our church that can provide the needs that our parishioners are presenting. I have chosen this area of my ministry because it seems to be a perfect fit for my project. The project will umbrella under the health ministry since I already coordinate these activities in the parish. The project will be modeled around the book Share the Care which offers a guide to establishing and organizing a group to care for someone who is seriously ill or who has some significant health changes to them. The Share the Care approach does not result in just a support group. It is the basis for a powerful group system that provides every practical tool one needs, a system that has been refined through the experiences of many groups.