On February 7, 2017, TouchPoint Ministries held its first annual luncheon and planning meeting after church. TouchPoint Ministries is being formed anew at Smoke Rise by bringing together several personal touch ministries that already form a tapestry of Christian care and watchfulness over dear and vulnerable church members during some of life’s most challenging and difficult times. TouchPoint Ministries borrows its name from the TouchPoint team that has been faithfully sending personal prayer cards to home and facility bound members to encourage and brighten days for many years. In addition to cards, a smaller circle of the TouchPoint team has been visiting church members who live in nursing care facilities near them.
When I arrived at Smoke Rise as the new Associate Pastor, the TouchPoint Team was flourishing under the faithful leadership of Sue Pritchett who organized and tracked the monthly work and personal touch that flowed from this ministry. And I quickly discovered that she was not alone. Smoke Rise also had a bereavement team that took on a similar mission under the leadership of Carolyn Springston. After the loss of a loved one, the Bereavement Team reaches out, sends cards, and walks into the future with those who grieve. It did not take long for me to experience the overlap of the TouchPoint Team and the Bereavement Team when home bound couples suddenly became home bound widows or widowers.
Not so long ago, I was visiting a widow who was nearing the end of life, and she was resting quietly underneath a handmade quilt delivered to her by our Smoke Rise Stitchers team. As I thought about the warmth and love of those who reach out to others during life’s transitions and most difficult times, the grace-filled tapestry of personal touch ministries at our church became more visible to me. Each of these personal touch teams were faithfully working on one corner of the tapestry, but their ministries were always intersecting and overlapping in ways that made the work of the Spirit dynamic and visible. Out of this realization, each of these teams met together for the first time to plan and celebrate the launch of TouchPoint Ministries.
Under the banner of TouchPoint Ministries, we hope to work together for years to come, building on a foundation of personal care and touch that forms a tapestry of Christian care in times of transition, need, and difficulty. Jesus said that we would be known as his disciples by the love we have for one another. We invite you answer the call and get involved in one of our TouchPoint Ministries. If you are interested in more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will put you in touch with a team where sharing your gifts will be welcome by all.
Rev. Bart McNiel
Sending personal cards to home and facility bound members to encourage and brighten days
Visiting home and facility bound members with smiles, prayers, and personal touch
Reaching out to others after the loss of a loved one and walking with them into the future
Sharing the warmth of Christian love with handmade quilts and blankets during difficult time
Connecting working families through fellowship, service, and mutual support