From the Pastor

From the Pastor: June 2018 Edition

From the PastorproAt Smoke Rise Baptist Church, we commit TO CARE for our congregation and our community. Pastoral care lies at the heart of our church’s identity. Some of our church’s newest members have been attracted first and foremost by our community of love and support in troubling times. While some churches focus exclusively on attractional programming, Smoke Rise is steadfast in our commitment to reach across generations, providing love and support to our youngest and oldest members.

Our ministerial staff strive to be “hands-on” in our care for members and their families, visiting in hospitals, praying with members before major surgeries, and providing support in seasons of struggle. In times of loss, our ministers meet with grieving families to provide support and to prepare meaningful memorial services. Pastoral care is more than merely an item on a checklist; it is an essential part of what we consider to be our calling as ministers.

In Deacon Family Ministry, church members are paired with a deacon so that these servant leaders can pray and offer personal contact and compassion to those entrusted to their care. Deacons are a vital and vibrant part of the congregational care and pastoral ministry of our church serving in ways that undergird and extend the touch of our ministry staff.

Our TouchPoint Team reaches out with care to those who are in assisted care facilities or confinded to home by making calls, sending cards, and visiting with those who often wrestle with loneliness. Nancy’s Heart Stitchers offer prayers and create beautiful quilts to give to newborn babies, to aging or vulnerable adults in times of extreme illness or transition, and to those in hospice care. Their tangible gifts also help support a vibrant congregational care ministry and broaden the scope and reach of our pastoral care work. 

This Spring, we launched two new support groups: a bereavement group for those who are experiencing grief after the loss of a loved one, and a caregiver group for those who are the primary caregivers for family members who have Alzheimer’s disease and all other types of dementia. 

Even as we actively minister to young families, Smoke Rise remains committed to minister across generations in an age where ministry to senior citizens is often neglected by churches. More than a year ago, Smoke Rise established a “satellite church” at the Park Springs Retirement Community. Each week, our satellite congregation meets together through online streaming to form relationship and share in worship, as they connect with volunteers from our congregation who personally greet and serve them.  During our Words of Welcome each week, I include a special word to those who are worshiping with us at Park Springs, because we want them to know that they are part of the Smoke Rise family of faith.

Countless care hours are devoted by ministers and laypeople to these important ministries of our church. Our world is filled with hurting people and we commit to provide a helping hand, a listening ear, and loving support to our congregation and community in Jesus’ name. I am thankful to serve with a hard-working ministry staff. Likewise, our ministers are grateful to serve in a congregation where so many answer the call to come alongside us as caregivers in Jesus’ name.

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