The Methodist Church in Britain is promoting 'Encircled in Care', a resource for all those who care for others, which it has produced in partnership with the charity MHA. The pack is designed to train, empower and enable pastoral visitors and all who offer care and support in the church and community.
“As Christians, we’re called to care for one another and for our communities as the body of Christ,” says the Rev Michaela Youngson, Secretary for Pastoral Care and Spirituality for the Methodist Church, “All in the Church are involved in the health of that body and we hope that [this pack] helps people to explore the many issues involved in pastoral care and to develop their skills.”
'Encircled in Care' offers practical, up-to-date ideas and accessible resources that can help pastoral carers to seek ‘life in all its fullness’ for the church and community.
The pack contains three foundation sessions, focussing on why we care, skills needed in our caring and the development of good practice. There are nine issue-based sessions, covering some of the situations that pastoral visitors might need to respond to or be involved with, including mental health issues, loss and bereavement and pastoral care across the generations.
The Rev Dr Keith Albans, Director of Chaplaincy and Spirituality for MHA, says; “The quality of our caring is a sign of God’s love and witness to others that Christians have something distinctive to offer a broken world that needs healing and reconciliation. Encircled in Care challenges us and offers the tools with which to fulfil that calling.”
Additional sessions and resources will be made available on the Methodist Church website (www.methodist.org.uk  ). The pack also contains a CD-ROM with PowerPoint presentations of each session, as well as the text of handouts and prayers.