Pastoral Care

Pastoral care extends from times of great joy and excitement, to moments of profound crises and/or grief. St. Philip’s, through its pastoral team of clergy as well as trained lay ministers, provides pastoral support through pivotal moments and stages of life. Pastoral support includes baptisms, weddings, home and medical facility visits, and funerals and private pastoral counseling.

Baptism

Although important, Holy Baptism is not only about making a public declaration of one’s desire and intention to follow the way of Jesus or a parent’s intention to raise their child in the Christian faith. Holy Baptism is also a sacrament (an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace, BCP p. 857) by which we, through water and the Holy Spirit, become adopted daughters and sons of God as we are made members in Christ’s body, the church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God (BCP p. 858).


All those desiring baptism for themselves or for their infant children should contact the church office in advance to set up time to receive educational instruction and preparation for this entry point into the Christian life.


Confirmation/Reaffirmation/Reception

Confirmation and reaffirmation are rites that area meant to help one renew commitments made during baptisms or made on their behalf by parents or others at baptism in the Baptismal Covenant. Confirmation is a declaration of faith and commitment to the Christian life made by someone who has already been baptized but who has now taken the decision for her or himself to follow the way of Jesus and will take the vows of the Baptismal Covenant her or himself. Reaffirmation is for those who have been baptized and confirmed but who, for any number of reasons, want to intentionally renew their commitment to living a Christian life through study and renewal of the Baptismal Covenant vows once again. Both confirmation and reaffirmation involve strengthening by the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a Bishop.


Reception is for those from other denominations who want to formally be received as members into the Episcopal Church. Anyone from another Christian church, if they have been baptized with water and in the name of the Trinity, may become a baptized member of the Episcopal Church by having their baptism duly recorded in this church. Moreover, persons baptized in other traditions may also be received by laying on of hands by a bishop, if such persons have also already made an adult affirmation of faith in their baptized traditions. If they have not, then those persons may be confirmed in this church.


Holy Matrimony (Weddings)

Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage in which a couple enters into a life-long union, takes their vows before God and the church, and receives the grace and blessing of God to fulfill their vows (BCP p. 861). If you and your significant other have discerned that Holy Matrimony is the Christian vocation to which you have been called, the clergy of St. Philip’s can help you explore and define that call in more depth and more clearly, in terms of its spiritual component.


Please contact the office of speak directly to a clergy person to schedule time for pre-marital consultation with a priest.


Funerals

Notwithstanding a deep sense of joy and hope that Christians can have because of their faith, death often still brings about attendant feelings of grief and sadness for family and friends of those who have died. The church is here to assist with making arrangements for a funeral service. We will listen and work with you, including providing suggested scripture readings and hymns, to plan a burial service appropriate for your particular situation.


It is important to note that in the burial service both the life of the deceased as well as the presence of Jesus in that person’s life are being remembered. Please notify the church office as soon as possible of a loved one’s death to begin making the appropriate arrangements for a funeral or memorial service, which will be done in consultation with the church office.


Home and Healthcare Facility Visits

If you or a loved one has become sick or ill and cannot leave home or have been relocated to a healthcare facility (hospital, rehabilitation center, nursing home, etc.) and would like to receive a visit from clergy or trained and licensed lay member of the church, please call the church office to notify us. Both clergy and trained lay leaders are able to make visits, pray and distribute communion to those who are unable to come to church for communion or those who would like to be seen by and prayed for/with a member of the pastoral team.


Pastoral Counseling

If you are facing major life crisis or a difficult life circumstance, positive or negative, you may wish to speak with a priest for spiritual direction and/or guidance. St. Philip’s clergy would be happy to speak with you about matters great and seemingly small, even to refer you on for more specialized help when appropriate.

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