PASTORAL CARE AND SERVICES

THE MINISTRY OF BAPTISM

When an adult presents himself or herself for baptism, the person is prepared diligently with instructions in God’s  Word  by way of preparing the person for a life with meaning, and purpose in the path of Jesus Christ. When an infant is presented for baptism, the parents and the God-parents are prepared in the same way to impart the way of Jesus Christ to the child.

 

 

 

Baptism is the entry to journey with God in this life; for by baptism, we are made to identify with Jesus who lived a joyful and fulfilling life in God. When someone is baptised, that person is brought to imprinted with the life of Jesus Christ, and made a member of Christ's Church, which is God's Family on earth.

 

It is a new start to life in which the baptised person is accepted and sealed by God with God’s Spirit to represent Christ to the world. As a response to the baptism which God gives us, we declare our faith and intention to serve Christ, and ask for God's continuing grace to support us in the task to which we are called in the world.

 

 

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THE MINISTRY OF HEALING

As we journey through life, for a myriad of reasons, there are many times when when an unhealthy condition takes hold of our body, mind or spirit leaving us sick, dis-eased, and disordered.

 

The church's ministry of healing is offered in three important ways: Firstly, through practical support to the sick person and the loved ones who too may be affected by the gravity of the illness. This support includes visiting the sick person in hospital to offer prayers and care. Secondly, depending on the kind of illness, support is offered through counseling and guidance. Thirdly, through  laying on of hands and/or anointing of the sick. From ancient times the laying on of hands and anointing have been symbolic acts of conveying of God's power.

 

Anointing provides a vivid expression of God's love in time of sickness. It is helpful at the onset of an illness, as well as in times of crisis.

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THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILLIATION

Through life we encounter many instances when, for all kinds of reasons and undesired human actions, friendships and relationships breakdown between us and those whom we love and cherish and are part of our lives in one way or another. For whatever reason or experience, this breakdown of friendship and relationship can also happen between us and God. Another breakdown of friendship happens when, under many circumstances, find ourselves being indifferent to our own-selves.

 

Whether it is a relationship breakdown between us and our loved ones or God, or our own-selves, when it happens, we are left broken within ourselves with a wanting to be reconciled or say sorry to our loved ones, friends, God and ourselves.

 

When someone or a group of people wants reconciliation it involves saying sorry and forgiving. When someone presents him or herself for reconciliation, the priest, on behalf of the Christian community, listens to the person’s confession of wrongs and the genuine need for reconciliation and declares God’s forgiveness. In this ministry, the person is enabled to express the source of guilt, and the priest then offers counsel and the assurance of reconciliation. The priest exercises this ministry in complete confidentiality.

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MARRIAGE

A marriage is one of life’s great moments! It is a time for good wishes, feasting and joy that tow individuals have come to publicly declare their love for one another and commit themselves to a loving and mutually-shared life together.

For Christians, marriage is also an invitation to share life together in the spirit of Jesus Christ. It is based upon a solemn, public and life-long covenant between persons entering into marriage, made and celebrated in the presence of God and before a priest and family and friends.

When two individuals make a commitment to marry, the church’s ministry involves preparing the couple with diligence for the life they are about to commit themselves for and invoke God’s blessings for the marriage at a public service of celebration.

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Ministry to the Dying

Of all events in life, death concerns us the most deeply. When death approaches, whether it be our own or that of someone we love, it immediately becomes our primary concern. When someone we love dies, the family and friends suffer loss, shock and grief. Grief caused by the loss of a loved one is overwhelming and takes time and care if it is to heal.

 

Christian faith is built on God in whom all life is loved and treasured forever, and that Jesus has won over death. Hence, we do not fear death. Death, we believe, is not an end. In the same way birth is our transition to this world to experience life as we know it, death too is a transition from the life as we have experienced to something richer in God.

 

However, when we have loved someone deeply and have received love, the grief and pain we suffer at the point of death of a loved one is extreme. It can be almost impossible for us to accept the loss.

 

At the time of death of a loved one, or as death approaches to a loved one, the person and immediate family require constant loving support. At the time of and immediately after death the need for loving care is critical.

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© 2020 Whittlesea kinglake Anglican Church

Edited by Oliver Hawkins