Pastoral Care Group

Church of Scotland Pastoral Care Conference 2018

Four members of our Pastoral Care Group attended the Annual Pastoral Care Conference of the Church of Scotland in Dunfermline on Saturday 10 November. The theme of the conference was how to nurture and share Christian pastoral care together – as indicated in the newly launched Church of Scotland book “Learn: Pastoral Care”.

Around 540 delegates attended the conference and each delegate was allocated 3 of the 9 sessions on the programme. Our sessions covered “Fundamental Features of Pastoral Care”, “Caring for the terminally ill”, and “Relationships and Separation”.

The session leaders were excellent in the talks and all sessions were interactive which meant we really had to listen carefully to all the points made to ensure we participated and understood that pastoral care is not just about listening to one another but understanding something of ourselves and who we are as people. It is also not just about giving but about receiving (we know this from how much we get from our visits). We may have fears and anxieties about our delivery of pastoral care but should accept we don’t have all the answers and should keep things simple. Often it is about helping people help themselves. God wants us to be human – not perfect. We discussed how there are many ways to care – e.g. Church worship is corporate pastoral care while loving pastoral care is a tool for mission and we are charged with putting God’s word into action. “Love works because love matters”.

All in all it was an extremely worthwhile day and each of us came away resolving to put words into action!

Alison Stewart
Pastoral Care Group Member