“Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11: 28-30
Pastoral care at Holy Martyrs is top priority for our Pastoral Staff and it takes many forms. During times of need and/or crisis, our parish office should be the first point of contact so our Pastoral Associate or Fr. Steve can respond promptly. However, our pastoral care efforts go far beyond that initial pastoral visit. Several ministries have been formed to be able to respond to the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of parishioners who may be in crisis – on a temporary basis or for a longer period of time.
Holy Martyrs prayer support includes daily prayers by the staff and those who are able to offer prayers for all those who are ill, who are unemployed, those who are encountering difficulties in their marriage or with children, as well as for those who have died. Prayer requests are submitted online, in person or through phone calls and email and then passed on to those in the Prayer Support Chain the same way. If you would like to submit a prayer request, email email@example.com.
When a member of our parish community is ill and hospitalized, a call to our parish office at 330-722-6633 will allow one of the pastoral staff to visit in the hospital or home, to pray with and for the person and to bring Holy Communion. Fr. Steve is available for anointing of the sick, which may be requested in advance of planned surgeries or medical treatments as well as when one is suddenly hospitalized. Holy Martyrs also offers communal anointing of the sick twice each year as a regular opportunity for those who desire this sacrament of healing for any physical, emotional or spiritual illness.
Members of our parish visit the sick and bring the Eucharist each week to those who are hospitalized, in nursing homes, or are sick or infirm at home. If you or someone you know would like to receive Communion, please call Holy Martyrs parish office at 330.722.6633.
HM Cares is able to respond to those who face emergencies and need groceries or help with necessities like rent or utilities when there has been the loss of employment or other crises. Our food pantry assists families in our area, following an interview that determines how their needs might best be met. Food Distribution is every Thursday from 6:00 PM until 6:30 PM. If you need assistance, please contact HM Cares directly at 330.635.4989 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comfort During Times of Sorrow
Those who are facing terminal illness with their families are a special focus of pastoral care and support and every effort is made to journey with people through this difficult but often surprisingly grace-filled time. Fr. Steve or Janet are grateful to be able to be present to offer support and appreciate calls to alert the pastoral staff to these situations, which often develop suddenly. Our Ministry of Consolation members are also attentive to the needs of parishioners and their families with prayers, providing sources for the grieving and periodic grief support groups.
Need a Friend or Know Someone Who Does?
At Holy Martyrs Church, we know that every life has its share of troubles and we feel that no one should “go it alone” during those times. That is why we have commissioned Stephen Ministers to walk with those who need a compassionate friend to help them get through a rough patch.
Stephen Ministers are members of our parish who are specially trained to provide emotional and spiritual support to people who are experiencing challenges in life – grief, loneliness, divorce, health issues, job loss, and many other difficulties.
Our pastor is still available during times of crisis, but there is always a greater need for support than the parish staff can effectively manage. To extend the parish’s reach to those in need, parishioners who feel the call to helping ministry receive training to extend the care that our church can provide to our community.
To learn how you can receive confidential care from a Stephen Minister, contact Janet Payton at 330-722-6633.
Stephen Ministers care for people facing tough times:
- Loss of a loved one
- Divorce or separation
- Loneliness or discouragement
- Spiritual crisis
- Unemployment or a job crisis
- Terminal illness
- Birth, adoption, miscarriage, infertility
- Chronic illness
- Recovery after an accident or disaster
- Many other life challenges
A Stephen Minister is:
- An individual who walks beside someone who is hurting
- A parishioner who is carefully selected to serve in this role because of his or her caregiving gifts
- A layperson with 50 hours of training in providing high-quality Christian care
- A caring friend who listens, cares, prays, supports, and encourages
- Someone who faithfully meets each week with his or her care receiver for as long as needed