Nuture & Care
- Community of Hope
The Community of Hope creates communities committed to pastoral care, and equips lay persons to be present in a compassionate, listening, non-controlling manner in order to make a difference in the health and well-being of those in need. In this ministry of presence, The Community of Hope serves in any setting where adults, youth or children are sick, in crisis, at risk, or under-served – especially the poor, the homeless, the imprisoned and the elderly.
The Community of Hope began in 1994 in the Pastoral Care Department at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas. This ministry then moved beyond the hospital walls in 1998 to serve the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Many other locations in over 13 states have chosen to use this model and the materials developed here. In June 2005, The Community of Hope International was established.
The entrance into this exciting community is through the door of the Initial Training. After 14 sessions of training, one is asked to serve regularly in an agreed upon location to offer a listening, compassionate presence to those in need of pastoral care. The Community of Hope lay pastoral caregivers continue to meet periodically to provide opportunities for encouragement, prayer and worship, sharing, and continuing education.
We live in a society in which few people really listen to others. People who are ill, suffering, lonely, and/or in pain need someone to listen and to respond appropriately to their spiritual needs. Medical research shows a significant relationship between attending to people’s spiritual needs and better outcomes in mental and physical health.
This is an exciting adventure – “listening with the ear of your heart.” By entering The Community of Hope, one joins hands and hearts with thousands of people from coast to coast who are learning to listen: to God, to co-laborers with Christ, and to people in need. Those who have participated often find that not only is their capacity for compassion increased, but so is the depth of their own spiritual life. For further information, please either call the Office (828-264-8943), or email (by clicking here).
- Lay Eucharistic Visitors