Need for a First Aid Course in Pastoral Care

In our recent quarterly meeting, a group of us met to discuss pastoral care issues in our respective monthly meetings. We talked about problems that we faced, and they were challenging. We didn't exactly know what to do.

One person in the group was once a social worker though, and when she shared a possible solution to one of our more desperate and thorny problems, it became apparent that there is a lot of skill and knowledge that goes into doing a decent job of pastoral care. People get Ph.D.'s in it for crying out loud. Yet in our monthly meetings, those of us who have the task of pastoral care are expected (by ourselves and others) to do a decent job of it without the skills and knowledge of trained, paid professionals like pastors, social workers, psychologists, etc.

Wouldn't it be great if a course on basic pastoral care was offered at yearly and quarterly gatherings for people like us? Something that would give us the basics? There must be hundreds or thousands of people in our situation. Maybe a course or a book about pastoral care exists, but we just haven't heard of.

Please, one of you who is knowledgeable about this, develop such a course and make it your traveling ministry to deliver it around the country!

From Don McCormick, Grass Valley Friends Meeting, 5/20/2019