Pastoral Care Chaplains
Frequently Asked Questions
In the spirit of our first UU principle, "to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person", we strive to convey in manners dependable, inclusive and discreet a ministry of hope and caring so that no member of-our congregation need be alone.
What is a Pastoral Care Chaplain?
Pastoral Care Chaplains are members of The Unitarian Church in Westport with a particular interest in providing a caring presence to people going through difficult times. Pastoral Care Chaplains bring a special set of gifts to this volunteer work. They receive ongoing training, support each other, and consult regularly with the minister(s). The Pastoral Care program is in the UU tradition, as an extension of the professional ministry of the congregation.
How do I know I can trust my Pastoral Care Chaplain?
Just as people trust ministers to keep confidences, you can trust your Pastoral Care Chaplain as well. They are committed to protecting confidentiality. It is possible that a Pastoral Care Chaplain may share information with the ministry as needed in order to be effective in helping you. In more serious situations, your Pastoral Care Chaplain will make a covenant with you to further assure you of your privacy. Only in the most critical situations (as required by law) would there be disclosure of confidential information. For example, if we fear that someone is considering taking their own life or hurting someone else, the Pastoral Care Chaplain will inform you that such concerns override the promise of confidentiality and will notify the minister.
How will a Pastoral Care Chaplain help me?
Your Pastoral Care Chaplain will provide companionship during an illness, time of loss or in other challenging circumstances. Pastoral care is not therapy, nursing or medicine. It is active caring for people who are facing challenges in their lives. It is a kind of caring that is broad in scope and may mean the gathering of resources, providing emotional support that include having conversations that touch on spiritual issues. Most of all, pastoral care is simply being present for you. By their presence, Pastoral Care Chaplains bring the love and care of our entire congregation to those in need.
How Do I Contact the Pastoral Care Chaplains?
If you are going through a challenging time or know somebody in the congregation who needs support from our Pastoral Care Chaplains, call to leave a confidential message in the Pastoral Care voice mailbox or send an email.