A Pastoral Word
One of the words used to describe our church is "Family." For many of us, it is just that. Our church family are the people who walk with us along our spiritual journeys. They are the people who share our joys and concerns. And yes, they are the people who check in on us to make sure we are doing okay. I have heard so many people say, "I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my church family."
To the outside world, this idea of church as family seems strange. Usually the idea of family is defined as people who are related to us in some way or another. But in an ever changing world, the idea of family is changing too. No longer do we live right down the road from relatives but rather many miles and hours separate us from these same relatives. Sometimes it is our church family that we first turn to when there is a crisis or emergency or when we just need a little help.
I know this from personal experience. Before Mike's parents moved into the area, we had to list our emergency contacts for our children if something happened to us. We listed the grandparents but at that time, Mike's parents lived in Indianapolis and my parents lived in North Carolina. If there was a real emergency, it would have been hard to wait 6 hours before someone could get there. But thankfully, we have a church family, walking with us, supporting us, loving us. I can't tell you how grateful I am that my children are surrounded by a church family that is filled with so many aunts, uncles and grandparents. We are supported and connected as a community.
So when it came to that emergency form for our childcare, which asked for a local emergency contact, I didn't hesitate to put a church member down for that. I know that Mike and I are not alone in this. Sometimes, our church family is all we have to help us out in life.
That's why the church is inviting everyone to fill out emergency contact forms that will be kept in the church office. The purpose of these forms is to have the best means possible to check on members and friends in case of emergencies. Providing the information is voluntary. The information is confidential and will be used only by the church office.
You will also see that there is a second sheet to this form. It includes questions like "Do you have a ___ Living Will and/or ___ Medical Power of Attorney? Do you have a "Do Not Resuscitate" order as part of your Medical Power of Attorney YES/NO. Other wishes, if you are on medical life support? It also includes questions about funeral and memorial service desires. We added these things because these are things no one really thinks about or knows about, sometimes not even families. For some, this information may be too personal and you don't want to share it. That's okay. You don't have to.
But I will say that I can't tell you how many times I have sat with families in the hospital or in funeral homes and someone always seems to say, "I don't know what Scriptures he/she liked. I don't know what hymns he/she would want as part of the service. I wish he/she would have written it all down so we would know what he/she wanted to celebrate his/her life." This not knowing adds unwanted discomfort and stress for the family.
These forms all come down to the fact that we are connected as a community. We are connected as a family. And one of the ways we can do this and will do this is by knowing whom to contact so that we can take care of each other and be there for each other when there is a need.