Rev. Karen Armina’s message for this month…

  • On Pastoral Care

    Dear Ones, 

    I want to be intentional and explicit with you about our expectations of each other around pastoral care.  Since I’ve returned from my sabbatical leave, I’ve reached out to some of you, because you’ve had ongoing things in your lives that you’ve let me know you’d like to talk about.  I’m honored and grateful for the trust you’ve put in me, to journey with you as you face those things.  Because we all have things happening in our lives all the time, and because there are things happening around us that drain our spirits all the time, I’m sure there are more folx who might like a conversation with your minister.  I’m also becoming aware that there are folx who think I’m too busy to meet with you, or that I know what’s happening for you and haven’t reached out for some reason, or that I’m prohibited from visiting with you in your homes.

    I’m writing this as an open invitation to anyone who thinks you might like to talk with your minister.  I would be honored and grateful to journey with you as you face the joys and sorrows of your life.  And I need your help to do this.  I’m not too busy to meet with you, and I would love to do so in your home or at Reeb or for a walk or a beverage.  And, I may not know when you have a thing happening that you’d like to talk about.  I know that asking for help can be hard (I find it hard too!), and sometimes we might feel like the thing we want to talk about isn’t important enough to take up someone else’s time.  I’m here to tell you that’s one of the destructive voices of our capitalist society talking, and that anything you’d like to talk about with me is worthy of setting up a meeting.

    When I returned from my first sabbatical during the lockdown phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, I shared an intention to push back against the isolation we were all feeling by reaching out to everyone.  In doing that, I set up an expectation that I was unable to fulfill, and I disappointed some of you.  I’m sorry for that.  I’m writing now to articulate an expectation we can fulfill together, as part of our shared ministry- if you’ll reach out to me with your need or desire to talk, I will meet with you.  I will also reach out more consistently to folx who share major life events during Joys and Sorrows.

    I look forward to connecting with you, in ways that you let me know you would like.

    In faith and love, Karen

    [July 3, 2024]