The St. Andrew Ministry was established in 1999 in recognition of the need for effective pastoral care in a large congregation. It has three essential purposes:
- The first is to provide access to pastoral care and referral to appropriate mental health-related services when appropriate for church members.
- The second purpose is to provide preventative services to the congregation addressing areas such as coping with stress and grieving, raising children, maintaining quality relationships within families, and general mental health.
- The third purpose is to provide periodic seminars in which nationally-known leaders in the field of mental health and pastoral care address not only our congregation but the community at large.
Access to Counseling
Counseling is provided through the St. Andrew Ministry in the following ways:
- Individual consultations: short-term counseling is available to all congregation members free of charge to pursue resolution of issues related to pastoral care and concern
- Referral to community providers of mental health services
- Pre-marital counseling (using the ‘Save Your Marriage Before It Starts’ program by Les and Leslie Parrot) is provided for all couples who get married at FPC.
- Family and couples counseling
- Organizational and denominational consultation
Dr. Paul Suich, Director of the St. Andrew Ministry and Parish Counselor, teaches a variety of small groups and Bible studies throughout the year. A sampling of the classes taught in the last year includes the following.
- Life of David Bible study
- Book of Galatians Bible study
- “Boundaries” small group at Lighthouse Ministries
- Book of Revelations Bible study
- “Raising Great Kids” study
- “Jonah” study
- “Character Matters” study
- Living out Truth through Worship and Sacraments
The third purpose of the original vision was to be providing regular seminars (on an annual basis) in which the community would be invited to attend seminars in which the main speaker would be a nationally-known expert/provider on a particular topic related to pastoral care. We hope to provide such seminars in the future if financial resources become more available.