Pastoral care at First Presbyterian Church is an essential aspect of the ministry offered to our Church members and to members of our community, as we seek to share God’s love and compassion. We care for hurting people in times of illness, grief and other challenging chapters of life. Pastoral staff and Church members provide care through visiting the sick, maintaining regular contact with the elderly, being a friend to the troubled, marking life’s passages, comforting the grieved, coordinating support in various life transitions, and establishing contact with friends we haven't seen in a while.
Faith Partners Addiction Ministry
First Presbyterian Church is a member of a nationwide fraternity called Faith Partners. Leaders in Faith Partners Churches are trained to not only recognize addiction, but also provide intervention, education and recovery support to youth, adults and families suffering from addiction. The Faith Partners team is equipped with resources, including addiction professionals and contacts at agencies, and regional support facilities. They also share their own recovery experiences with others in worship and Church class settings to cultivate a climate of openness and understanding. Please contact us if you or a member of your family needs support through the journey of addiction and recovery, or you would like to make your own addiction experience redemptive in the life of someone currently suffering.
The 30 members of the Board of Deacons are called to ministries of care and compassion. These ministries include visits to the homebound and hospitalized as well as a Day of Caring, in which they coordinate yard work and small home repairs for the elderly and others.
- Day of Care: Along with other volunteers and first responders, Deacons visit the homes of seniors, homebound residents and single parents during the spring to assist with home projects.
- Camp Sunshine: Deacons host young oncology patients from an area hospital and their families for a day of fun, swimming, canoeing and food at Camp Loughridge, an FPC retreat.
- Choir Brunch: The Deacons sponsor a breakfast for the choir members, musicians, and pastors who participate in the four Easter Sunday worship services.
- Flower Ministry: Deacons deliver flowers from the worship service to FPC members in area hospitals and care facilities on Sunday afternoon. Easter lilies and Christmas poinsettias are delivered to many homebound members.
- Bereavement: Deacons host receptions following memorial services and funerals. They also assist in conducting an All Saints Day worship and memorial service for those in mourning.
- First Friends: Throughout the year, Deacons call on homebound members through visits, phone calls and notes.
- Thanksgiving: Deacons sponsor a worship service and Thanksgiving dinner designed for those who live alone or are away from home.
- Celebrating Christmas Together: The Deacons lead members of FPC and other volunteers to work with Emerson Elementary School and social service organizations to provide area families with food and other items at Christmas.
- Hunger/Thirst: Deacons participate with the Day Center for the Homeless, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and the H20 Project.
Sisterhood of Widows
The purpose of this ministry is to offer a network of congregational support to the widows of First Church, grounded in scripture, and provide opportunities to foster fellowship among them. Through the Sisterhood, we live out our faith and radiate the love and light of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Guild of Intercessors
The Guild is a group of 90 or so Church members who have agreed to pray regularly and tirelessly for members and friends of this congregation, especially those facing health crises, death and other life transitions. Prayer request cards are located in pew racks and friendship folders, but the Guild also accepts phone calls, pastor referrals and one-on-one. Guild members are kept up to date by a weekly enumeration of prayer requests, which is distributed by e-mail.
Home Visitation and Communion
Deacons, the Presbyterian Women, and other groups send visitors to uplift and tend the ill, elderly or disabled, not to mention the caregivers themselves. Members, too, will make visitation in such times as their fellow Churchgoers are unable to attend service. Five times a year, ordained leaders perform Communion for those homebound, for whatever reason. Contact us if you would like to receive a visit or the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or If you would like to use your gifts as a visitor.
Members with gifts of compassion and experience in ministry in a hospital setting work with FPC pastors to provide spiritual support and prayer to those who are hospitalized. Please contact us if you or a loved one is hospitalized for an emergency, scheduled operation, or any other reason.
Stephen Ministry is a one-on-one, confidential ministry of care and encouragement. Stephen Ministers are members who have completed 50 hours of distinctively Christian training that prepares them to intercede with sensitivity with those experiencing times of crisis, recovery and indecision. The Ministers pray with those suffering, extend spiritual and emotional support, and offer encouragement.
Stephen Ministers exercise the gifts of compassion, listening and prayer. They are commissioned by the Church and work with the pastoral staff for assignments, and receive ongoing education and supervision. If you would like a visit from a Stephen Minister, please contact us.
The Pray-ers Ministry is a group of 70+ First Church members who engage in daily prayer for our Church membership. Every year, each Pray-er is assigned eight member families, whom they pray for, by name, on a daily basis. They may or may not know the people for whom they are praying, and they usually do not know of specific prayer needs.
The ministry is always open to new participants who have a heart for daily prayer! Contact us to receive an introductory letter and an assignment card that you can keep for the year.