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Caring Teams

Caregiving News

If you knew that you could prevent the onset of or delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease simply by making lifestyle changes, would you?  Several members of the Alzheimer’s Caregivers Group that meets monthly at UCBR attended the Annual Education Conference on Alzheimer’s last month. There we heard a full morning on brain health presented by Dr. Richard Isaacson, Director of the world’s only Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic. Want to share in the results of their research?  Go to There are modules for the general public, for high school and college students, and for health care providers. Because brain changes that result in Alzheimer’s disease can begin 20 - 30 years before the onset of symptoms, it’s important to start now. See Donna Yelverton if you have questions or if, after you complete the lessons, you’d like a copy of the brain healthy food tracker that she put together. It’s all free.

The Congregational Care Team

The Congregational Care Team provides care to people within the church community during times of illness, accident, surgery, chemotherapy and after a death in the family.  This care can be the sending of a card from fellow churchmembers or providing food that can be easily heated and served or arranging transportation temporarily.   Providing a reception after a funeral or memorial service for a member is another way to show care and  comfort to the family of the deceased.  This group of dedicated volunteer members are, along with Branches group members, the "first team" to meet these practical needs of our congregants who are in crisis.  But there is another team of backup people who are only called on occasionally and who do not attend the six team meeting a year.  We call them our CC  Helpers.   Pet-sitting, checking mail, comfort for an elder person who lives in the home of one who is having surgery, interpreting a language, a lift to work when the car is disabled...these are not frequent needs.   Many people do these things now for neighbors, friends, relatives.   Please see contact information below or visit the Congregational Care table in the Fellowship Hall each Sunday morning for more information on how you may become involved in either of these caring teams.

Congregational Care Team: Our ministry includes caring for each other through the difficult times of illness and at the death of a loved one. Volunteers are needed to minister to each other by sending cards to those who are ill or bereaved, to assist with providing a reception following memorial services, and to make followup phone calls or visits to our members who are not able to attend services reguarly, or to provide transportation for essential services when someone is temporarily unable to drive.

Join our team:  The CCT is an excellent place to get to know fellow congregants while acting in a compassionate, supportive way to those in distress. Do you want to provide a meal to a member or family in need of help during illness or bereavement?  Provide a member with occasional transportation to church, the doctor, or drug store?  Visit with someone in the hospital or following their release?  Stay in touch with someone unable to attend services?  Provide food for or help staff the reception following funerals or memorial services?  Send cards for sad occasions or to celebrate happy ones?  To become part of our team, contact Donna Yelverton or Liz Hamlin (see contact info below), or just attend our next Team meeting.  (6:30 p.m. in the church office on the 1st Tuesday of the odd-numbered months).  You may serve as much as your schedule permits.  We meet only 6 times a year, and our services are provided on an as-needed basis.  We generally stay in touch through email.  You may also volunteer as a CCT helper and assist with tasks of your choice when you are available. 

If you need the help of the CCT:  We can usually help with cards from the team or the congregation, which share joys or sorrows; transportation following surgery, illness, or injuries, as well as help with food or grocery shopping or other errands and sitting or visits; providing a reception following funerals or memorial services at the church; and perhaps other needed services to help members through difficult times.

Connect with us:  If you belong to a Branches group, your group is normally the initial point of contact for providing or securing help.  If help is needed beyond the abilities of your fellow Branches members, your Branches leader can provide the details to the CCT.

Referrals also come from the ministers, especially Nathan Ryan, who oversees the work of the CCT.

Help may be sought by emailing Donna Yelverton ( or Liz Hamlin (, who co-chair the CCT.  

The Pastoral Care Team

October 2019 from The Reverend Barbara Carlson 

It is not our expertise but rather the wisdom gained from our own suffering, vulnerability, and healing that enables us to be of real assistance to others . . . wholeness does not mean perfection.  It means no part left out. ~ Wisdom from Frank Ostaseski, cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project. 

It has been a privilege to serve with the Pastoral Care Team, a group of dedicated members who assist the Ministers in times of crisis, surgery, and end of life. I regret that life changes make it necessary for me to resign my service with the Team. Rest assured the Team will carry on. 

This dedicated team assists the ministers as needed in spiritual support to members and their families in surgery, serious illness, and end of life.  The team was originally established and trained by the late The Reverend Earle Ramsdell, a beloved teacher and member of the congregation.

April 2019 The Pastoral Care Team warmly welcomes new members who have completed training. Cathy Castille, Vic Cross, John Jackson, and Marcia Shannon join long-time Pastoral Care Associates, Dr. Warren Fraser, Dr. John Howe, Dr. Holley Galland Haymaker, Karen Girardot, LCSW, and MiJa Thompson, R.N. The Associates serve at the request of the Ministers to provide spiritual support to families in surgery, serious illness, and end of life.  Referrals for service are also made by the Congregational Care Team.

The Reverend Barbara Carlson reports that beginning February 3, 2019 the Listening Room will be available in Reverend Nathan Ryan's office after both services.  Members of the Pastoral Care Team: Warren Fraser, Karen Girardot, Holley Haymaker, John Howe, Alice Walker, and MiJa Thompson voted unanimously to restore this service for members and guests.  A member of the team will be available for conversation while providing a listening ear for those who need someone to hear their concerns.