Pastoral Care: A Core Church Activity

talking helps - Pastoral Care at UUSM

The pastoral care needs at UUSM are too large and too important to leave to just one person. In a community with such a broad range of interests, needs, experiences, theologies, and perspectives, our church community needs an equally diverse system of support.

The Pastoral Care Program supports members in three primary ways:

  1. The Care Ring Team – this fantastic group of about 8–10 people form the comprehensive “front line” of love and care that we extend to members when they join UUSM. Whenever a member experiences a temporary physical struggle or emotional loss, we strive to have a Care Ring Team member reach out and offer attention and care. However, the Care Ring Team is made up of people with big hearts – but they are not telepathic. They need to be informed when someone experiences a setback. You can do that by sending an email to
  2. The Pastoral Associates – this group works with those members who are experiencing a difficult transition in life that involves some shift in the way we think of ourselves or identify (i.e., divorce, when children leave home, when we retire or lose our job, when we receive a diagnosis of a life-threatening condition, or when someone close to us dies). You can also reach Pastoral Associates through
  3. The Ministers – Rev. Greg Ward and Robin Stillwater (our intern minister) are available for moments of significant joy or sorrow such as the loss of a loved one or a life-threatening accident or trip to the hospital. Whenever something of this nature happens please send an email right away to the ministers at, or call or text Rev. Greg at 831-601-5197.

The Care Ring Team meets every first Wednesday at 1 PM in Forbes, and is seeking new members. Please send a note to and put “Care Ring” in the subject line, and let Linda van Ligten know you are interested.

If you are interested in joining the Pastoral Associates, this is a fantastic group of five people seeking to deepen self-awareness and compassionate communication. Please fill out an application by clicking PASTORAL ASSOCIATES APPLICATION (or copy and paste this link in your browser:

Thank you to all the volunteers and staff who add heart to the Pastoral Care program at UUSM.

— The Rev. Greg Ward

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