Community of Hope
The Community of Hope is a lay pastoral care organization of the Episcopal Church grounded in Benedictine spirituality. It empowers lay people to offer pastoral care and support to parishioners, their families, and friends when experiencing a life transition. At present, St. Luke’s has eight trained lay ministers who assist the clergy with pastoral care.
According to its mission statement, “The Community of Hope International was founded to form praying communities, encouraging each other to listen in love, to be a non-judgmental listening presence to those we encounter on a daily basis.”
While Community of Hope members visit with parishioners in joyous times, such as the birth of a child, they are especially trained to be present with those experiencing pain in times of crises, illness, and death. Through ongoing spiritual formation and practical lessons on care giving, members learn to match theological insights and spiritual practice with their experiences of ministering to others. After participating in a 14-week training program, these ministers are commissioned to a vocation of pastoral care, healing prayer, and spiritual growth. Once a month they meet to pray, reflect, and revisit and grow in Saint Benedict’s rule of balance, humility, and hospitality. In their first four months, Community of Hope members made 97 phone calls and 13 pastoral care visits.