Our Pastoral Care program offers a ministry of support for members and friends:

  • Supporting people through crises, transitions, and difficult situations.
  • Listening compassionately and helping individuals sort out what can and cannot be changed.
  • Being present to people in their pain, loss, struggle, anxiety and joy.
  • Offering encouragement and comfort in time of trouble.

This is a ministry of “being” present and quietly listening, rather than “doing” or “fixing.”  Lay Ministers are not professional counselors, but they are trained individuals who understand that everyone needs help sometimes. They provide short-term support in addition to that received from family, friends, the minister or other professionals.

When should you consider seeking pastoral care?

  • During crises and transitions such as divorce, health issues, retirement, death of someone close to you, marriage, new baby, pregnancy loss, family concerns, mid-life crises, coming to terms with sexual identity, losing a job, making a career change or financial distress;
  • When you need to talk confidentially with a compassionate listener, even if you are not sure what is bothering you;
  • When you are facing a major life decision;
  • When you are grieving or hurting and need emotional and spiritual support.

Receiving Pastoral Care:

  • A USNH member or friend of the congregation contacts a minister or lay minister to express his or her concerns.
  • The minister or lay minister talks with the member to better understand his or her needs.
  • Together, the member and the minister or lay minister decide what type of support or referral would be helpful and initiate support.
  • The minister or lay minister follows up with the member to see if the pastoral care support has been beneficial and whether further support is needed.

Whom should you contact for pastoral care assistance?

Our Minister, Rev. Megan Lloyd Joiner or the Lay Minister of the Month can guide you in finding the help you need.  In most cases, a member of the Lay Ministry team will be matched with you to provide support. Lay Ministers are trained to meet with members and friends one-on-one, listen compassionately, respond skillfully and hold in confidence what is shared with them.


Main Office: 203-288-1807 x201 pastoralcare@usnh.org
or Rev. Megan: 203-288-1807 x202 rev.megan@usnh.org