The mission of the Pastoral Care Action Team (PCAT) is to attend to the spiritual and emotional well being of our community. We provide caring spiritual and practical support as well as opportunities for deeper interpersonal connection and learning. We try to be responsive to ongoing and changing needs in our community. This goal is accomplished through the work of each of our subgroups and in collaboration with our Minister and other professional staff as well as the other action teams. Contact: pcat@follen.org.

 

PCAT supports and coordinates the activities of its subgroups as well as a number of support/affinity groups listed below.

Caring Congregation Committee (CCC) Supports families with children and adults with special needs and mental health issues. Caringcong@follen.org

Covenant Groups Meet once a month in small groups to provide opportunities for spiritual reflection on various themes.

Lay Ministry Assist the Minister in providing support to individuals who request the need for a caring person who can listen and respond with empathy and understanding.

Volunteer Services Network Provides meals and rides to people in our Congregation who are in need. Contact: VSN@Follen.org.

Support Group for those with Elderly Parents Meet once a month to address the challenges of caring for elderly parents.

Men’s Discussion Group Meet weekly to discuss topics determined by the group.

Remembrance Dinners Meets as needed during the church year to provide an opportunity for members and friends in the congregation to remember a loved one and to share food and conversation with others

 

Support Groups

If you would like to start a support group, PCAT has set up guidelines and has many helpful resources for you. Anyone who would like to start a group should contact the PCAT Chair, who will contact you and email the materials to you. Contact the chair at pcat@follen.org.

 

Resources for the Coronavirus

Simple Tips for Self Care
If you find yourself getting anxious during the day, try the following:

Find a comfortable chair or couch to sit on in a quiet space, if possible.  Begin by placing your feet on the floor and closing your eyes.

Grounding

  • “Ground” yourself in your body by first focusing on your feet flat on the floor. Feel your soles, toes and heels making contact with the floor.
  • Focus on the back of your thighs making contact with the seat of the chair.
  • Notice the weight of your hands resting on your thighs
  • Just rest for a moment in the sensation of the awareness of your body

Breathing

  • Place the ring finger of one hand on your belly button.
  • Next, move the same hand above the belly button and below your breast bone.
  • Take a slow deep breath in through your nose and feel your hand rising as you breathe into your abdomen. Count slowly to 4.
  • Purse your lips and breathe out through your mouth to the count of 8. The extended exhalation allows your body and mind to relax.
  • Repeat for 6-10 breaths.
  • As you breathe into your abdomen, you allow the pent up energy many of us hold in our chest area during periods of anxiety or stress, to RELEASE. Your abdominal area softens.
  • Chest breathing is what gives us headaches, chest discomfort and shoulder tension.
  • Do this exercise at least once a day alone, and with a family member in the house or a friend, neighbor, or family member over the phone.  This daily practice can help with sleep, high blood pressure, and increased heart rate. In addition to good nutrition and exercise, it goes a long way to keep you healthy.

Simple Meditations

www.meditationoasis.com (Free audio recordings on meditation and relaxation)

http://marc.ucla.edu/ (UCLA Mindful Research Center website. Free guided meditations)

www.palousemindfulness.com (Free online Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. See the Thich Nhat Hanh Ten Mindful Movements under “Yoga 1”)

The free phone Apps Calm and Insight Timer also contain some calming techniques and meditations.