Pastoral Care

Photo Pastoral CareSecond Presbyterian Church seeks to reflect the caring compassion of Christ. Pastoral Care provides comfort, support, and counsel during times of physical, emotional or spiritual need. Through contact with a pastor, connection to a support group, or participation in one of our ministries, we pray that persons will receive the help necessary to experience Christ’s care and be strengthened in their faith.

Prayer and Support Requests

We want to offer support to those in need. Please call Sharon Howard at (501) 227-0000 or e-mail to inform the church of a hospitalization, illness, death or prayer request. All prayer requests are shared with our ministers and our Prayer Knots team – a group of volunteers who provide intercessory prayer on a confidential basis.

Care and Concern Line: (501) 227-6117

This recording is updated Monday through Friday by 9:00 a.m. to inform church members and friends about the joys and concerns of our congregation.

Opportunities to Give or Receive Care

Our Pastoral Care Ministry offers several opportunities for members to receive and/or participate in the ministry of caring. Read on to learn ways you can share the compassion of Christ through our church’s:

  • Hospital Visitation Team
  • Friends at Home Visitation Team
  • Communion to Friends at Home
  • Pastoral Support Team
  • Prayer Knots
  • Stephen Ministry
  • Transportation Ministry
  • Adult Support Groups
  • Alzheimer’s Support Group
  • Accessibility Team
  • Welcoming Newborns
  • Cancer Support
  • In Harm’s Way Team
  • Prayer Shawl Ministry
  • Card Ministry

How can I get involved?

If you would like to use your gifts for ministry with others in our church and community, especially in the area of Pastoral Care, please contact Sharon Howard. We invite, encourage and empower through training and prayer, lay involvement in these important ministries of the church.

If you are in need of receiving help from one of our Pastoral Care groups or teams, please contact Sharon Howard, (501) 227-0000 or

Hospital Visitation Team

Hospital visitors sign up for once or twice a month visits to one particular hospital. As an example, Joe or Jane Presbyterian commit to visit church members who are at Baptist hospital on the first Monday of each month. The hospital visitation team members serve as a reminder to hospitalized congregational members of the care of the congregation. Visitation team members call the church’s Care and Concern Line, (501) 227-6117 on the day of their visit to ascertain who is in the hospital. Hospital visitors are trained on how to make visits. Visits to a patient generally last about 5 to 10 minutes at the most. Visitors are asked to leave a message on the Care and Concern line after their visit to update the church on such things as scheduled surgery or a hospital release.

Friends at Home Visitation Team

The Friends at Home visitation team strives to maintain regular contact with Second Presbyterian Church members and friends who are unable to attend worship. Sometimes, due to illness or age, these friends are confined to their homes or to nursing homes or retirement centers, either temporarily or permanently. In order to maintain contact with our Friends at Home, a volunteer church member is paired up with a friend, or a couple, and visits them on a monthly basis, or more often if they are able. This pairing allows bonds to form between church members who might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet and get to know each other, as well as providing for regular contact from the church. Training is provided for Friends at Home visitors.

Visitors also offer to arrange for such things as scheduling communion to be delivered by a pastor and members of the church, or for the church office to send copies of sermons. The visitation team member is a reminder to our friends at home that we are still thinking about them even though they are unable to come to church. The visitation team member may also inform the Friend at Home of other resources offered by the Pastoral Care Ministry, such as assistance in providing transportation to church or to a doctor’s office.

Communion with Friends at Home

On the first Sunday of each month our church family celebrates the Lord’s Supper. Several of our members are unable to attend the church service for either temporary or on-going health reasons. Friends at Home wishing to receive communion is made possible through this ministry. The pastor is assisted by an active or previously active deacon or elder in serving communion in their home or at the hospital or nursing facility. This is a meaningful experience for all. Scripture readings and prayers are always a part of these communion gatherings, and it is not unusual to experience together stories, laughter, tears, and even songs. The usual time commitment for this ministry is the first Sunday afternoon of the month from 1:30 until 3:00 p.m.

If you know of someone who would like to receive communion, please call the church office, (501) 227-0000.

Pastoral Support Team

Photo Pastoral Care LadiesThe group fondly referred to as the Monday Afternoon Pastoral Care Ladies is a faithful, hardworking group of over 25 women. These women meet every Monday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. for about 45 minutes. They offer prayers for those who are in the hospital, those who are having babies, those who are undergoing treatment, those who are serving in the military, those who are grieving, etc. They send cards, cook meals, make phone calls, and keep folks in prayer. One of the services they provide for folks who are dealing with the death of a loved one is in preparing a meal for the family or in hosting a reception at the church following a memorial service.

Pictured are Mary Ann Dillaha, Joanie McCaskill, and Joanne Riddick hosting at one of the receptions in Second Hall. As you can see, they serve Christ and his church cheerfully and joyfully, along with great kindness and care for family members and friends. We are very fortunate to have these devoted servants who truly serve the church with their gifts.

Prayer Knots

Prayer Knots team members provide intercessory prayer on a confidential basis at any time when requested by church members or friends. The Pastoral Care Ministry recruits members to be a part of the Prayer Knots, sharing information on how to improve individual and corporate intercessory prayer.

Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry provides confidential, trained Christian care giving by lay ministers in the congregation for individuals in times of crisis and transition. There are times when each of us needs the care of another person. Stephen Ministry is a program that equips lay persons to provide Christian one-to-one care to those who are experiencing all kinds of life needs and circumstances, both in our congregation, and in our community. Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of training and are supervised by the pastoral staff and Stephen Leaders.

Transportation Ministry

Members of the Pastoral Care Ministry ensure that members are not prevented from attending and participating in worship because they do not have transportation. The Ministry recruits and oversees van drivers and others who have been recruited to carry out these services.

Adult Support Groups

These groups are designed to fill in the gaps when a special need arises and is not covered by one of the other teams in Pastoral Care. One example is the Grief Support group that meets for six sessions over the holidays. Other “special needs” might include serious illness, job loss, divorce or any other life changing event. Professional, experienced facilitator(s) lead these groups.

Support Group for Alzheimer’s Family Members/Caregivers

This group exists to serve the needs of those who have a loved one with dementia. Caregiver support groups are held the first and third Thursday of each month from 1:00-2:00 p.m. in the church library. This is an open group and new members are always welcome.

Facilitators for the group include Janet Nelson, a church member who works at Alzheimer’s Arkansas and Dr. Warren Boop, church member and retired neurosurgeon who has had family experience with Alzheimer’s disease.

Several times a year a Lunch-and-Learn is provided as a tool for continuing education about dementia and areas of special concern for caregivers. Support group members and friends bring their lunch and listen to presentations by professionals concerning such topics as Grief and Bereavement, Navigating Insurance, How to Choose a Nursing Home.

Caregiving is an incredibly significant gift you give those you care for, and caregivers need care, too. Please consider joining this group of folks who will share your concerns and joys in caregiving.

For more information about Alzheimer’s, visit the Alzheimer’s Arkansas website at

Accessibility Committee

Our Accessibility Committee works to ensure that everyone can be fully involved in our church family. The committee works closely with other church committees in checking for our strengths and weaknesses in regard to welcoming and including persons with disabilities. This committee advises the church regarding ways to create usable and inclusive environments in our worship, study, and service; collaborates with members and visitors to address individual accessibility needs; and recommends innovative ways we can continually improve accessibility.

Welcoming Newborns Team

This team contacts new and expectant parents with information on programs and ministries available to them during this special time of their life, visiting the family soon after birth or adoption with gifts to welcome the child(ren), providing meal(s) if needed through the help of the Pastoral Support Group, and sending out a publication every other month concerning emotional, physical, and spiritual growth of newborns up to age two.

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Members of the Loving Hands Prayer Shawl Ministry knit or crochet prayer shawls which are blessed and given to church members and friends who will be comforted with an awareness of God’s presence and the prayers of our church family. Each person who creates a shawl prays for the receiver with every stitch.

Cancer Support Team

The Cancer Support team of our Pastoral Care Ministry support church members and families of members living with cancer by sending cards of encouragement to remind them of God’s constant, watchful care over them. This very personal form of communication – in the midst of dealing with cancer – lets these members know that God’s love is near them in the warm thoughts and prayers of their friends at Second Presbyterian Church. The Pastoral Care Ministry also offers other resources of care such as transportation to doctor’s visits or treatments, taking care of meal needs, or lending support through prayer and visitation.

In Harm’s Way Team

This group provides support for military men and women and their families by sending cards, letters and care packages; keeping in contact with family members to receive updates on service; and keeping the church aware of those serving in the military.

Card Ministry

Volunteers send cards on a regular basis to members of the congregation who are over 80 years of age or are home-confined. Individuals send birthday, Christmas, Easter and other cards to each recipient in a year. Cards and postage are provided by the Pastoral Care Ministry.