Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care

Communion Visits | Daughters of the KingSamaritan Counseling Center |
Support Groups | Recovery Ministries  

Does the phrase Pastoral Care come, perhaps, from the same root word that gives us the word “pasture?” Maybe, maybe not. But that possibility puts in mind the image of Christ caring for his sheep in a peaceful, health-giving setting. That is what we seek to do as Christ’s eyes, ears, arms and legs, heart and soul; in parish pastoral care we seek to do that for our congregation.

At Calvary Church, pastoral care is a team ministry of clergy and lay people working together. This model of shared ministry allows us to offer greater support and care for our large congregation.

The Calvary clergy, in addition to their sacramental, preaching, teaching, and administrative responsibilities, offer pre-marital counseling, provide support during relationship challenges, and are available at times of crisis, illness, or death. Their professional skills and training are an essential part of the pastoral care ministry here.

However, much of the day-to-day care and support would not be possible without the dedication of numerous parishioners. In concert with the clergy, these men and women offer their time and talent to serve in the various pastoral care ministries, including care teams, Daughters of the King, home or hospital communion visitation, the Emmaus Ministry (end-of-life support), grief support, and the prayer shawl knitting ministry.  

Emergency Information Cards

The clergy of Calvary Church are committed to ministering to parishioners, particularly at times of crisis. Yet the clergy might not learn that a Calvary parishioner has had an emergency, because medical personnel did not know to contact Calvary or because new privacy laws forbid hospitals from giving out information.

To prevent this from happening, the Pastoral Care Commission asks parishioners to fill out an emergency card form. You may choose to fill in only the bare necessities, such as name, address and emergency contact. You may include more details concerning a Living Will, power of attorney, organ donation, or funeral arrangements to be available in case of emergency. This information is kept confidential, accessible only to clergy in case of emergency. 

When to Call Your Clergy

Pastoral care is important to us, and we need your help to know when you need us. Here are some examples of when you might want to contact one of the clergy…

  • When someone in your family is near death, call immediately. We want to provide spiritual support as your loved one approaches death. We want to be with you and your family, day or night, in the midst of your grief.

  • When someone in your family is ill and has been hospitalized, call one of the clergy or the parish office. We will visit you in the hospital as soon as possible. With the new privacy laws, the hospitals no longer contact churches.

  • When you or someone in your family is going to have surgery, call in advance. We'd like to visit you before, share in healing prayers, and bring communion if you wish.

  • When you are having a crisis of faith, call and make an appointment to come and sit down for a conversation with one of our clergy.

  • When you lose a job, or experience the death of a friend, or any significant loss… call.

  • When a child is born. We'd like the opportunity to make a visit to bless both parents and child.

  • When you would like to include your name on our prayer list.

  • When something wonderful is happening in your life. We know it is important to share your saddest times, but we want to be with you in the best of times, too.

Contact any of the clergy by calling 901-525-6602. After hours, an office automated answering system gives an emergency number.

Communion Visits

For parishioners who are ill or unable to be present with the Calvary community at the Sunday Eucharist, Eucharistic Visitors help fill the physical gap between home and church. Chosen and trained by the clergy to administer the elements following the liturgy, these lay ministers receive the consecrated elements and distribute them to our parishioners in homes, hospitals, and nursing homes in the community.

If you or someone you know would like to receive Communion at home, contact the Rev. Paul McLain to be placed on the list.

Calvary's Joy Chapter of the Daughters of the King

The JOY Chapter of Daughters of the King is part of a worldwide prayer order for women that was established in 1885. Our members complete a three-month discernment period which includes meeting with other members to review and discuss the Study Guide developed by the national office and creating a personal Rule of Life consisting of prayer and service. In addition, each daughter daily wears the silver cross of the Order. Each day, members pray confidentially for those in need of being lifted up for a wide variety of reasons from illness, personally or of friends and family, to joyous events such as births or weddings, to the loss of a loved one. The JOY Chapter meets monthly on the second Wednesday or the second Tuesday, alternately, at 5.30 p.m. To find out more about how to begin your discernment for membership in the Order of the Daughters of the King, contact Debbie Balling.

Samaritan Counseling Centers


The Samaritan Counseling Centers of the Mid-South, Inc. provide affordable, professional, mental health services - counseling, educational and enrichment programs and consultation services for the people of the Greater Memphis area. A not-for-profit, interfaith agency in partnership with congregations like Calvary, and the community at large, the Centers offer a full range of therapeutic and crisis intervention resources to help children, adolescents, individuals, couples and families explore issues that are barriers to emotional and spiritual health. 

Fees for services are based on individual circumstances of income and family size, and finances never preclude care. Well-trained, theologically-informed staff counselors are certified through professional organizations in compliance with state requirements. The Centers receive funding from supporting congregations, corporations, foundations and generous individual contributions. Appointments are available Monday through Friday, day or evening, at five counseling centers in Memphis and Germantown. For more information, contact Samaritan Counseling Centers.

Support Groups

Alcoholics Anonymous/AA

A non-smoking Alcoholics Anonymous group meets at Calvary, Monday through Friday at 12:00 noon. All are welcome. If Calvary is closed, the closest group is Came to Believe, 2865 Walnut Grove Road, Memphis, TN 38111 also at noon weekdays. Downtown Thursdays there is an AA meeting at St. Mary's Catholic Church,155 Market Street, 38103 at 7 p.m.

An Al-Anon group meets in Calvary's Library at 12:00 noon on Fridays.

Grief Support Group

For those who are relatively comfortable in a group setting, this excellent series of gatherings can be a helpful aid for those who have lost someone close to them, be it a spouse, child, parent, or friend.  If you have had to deal with a loss in your life and still have unresolved feelings, then this may be a way out of, or through those "dark places." The Grief Support Group is a lay-led group of people in the Calvary community who have had to deal with many of the same issues and feelings. The group meets once weekly, for approximately eight weeks. There is no cost for this confidential and supportive oasis. Participants should be prepared to attend the entire series. To learn more about upcoming sessions, contact the Grief Support Group coordinator, Nicky Hitching.


Recovery Ministries of The Episcopal Church

Recovery Ministries is an independent, nationwide network of Episcopal laity and clergy, dioceses and parishes, schools, agencies, and other institutions - all with a common commitment to address the effects of addiction, in all its forms, in relation to the church's mission.

Recovery Ministries network serves as a voice of conscience to Episcopalians throughout the world, building awareness of pastoral and spiritual ministry to those addicted. The original concept for Recovery Ministries’ mission dates from the landmark 1979 General Convention resolution on alcohol.

Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church is an organization with a mission to those who, through addiction, have lost their health and freedom. Our ministry seeks to:

  • Help the addicted and those who love them connect with spiritual resources and find lasting recovery.

    Witness to Christ’s unfailing mercy by welcoming unchurched members of Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-Step programs into an Episcopal faith community.

    Raise the awareness of bishops, and other clergy and leaders, about the disease of addiction and the redemption and grace found in recovery.

    Strengthen recovering Episcopalians in the work of their recovery and help proclaim the Gospel in the world and carry their recovery into the Church.

Learn more about Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church.