The Role of Pastoral Care in PAC

PAC employs pastoral care workers to assist in achieving the PAC mission statement to provide care to older people with values based on the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Encouragement is given to residents, clients, staff and carers to trust in Jesus Christ for salvation and grow in their relationship with him. As Christ's representatives, pastoral care workers also provide emotional and spiritual support to residents, clients, their families and staff as they face crises or personal difficulties and address their life situations. 

The services available through pastoral care workers are detailed below:

  • One-on-One Ministry: This includes welcoming newcomers, providing emotional and spiritual support to older people and their families, dealing with issues of loss and grief and discussing faith issues. Pastoral care workers are also available to counsel staff regarding personal, family or work matters. 
  • Group Ministry: Spiritual activities are arranged in PAC residential care facilities as a means of encouraging the residents' faith in God. This may include regular church services, Bible Studies, devotions, prayer groups and celebration of specific occasions such as Christmas, Easter and ANZAC Day. Representatives from Presbyterian and other Christian churches are invited to participate in these ministries.
  • End-of-Life Care: Guidance is available on ethical issues in palliative care and end-of-life questions that may arise in the minds of residents. Upon their death, help may be given to relatives in making funeral arrangements, in dealing with grief issues and in conducting funerals where requested. In some facilities, memorial services are conducted on a regular basis to assist residents, staff and carers in the process of closure. 
  • Communication and Community Involvement: PAC pastoral care workers contribute articles to the local newsletters and PAC Chat. Annual visits by the Moderator of the NSW Presbyterian Church are arranged to PAC services. The work of PAC is promoted amongst Presbyteries and Congregations of the NSW Presbyterian Church.
  • Education and Training: Training, supervision and debriefing on pastoral issues is available for staff and volunteers - including the provision of supervised placements for students from the Presbyterian Theological College and other theological colleges. A PAC Chaplains' Conference is held annually in order to facilitate fellowship and training in pastoral skills. Pastoral care workers are also encouraged to upgrade and develop their own skills through attending conferences and training courses in the field of ministry and aged care.