“Caring is a reflex. Someone slips, your arm goes out.
A car is in a ditch, you join the others and push.
A colleague at work has the blues, you let her know you care.
It all seems natural and appropriate. You live, you help.”
– Ram Dass, How Can I Help?
On this page:
What Is the Caring Ministry Coordinating Team?
Caring Ministry Coordinating Team Members
Hospitalized or Newly Admitted to a Health Care Facility?
Medical Equipment Loans
Need Temporary Meals at Home?
Financing for Urgent Situations
Questions about College Financial Aid?
Referrals for Social Services
Referrals for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Urgent Child or Pet Care Needed?
Need Help with a Clerical Job or One-Time Household Need?
How Can I Help a Bereaved person?
What About Someone Who Is Ill?
What About Other Events Like Divorce or Job Loss?
This All Sounds Very Personal – I Really Don’t Know Many People at Church that Well
I Think that a Fellow Member Has a Serious Problem – What Can I Do?
Caring Ministry Online Signup
This ministry is based on the belief that we are all inherently worthy of care and meaningful connections with others. This ministry provides support in times of celebration and challenge. Support may include cards, calls, visits, meals, and assistance with errands, transportation, or other needs.
The Caring Ministry Coordinating Team (CMCT) is an established ministry of the UU Church of Columbia. There are many church members and friends who perform and support caring ministry activities.
If you would like to participate in this ministry, contact any of the Caring Ministry Coordinating Team members listed below, our Church Administrator or our Minister.
Many hands do make light work, and the work of your hands is needed and appreciated. Please consider joining our team and/or helping out periodically with a specific service or task. We meet monthly and keep in touch by email, phone and at weekly worship services.
“At the heart of all that civilization has meant and developed is ‘community’ – the mutually cooperative and voluntary venture of man to assume a semblance of responsibility for his brother.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Betty Acree
- James Adams
- Ellen Atkins
- Kathie Bergman, Church Administrator (ex officio)
- Ene-Kaja Chippendale
- Meredith Donaldson, Co-Chair
- Caya Tanski French
- Rev. Molly Housh Gordon (advisor)
- Cathy Johnson
- David Leuthold
- Melissa McConnell
- Robert Mize
- Patricia Morrow
- Joan Mudrick
- Winifred Scott, Co-Chair
- Diane Suhler
- Linda Valentine
- Sarah Wolcott Twaddle
Don’t hesitate to contact any one of the Caring Team members in your time of need. We can help in many ways. See below for specific types of assistance and contacts.
Ask a staff member or loved one to call Meredith Donaldson (573-829-3018) or Win Scott (573-823-8400) so that we can help with visits, cards and phone calls to check on you or your family member. It is always good to have visitors when one is recovering from surgery or a serious illness to help lift “spirits” and enhance feelings of being cared for by loving friends. A caring presence is what is offered by members of the Caring Ministry Team.
We will notify card/note writers of UU folks who need cards and letters sent to them when they are ill, hurting and/or need encouragement. Some members of the Caring Ministry may also be able to help with some aspects of discharge plans, like obtaining needed medical equipment, groceries, temporary meals, permanent “Meals on Wheels” delivery and transportation to therapy and health care appointments in the area.
Sarah Wolcott Twaddle (573-881-1210) or Cathy Johnson (573-443-7309) may be able to find just the medical equipment you need following an injury or surgery. The church may be able to provide for people in need when there is a broken bone, sprain or other health problem that requires use of special medical equipment. Such items include canes, home health equipment, walkers and crutches.
If you need temporary meals at home until “Meals on Wheels” begins or your condition improves, call David Leuthold (573-449-1358) or Ellen Atkins (573-808-1008). The Caring Ministry has offers from many volunteers who can prepare and bring a meal to you to tide you for several days until a permanent arrangement for meals provision can be finalized, or until you are again able to prepare your own meals.
Are you or someone dear to you needing a regular telephone contact with a caring person who will call regularly to check in? If so, let us make arrangements for regular calls from one of the church’s telephone friends.
A Telephone Friends coordinator will be named soon.
The Church has a Minister’s Discretionary Fund and a Benevolence Fund that can be used to provide up to limited funds for a member or friend who has an urgent unmet financial need for health care or to prevent starvation, homelessness or joblessness.
Contact the Minister (573-442-5764), Win Scott (573-823-8400) or Meredith Donaldson (573-829-0725) for assistance from these funds.
For help, please contact Diane Suhler by email.
You may also wish to visit the Unitarian Universalist Association’s scholarship webpage.
The Caring Ministry Coordinating Team has valuable information to offer regarding services, commodities and programs that may be of use to you or a loved one. Contact Win Scott (573-823-8400) or Meredith Donaldson (573-829-0725) for more information.
Contact Kathie Bergman in the church office at 573-442-5764 or Diane Suhler at 443-0549 or email to arrange a memorial service at the church for a member or friend. We can provide help with the plans, including a reception following the service.
Call Winifred “Win” Scott (573-823-8400 or 573-234-1959), a member of the Caring Ministry Coordinating Team, for names of practitioners and providers of mental health and substance abuse services. Win is a trained psychologist and can help determine need and provide qualified psychotherapy referrals, according to method of payment available to the patient.
Need an occasional ride to Sunday service or a special church event? Call Kathie Bergman at 573-442-5764 send her an email.
A volunteer transportation coordinator is being sought to arrange rides.
Call Win Scott (573-823-8400) or Meredith Donaldson (573-829-0725) to get help from the volunteers who have pledged to help with unexpected child and pet care needs.
There are a number of UUCC members and friends who have signed up to help with your special clerical or household needs. Give them a chance to be of service by calling Meredith Donaldson (573-829-3018) or Win Scott (573-823-8400).
When in doubt, err on the side of silent, but emotionally connected support. If you can’t think of something to say, a heartfelt handshake or hug is often deeply appreciated. Your contribution can be as simple as your silent presence or a sincerely expressed, “I’m sorry.” Do:
- Send a card or note
- Act natural and show genuine concern
- Offer hugs or an arm around the shoulder, as appropriate
- Say, “I love you” if you are close enough
- Share memories and talk openly about the person who died
- Cry if you feel like crying
- Offer practical assistance with meals or housework
- Keep in mind that evenings, weekends, holidays and anniversaries can be extra challenging times
- Try to avoid the bereaved person
- Pry into personal matters or the circumstances of the death
- Offer advice or quick solutions such as:
- “I know how you feel.”
- “You should ____.”
- “Time heals all wounds.”
- Try to cheer the person up or distract from the emotional intensity:
- “At least he’s no longer in pain.”
- “She’s in a better place now.”
- “It was God’s timing/will.”
- Minimize the loss:
- “Oh, it’s not that bad.”
- “You’ll be ok.”
- “Things will go back to normal.”
In addition to cheering someone up, you can make them feel treasured and less isolated when you acknowledge him or her during a time of illness. A card or note always lets someone know that you’re concerned and have been thinking of them.
When planning a visit, call first. When visiting at home, it’s simply good etiquette. At the hospital, the nurses’ desk on the floor can often make suggestions based on if the patient has had a lot of visitors, has undergone painful treatments, or simply needs to rest.
Knock and ask permission before entering the room. This will allow the patient to be prepared for someone to come in.
Be positive and simply have a conversation, friend to friend. Be ready to listen as well as talk.
Plan to keep the visit short unless you’ve been asked to do otherwise. There are times when a patient simply needs someone there while they sleep or to relieve the family but more commonly, prolonged visits may tire the patient and keep them from needed rest.
As with other types of losses, simple expressions of care and concern are often deeply appreciated.
A card, casserole or other gesture clearly says, “I know you’re going through a difficult time and I care.”
“We must serve consciously as caring role models, emphasizing the ethic of service, not consumption.” Marian Wright Edelman
It’s not necessary to be close friends to express concern and kindness. As a community that affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person, it is essential that we see everyone as deserving of our support. You can show that support in large or small ways. The important thing, often for both the giver and the recipient, is that the effort is extended.
It is often in sharing life’s events that we become more mindful and connected to one another. By reaching out with a small gesture, you may be gifted with a close, life-long friend — as well as making our church a comforting place for old and new members alike.
Simply by being a member of our church, you are a part of the Caring Ministry. Watch for announcements on how you can more fully participate in what are not only acts of caring, but opportunities for spiritual growth.
The Caring Ministry Coordinating Team or CMCT is a lay group and limited in the problems it is able to address. We cannot provide professional care or prolonged services.
For issues that may warrant professional intervention, you will be directed to member of the CMCT who is knowledgeable about resources and agencies within the larger community and may be able to provide a referral and contact information.
For more information, contact either of the CMCT Co-Chairs, Meredith Donaldson (573-829-3018) or Win Scott (573-823-8400).
Please review the options for helping before completing the form below. Feel free to add any other ways you can help in the Additional Information and Comments box at the end. Be sure to click “Submit” when you are finished filling out the form.