Congregational Care

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord life up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

A Ministry of Care

As a family of faith, one of the most important and meaningful things we do is care for one another as we journey through life’s joys and sorrows. Together with our ministerial staff, others are called from the congregation to serve and care for us on our faith journey, to walk alongside us to encourage, bless, heal, and offer hope. As deacons, as Stephen Ministers, and as a church family, we are called to support and care for one another. We do so with God’s help.

Deacon Care

Deacons are men and women called to serve as spiritual leaders of the church. The call to deacon service is an honor. Once ordained, deacons typically serve actively in three-year terms, up to two terms consecutively, to:

  • Serve the Lord with a generous spirit, willingly contributing time and talents in support of Christ’s kingdom.
  • Provide leadership in worship.
  • Support the care and fellowship of the church family.
  • Extend Christ’s love to the community, both in and outside the church walls.

In worship, deacons share in serving the elements of the Lord’s Supper (communion), collecting the offering, and welcoming members and visitors alike as we gather to worship. Deacon teams also encourage us in fellowship by hosting informal receptions after worship throughout the year.

Serving Care Groups

Deacons help to nurture our church fellowship through a ministry of outreach and care to an assigned small group of church members, offering help and support when needed, and providing a connection to the church family. Each member of the congregation is assigned to a deacon care group.

Providing Assistance: The Fellowship Fund

The Board of Deacons supports and discreetly administers the Fellowship Fund to assist individuals in special need, both in the River Road Church family and in the community at large in Richmond, Chesterfield or Henrico. The fund is sustained by the contributions of the congregation, which may be made using the blue envelopes available in the pews or through online giving. Gifts are welcome, encouraged, and necessary in all seasons of the year.

How the Fund Can Help...

The Fellowship Fund provides assistance for specified needs, including:

  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Utilities, such as gas, oil, electricity, and water
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Emergency lodging
How to Request Assistance...

Members of the congregation are encouraged to contact a member of the pastoral staff personally to request assistance.

Community members in need should have their social worker, case worker, or counselor call the church office (804-288-1131) during office hours, typically 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Please note: Individual requests from the community must be made through a social work agency. We are unable to take requests directly from an individual, and we can honor requests of any individual only once every 12 months. Funds granted will be made payable to and mailed directly to the creditor. Funds are not available from the church office.

Stephen Ministry

The Stephen Ministry exists to provide a caring Christian relationship between well-trained volunteer caregivers and individuals who are experiencing challenges or difficulties. The Stephen Ministry is a lay ministry of love and commitment. If you are in need of a Stephen Minister or would like to become a Stephen Minister, please contact the church office.

A Stephen Minister is someone who cares, listens, shares, and supports and who commits to providing strictly confidential and distinctively Christian care. Each minister receives 50 hours of initial formal training, and receives ongoing supervision and training.

Stephen Ministers are also known as the “after people,” meaning that Stephen Ministers stand ready to come alongside you, your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or relatives, and provide comfort and support for as long “after” as it is needed.

Stephen Ministers are there:

After you’ve washed and returned the last casserole dish.
After the divorce papers have been served and the bottom falls out of your life.
After the last child honks the horn, waves, and drives away—and the house suddenly seems incredibly empty.
After you arrive home following the funeral service and the emotions you’ve held at bay come crashing in on you.
After the relationship has ended, but the wounds are still bleeding.
After the miscarriage loss and a deep sense of helplessness presides.
After the doctors have said, “There’s nothing more we can do.”
After the door has slammed shut—for the very last time.

After the phone call you’d always hoped you’d never get.
After you realize the hands on the gold watch you received at your retirement party move more slowly than you ever imagined.
After the nursing home director shakes your hand and says, “Welcome to your new home.”
After the gavel goes down, the handcuffs go on, and your loved one is led away.
After the baby has arrived, putting more demands on you than you ever dreamed possible.
After you find the pink slip inserted with what is now your final paycheck.
After your family and friends have heard your story one too many times, but you still need to talk it out.

Pastoral Care Support

Members of our church family, including our lay leader caregivers, are guided in caring for and supporting each other by the pastoral staff. Our Minister of Pastoral Care is available to help and can be reached through the church office.

We also are fortunate to have a valuable resource of pastoral care writings and guidelines available, a gift of retired Minister of Pastoral Care, the Rev. Dr. Daniel G. Bagby. Dan has made available his most requested handouts on providing care to one another, developed over his distinguished career as a pastor and educator. Including such topics as Visiting an Ill Church Member and Caring for Children in Grief, this guide is a practical resource in offering care to one another. You may download this resource by clicking the button below.