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

Congregational Care

As a family of faith, one of the most important things we do together is provide care for one another throughout life’s highs and lows. While we’ve called particular people from within the congregation (Deacons and Stephen Ministers—see below) to care for us, we all walk alongside one another to encourage, bless, heal, and provide hope.

To assist us in this effort, retired Minister of Pastoral Care Rev. Dr. Daniel G. Bagby has made available his most requested handouts on providing care to one another. With articles such as Visiting an Ill Church Member and Caring for Children in Grief, this guide is a practical resource as we provide care for one another. You are free to download this resource by clicking the button below.

Stephen Ministry

The Stephen Ministry provides a Christian and caring relationship between well-trained volunteers and individuals who are experiencing challenges or difficulties. The Stephen Ministry is a lay ministry of love and commitment. Please contact the church office if you are in need of a Stephen Minister or would like to become a Stephen Minister.

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

Stephen Ministers are also referred to as “After People.” This simply means that Stephen Ministers are ready to come alongside you, your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or relatives, and provide comfort and support for as long “after” 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.

Deacon Care

Deacons are lay spiritual leaders in the congregation who provide care and wisdom in worship and fellowship for the church family. Deacons usher, share in the distribution of the Lord’s Supper (communion), participate in collecting the Sunday offering, and administering a Fellowship Fund for persons in financial need, and lead in special worship services. Deacons also assist in the care and nurture of church members through small Care Group assignments and providing a weekly reception following the Sunday morning services.

If you are unsure about who your deacon is, please contact the church office

Deacon Care Groups

Each active member of the congregation is assigned the care of a deacon, who offers communication and nurture to a small group of members, providing information, learning about changes and events in their life, and keeping them abreast of important church schedules and plans.

Fellowship Fund

The Fellowship Fund is a general fund administered discreetly by the Board of Deacons for individuals who are in special need either in the River Road Church congregation or in the community at large in Richmond, Chesterfield or Henrico. Some of the specific needs addressed by the fund include assistance with:

  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Utilities, such as gas, oil, electricity and water
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Emergency lodging

The Fellowship Fund is supported by contributions made by the River Road Church congregation using the blue envelopes in the pews or through online giving. Requests for assistance from members of the church are typically made through the Pastoral Staff or the Church Administrator. If you are a community member in need of assistance, please have your social worker call the church office during office hours: 804-288-1131.

Please note that all requests must be made through a social work agency. We do not take requests directly from an individual. We typically do not honor requests of an individual more than once every 12 months.