My church calls our homebound ministry the In-Home Ministry. Last night I had a long overdue conversation with the leader of our In-Home Ministry. She loves the idea of the Enrichment Center collaborating with the In-Home Ministry.
How do you work with the In-Home/Homebound ministry in your church?
Many of our Homebound do not have technology in their homes. Each week the sound booth sends an mp3 of the message to the library. The message is converted to a .wav file and copied onto a CD. The CD, , worship bulletin, printed copies of the weekly prayer list, the weekly newsletter and a devotional page from Home Touch are mailed to the Homebound. (CD players have been provided). This ministry is often the only weekly communication between an older member and the church.
Thank you, Mimi! I did meet with two members of our In-Home Ministry last Wednesday evening. They got so excited about all the ways we could collaborate to meet the needs of the people in their ministry. We are starting a card ministry which was a great suggestion to the In-Home Ministry Team.
Last year we set up a card writing station in our library, specifically for in-person church members to write notes to those who are at home. The church's thrift store donated a ton of greeting cards, get well cards, birthday cards, etc., and people stop by between services to write quick notes. We keep a list of homebound members on the table, along with the most recent church directory with photos in it, and a recent church prayer list in case some of them are in need of specific prayer. When they are done writing and addressing their notes, they leave them on my desk and I take them to the church office during the week. The church pays for the postage, which makes it possible for everyone in the church to participate in this ministry. We have some dedicated card writers!
(I literally *just* got an email from a mom whose 7yo daughter regularly sends cards through this ministry. The daughter recently received a response from the homebound member and is asking her mom if they can meet!)
Our senior adult ministry is gearing up again after a long hiatus due to covid. In March, they will have their first gathering (a lunch), and I am going to bring all of our large print books over to the lunch and set them up on a table (we only have about 55 large print books). Some of them have expressed an interest in hosting small groups or Bible studies in their homes, so I am considering bringing over our previously used group studies, too, in case any of them look interesting and relevant.
I may also put up a signup sheet at the lunch to ask if any senior adults who attend church in person would be willing to drop off library books at the homes of the at-home members who live near them.
I also offered to assist the head of our senior adult ministry with their event planning. She hasn't really needed me yet, but she includes me in their emails and therefore I am aware of their upcoming activities. Occasionally something comes up that I can help with in my capacity as the librarian.
Thanks for the great question! :)