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   Christian Concourse - LTC MINISTRY

A Handbook for Nursing Home (LTC) Ministry - 5th Edition

Programs - Section 10

A program is a regularly scheduled, on-going procedure, service or activity performed for the benefit of long-term care facility residents. Programs are at the heart of ministering to the needs of residents because they are organized and designed and scheduled in advance to do just that. Programs are the most effective and efficient manner for bridging between the community and the facility population. Programs give the volunteer a framework for their service so that time and resource commitments are predictable and manageable. Having a prescribed program in a nursing home helps the organizers when recruiting volunteers. By defining a program of activity, the volunteer, the activity director and the resident are shielded from unrealistic expectations.

All activity directors are skilled in "Programming." In fact, it is a field of study which some have college degrees in. Go to the activity director at the facility in which you volunteer and get assistance in setting up and improving your program.

In this section we provide a brief definition and some tools for several programs which are popular in care facilities.


Care Package Program


Although normal supplies are adequate, the residents of long-term care facilities, especially nursing homes and assisted living facilities, could often use personal items and clothing. There are many opportunities here for small groups and local churches to be a blessing in a tangible way to these sweet people. Below is a flyer you can download and use to promote the "care package program." On it is the list of items approved by activity directors to bring to the facility.

There are a number of ways you can go about sharing your gifts. Of course, you will need to contact a local facility to coordinate your intentions with the activity director. You can accumulate them and take them gift wrapped for Christmas or monthly birthday parties. Label each gift-wrapped package with a tag identifying the content. You can deliver them loose to the activity director at a facility near you for them to distribute at their discretion. Also, in the Hampton Roads area, you can call Christian Concourse at (757) 714-3133, and we will make arrangements with you to see to their appropriate placement.


Care Package Flyer   ( click here for a free ".pdf" download - a single 8 1/2 X 11 page)  

Note: When you click on the link for the form above you must have Adobe Reader loaded on your machine to see and print it. Click here to go to the Adobe website to download a free copy. 


Care Packages For Your Friends At Local Nursing HomesCare Package


Help show these sweet people that they are not forgotten! Pick up some of the items from the list below on your next trip to the store. Take them to your local care facility . . . or, if you are in the Hampton Roads area call Christian Concourse to deliver them for you: (757) 714-3133


Combs / Brushes Wrapping Paper Cellophane Tape
Regular Socks Warm Socks Ribbons
Lotion After Shave Deodorant
Tone / Dove Soap Small Cologne Toothpaste
Jewelry Polident Lap Blankets
Puzzles Change Purses Blush (Rose)
Nail Polish Scarves Emery Boards
Polish Remover Slumber Caps Mouth Wash
Hair Rollers Panti-Hose Knee-hi's
Stationary Writing Pens Powder
Audio Tapes Video Tapes / DVD's Shampoo / Rinse
Lg. Print Bibles Note Pads Small Kleenex
Hair Tonic Gloves Wallets
Baby Dolls Ethnic Baby Dolls Stuffed Animals



Horticulture Therapy Orchids blooming


Horticulture therapy (or garden therapy) is helping care facility residents to work with or be around living plants and gardens of all sorts and sizes, indoors and outdoors. The range of plants with which the volunteer could work would include small potted vegetables and ornamentals, cut wildflower bouquets, raised planters (for wheelchair access) on outside patios, flower beds in courtyards, and complete vegetable gardens on the grounds of the facility.

It would be best if the volunteer had some education or successful experience in whatever level of horticulture they wish to pursue with the residents. If that is not the case, the volunteer would need, at least, to be willing to read and follow the instructions of a good book on the subject. Let us note here that the type of horticulture therapy should be chosen in the light of the interests of specific residents. In the same vein, it is best when the program is designed to keep the residents closely involved with the complete process, giving them hands-on opportunities as much as possible. There may even be the occasion for the resident to supervise the activity in the light of their past experience with plants.

Potted shrub with blossemsFor training classes, resources and ideas in fashioning a horticulture therapy program, contact your community garden club or a local lawn and garden center or nursery.


In the Hampton Roads area, the "Master Gardeners" volunteer program of Virginia Cooperative Extension provides excellent training for those seeking more formal instruction. They can be reached at (757) 683-2816. For answers to specific questions concerning gardening, you can call their hotline at (757) 683-2855. The Norfolk, VA Master Gardner program's website is


There are "Master Gardner" programs associated with colleges in many places throughout the United States.  The Virginia State organization of "Master Gardeners" has a website at: 


Pet Therapy


Pet therapy, or animal assisted therapy, is recognized by professional care-givers as a program which has great benefits to residents of care facilities. It is remarkable to see the change come over the elderly nursing home residents' faces when the animals visit. For many of the residents who are limited to a wheelchair and their imaginations, the distractions like the ones the animals provide are the highlights of their day. Think, for a moment, how you would feel, as a lifelong friend to animals, to be bed bound and have no contact with pets of any kind. You would be VERY happy to have someone stop by your bed with their dog or cat that you could look at and pet. Most activity directors would be thrilled to have faithful pet therapy volunteers. Visits can be made any day of the week and at any time of the day except mealtimes. So it is easy to fit this volunteer program into your schedule.


If you have invested in professional obedience school for your dog, it only takes a couple of hours a month to put that training to work bringing good cheer to others. What a great way to let your dog do something besides lying around the house and eating. Most friendly dogs LOVE to be petted by other people and show off their trick repertoire for a treat. Your dog will have fun and SO WILL YOU!!!Wheel chair and dog.


Dogs do not have to be purebred; they just have to be well-groomed, clean, controllable, and have an owner who is willing to volunteer some time. Cats are also very popular with the elderly. Baby goats, goslings, rabbits, and even turtles have been brought by children to nursing homes for very successful pet therapy sessions.


If you have a dog, ask yourself these simple questions:

Does my dog love people?
Does my dog like to be petted?
Does my dog have a sweet disposition?
Is my dog well-mannered, not jumping up on people?

If your answer is "Yes" to each of these questions, then there probably is an activity director at a local care facility who would love to talk to you! There is a place in pet therapy for all dogs, both big and small, mixed breed and pure bred, show dog or house dog.

As a practical consideration, pet therapy must always be done with the immediate accompaniment of designated care facility staff. In addition, there are organizations which provide specific training and registration for the therapy dog and its owner. For more information, contact a local canine training center, or communicate directly with the following certifying organizations:


Therapy Dogs Inc.
P.O. Box 20227
Cheyenne WY 82003

Phone: 877-843-7364
Phone: 307-432-0272.
Fax: 307-638-2079


Therapy Dogs International
88 Bartley Road
Flanders, NJ 07836
Phone: (973) 252-9800
Fax: (973) 252-7171



Caregiving One-On-One

or..."Personal Visits"   or..."Individual Ministry"


A "One-On-One" program is just that: a volunteer going to see residents one at a time. Sometimes this involves just one resident per visit to the facility, while other volunteers prefer to visit several, one at a time, per visit. Sometimes, a volunteer will be involved with only one resident, period. It is important for the volunteer to work closely with the activity director in tailoring this type of program to the needs of specific residents.

"One-On-Ones" is the program of choice for many Christian volunteers. It seems that some are specially gifted in this type of intimacy . . . they thrive on giving it and the residents greatly appreciate getting it. As Christians, we know that this is mature love, or charity, in its purest form. It is an unselfish, thoughtful sharing of time, attention, compassion, respect, touch, patience and kindness.


One-on-one visitA volunteer giving residents personal concern and compassion, specifically directed toward them as individuals, is at the center of all care facility ministry. Entertaining a group is good. Performing for audiences in care facilities is meaningful and meets a need. Whatever the skills and talents are that we take to a nursing home, our presence provides valuable, irreplaceable input. And the exercise of the skills and talents on behalf of those who are hurting and lonely should be a function of our empathy and feeling for their needs.

No matter what type of volunteering we do in a long-term care facility, we will inevitably find ourselves in circumstances where we are one-on-one with a resident. Whether we are comfortable or not with this type if interaction, there are several things we will benefit from if reminded of them. In the following paragraphs is information from other sources which deal with many of the issues and circumstances faced in one- on-one settings. 


Tips On Visiting Friends and Relatives

(This section copied from a pamphlet published by the American Health Care Association.)


What do you think life would be like if you were living in a nursing home? You might be conscious of being physically removed from your familiar home and community. You might feel lost, unsure of how you will adjust to this new place. You may feel that you've somehow been rejected.

During this time of transition, the need for human interaction is especially important. Maintaining ties with friends and family helps to assure the new resident that he or she has not been abandoned, that important relationships will continue just as they did outside the nursing home.

You, as the visitor, may feel anxious at the thought of visiting a long-term care setting.  "Nursing homes depress me," many people say.

At first, the sight of so many elderly people who have suffered some form of disability may be upsetting. But you must learn to look beyond the physical appearances. Think of each resident as an important individual who has lived a long and full life, and whose uniqueness does not depend on physical appearance.

You may be bothered by those who appear to be confused or disoriented.  Keep in mind that these people can be reached by simply holding their hands and looking into their eyes. Even a person in the later stages of Alzheimer's Disease will still respond to tenderness and affection.

As you make plans to visit someone living in a nursing home, remember that the facility is that person's home, and you should show the same sort of respect you showed when the resident lived outside the facility. Call and ask what time is convenient for you to pay a visit. A resident may feel more energetic or sociable at certain times of the day. Or he/she may simply have other plans. In addition, he/she will have that visit to look forward to, which extends the pleasure. Most facilities have very liberal visiting hours lasting 10 to 12 hours during the day. Be sure to check on these hours before you visit so you don't interrupt meals, bath-times or other regularly scheduled events. Some nursing homes encourage visitors to join residents at mealtimes. If you decide to do so, you should expect to pay for your meal.

One word of caution about visiting: there is a tendency to "promise a rose garden" and be unable to deliver. Do not promise to visit and not come. If you cannot keep an appointment, call in advance and immediately suggest an alternate time.

When you and your friend or relative are planning your visiting times together, look over your schedule carefully and realistically. Decide how much time you can spend each week or month. Realistic planning avoids disappointment for the resident and feelings of guilt or anger for you.


Who Should Visit?


Anyone who was important to the resident outside the facility [as well as willing volunteers], should visit him/her in the nursing home, children included. Young children rarely react negatively to aging or sick individuals. On the other hand, teenagers and older children may need some time to adjust. Staff members, particularly activity directors, can be helpful in aiding this process.


Planning for the Visit


Some people feel that they don't know what to do during a visit to a nursing home. In this case, simply ask yourself what activities you enjoyed with this person outside the nursing home. Did you listen to music together? Did you play cards? Did you watch old movies? There is no reason you can't continue to share these same activities in the facility. And there are many other activities that you can try to help make visits rich and interesting.

One idea which is always very therapeutic is to bring the family pet to the nursing home. The benefits to the elderly of contact with animals is widely acknowledged. Seeing the family pet would be especially uplifting. Be sure to contact the administrator in advance to make arrangements.

If you videotape family events - graduation ceremonies, little league games, school plays, and the like - make arrangements to show the videos to the resident if he/she cannot attend these events. This will give him/her a better sense of contact with family and the outside world. Showing the resident family photographs will serve the same purpose.

Or why not treat the new resident (female) to a manicure or fix her hair? This sort of physical contact is very important to the nursing home resident. And your acknowledgment of her concerns about her physical appearance will mean a great deal as well.

Elderly people often have difficulty writing letters. You can have a very productive visit by taking dictation from the resident. And the resident will most certainly receive mail in return, which he/she will cherish more than you can imagine.

If the resident is a fan of games, bring along your checkers or chess set, scrabble board, or deck of cards.

And when you're at a loss for ideas, check with the facility's activity director. They will likely provide you with a whole list of ideas and possibly materials with which to work. (See the "Games and Activities" section in this handbook.)


The Visit


When people come to visit you, they come to the door and knock or ring the bell. A resident room in a nursing home is an individual's home. Knock before entering and ask permission to enter. If the resident is unable to respond, then announce yourself before walking in.

Greetings usually involve some sort of physical contact. You shake hands or hug or kiss. Touching tells us that we are accepted, human, and desirable. Staff members try, of course, to provide affection, but they can never fill the shoes of the family and friends of the resident. Once in the room, make some form of physical contact unless it is absolutely inappropriate.


A Note on Visiting a Comatose Resident


There are some instances in which you may think visiting is pointless. Visiting is never pointless. Even if a resident is comatose, you should continue visiting. No one knows exactly what senses remain in a comatose person; however, we do know that hearing is the last sense to disappear. Visit, announce yourself, and touch the comatose person as you always have. Then you can sit by the bedside and hold the resident's hand, stroke the forehead or whatever is comfortable for you. You can even talk quietly, or read the Bible, since the resident may hear exactly what you are saying.


Visits Outside the Nursing Home


Many residents are able to leave the facility for a meal, a day, a weekend, or a vacation. And these sorts of outings mean a great deal to them. Visits outside the nursing home reinforce the fact that the resident is still a vital part of family and community. In addition, it may reinforce the benefits the nursing home affords. The difficulty of bathrooms and steps that are not designed for handicapped people will become readily apparent.

If you are considering taking a resident out of the nursing home, plan first with the resident. Then be sure to tell the staff, so they can have medicines and special equipment ready. It is wise to give a week's notice if any special arrangements need to be made.

Visiting should be pleasant and enjoyable for family, friends and nursing home resident. Plan ahead, involve the resident, and above all: don't let his/her "nursing home resident" status interfere in the wonderful relationship you have always enjoyed.


Ideas for One-On-One Activities with Residents.

(Taken from the web site of the American Health Care Association and from material compiled by Phyl Gordan in "The Adopt-A- Grandparent Girl Scout Patch Program," used by permission. )


Take note of special occasions like Saint Valentine's Day, Mother's and Father's Days, holidays, and birthdays. Mail can double as decorations for the resident's room. Select bright, colorful note cards, scenic postcards or page-a-day calendar classics they will enjoy seeing on their walls. 

Choose one topic concerning the elderly and read newspaper articles and/or magazine articles on this topic. Discuss this topic with the resident.

Find out what country the resident comes from (or his/her ancestors) and plan a discussion around that country.

Discuss your family name and share interesting findings about it. If possible, ask the resident to share the story of his/her family name.

Teach a resident a craft, e.g., drawing, painting, clay sculpture, pottery, graphics, macrame. Consider their physical and mental limitations.

Make a grocery list including prices for one meal. Discuss cost of food now and "back then" with the resident.

Ask the resident what invention during his/her time meant the most to him/her. Discuss with them what the world might be like after the year 2050.

Learn several songs from the period between 1920 and 1960. Sing them and/or play them on an instrument for the resident. Encourage them to join in singing. Ask him/her to name some of his/her favorite songs.

Ask the resident about his/her childhood Christmases.

Have a picnic indoors with an outdoor centerpiece.

Learn some exercises that the resident can do and teach him/her to do them.

Make a time capsule and give it to him or her to be opened in a year. Be sure the resident contributes to the capsule.

With the resident, invent and make a toy that will teach a small child to count or learn his ABC'S.

Find out what his/her hobbies or special interests were/are, and discuss them.

Bring large print books from the public or church library and return them (a great way to help the confined reader!).


For more ideas, see Section 11, "Games & Activities."


"Church Services"


Many care facility residents feel deeply the need for gathering with other believers in a fashion similar to the memories they hold dear from their experiences in their home church. They want to sing the old hymns and choruses they learned years ago. They want someone to pray with them for their needs and concerns. They want someone to share with them encouragement and exhortation from God's Word. In simple terms, they usually feel like they have "been to church" if the program provided by volunteers includes a song service, a prayer and a short sermon. Solo singing is especially enjoyed.

We have witnessed many different styles of conducting care facility church services. Most are rewarding and enriching to the spiritual lives of the residents. And most conform to the basics listed in the previous paragraph. We encourage you to be creative and enthusiastic in your efforts to meet this great need in the lives of the residents to whom you minister. Here is a description of how we, at Christian Concourse, do a church service in a nursing home, realizing that many other formats will serve just as well.


Our Goal


As we discuss in Section 6, "Profile of the Care Facility Population," Christian nursing home residents share a spiritual need with everyone else: they need encouragement in their faith in Jesus Christ. To this end (using songs, poems, Bible readings, prayers, exhortations and sermonettes) we try to include in our "Church Services" the following four ingredients:

- Remind them of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.

- Encourage them in their faith in Him.

- Tell them the "Old, Old Story" over and over again!

- Pray with them.


Setting Up


My wife and I conduct the services together whenever possible. It is good to get to the facility early, in order to help assemble residents whom you know want to participate. On weekends, often there are no facility staff members available to assemble the residents for you. Therefore, it is good if you minister with a group, several of whom are assigned this task. It is also important to have a staff member (preferably) or several in your group who sit among the residents and tend to their needs during the service.

We carry into the facility a portable "amplifier/speaker," a wheeled briefcase, and a music stand.

Another choice for the speaker system is a lightweight Radio Shack Karaoke System. It has a dual cassette tape player/recorder, a CD player, twin microphone jacks, all the necessary controls and plenty of amplification for just about any care facility room. One hand-held microphone comes with the unit.

The briefcase contains all the materials that we use during the service: an ample supply of "Favorite Hymns of Grace" and its accompanying CDs, volumes of inspirational poetry, Bibles, devotional materials, an extension cord, and two hand-held microphones.

The music stand folds up into its own carrying case and serves in the place of a podium to hold songbooks so our hands will be free. Some facilities have podiums, but most do not.


Opening the Service


We always begin the service with an enthusiastic greeting. We introduce ourselves and the ministry of Christian Concourse briefly for new residents and for those who have met us but may not remember our names. We tell the residents what it is we have come to do: to encourage them in their faith in Jesus Christ. And encourage them in their faith in Jesus Christ is precisely what it is we do in the process of the service, because most of those who willingly participate in a care facility church service have already, according to their understanding, placed their faith in Jesus Christ. At the same time, somewhere in the course of every service we conduct, I will quote John 3:16, encouraging anyone who has not already done so, to ask the Lord to forgive them of their sins and place their faith in Him.

In the opening of every service, we pray. In the prayer we thank God for the opportunity of being there. We thank the Lord for our friends who have gathered with us; we ask the Lord to encourage each one in their faith in Him and minister to each one of us according to our needs.


The Song Service

Compact DiskFollowing the opening of the service, we begin singing. We use a CD called "Favorite Hymns of Grace" produced by Christian Concourse in instrumental or vocal editions. The CD, with 27 old fashioned hymns, comes with a song booklet which is designed specifically for use with it in nursing home ministry.


A word about the songs you select: though the residents typically enjoy any type of singing, our experience is that they greatly appreciate the old hymns which they are most likely to remember the words to. No matter what style of music you prefer to use, it will be a blessing, but we suggest that you not forget to include some of the old songs for them to sing along with too. If you give songbooks to the residents, they should be large print, and you will need to wait patiently for each one to find the next selection. Remember this: your tastes are not as important as the residents' needs.

When we sing, we do so with much feeling and enthusiasm and energy. We do everything we can to encourage the residents to sing with us and clap their hands to the faster tunes if they are able and are so inclined. Often, we comment on the songs, before or after singing them, regarding their message and their relevance to them in their situation. As often as possible, we try to tie together our sermonette with the message in the song on the tape that we use to precede or follow it.

Occasionally, a facility will have songbooks which their residents are accustomed to using. You can offer them choices, keeping in mind, though, that it is better to allow them to decide for themselves what to use for their song service. Sometimes, a facility has a resident who is expected to play the piano for the service. Sometimes, you will be asked to lead songs which you did not prepare for. In every case, you will need to be as obliging and good natured about it all as possible. We try to think of it this way: it is the Lord who does the blessing and the ministry in our service; and we don't want to get between Him and the residents' hearts with our inflexibility.


Favorite Hymns of Grace
As mentioned previously, Christian Concourse Ministries, Inc. publishes a large-print booklet called "Favorite Hymns of Grace." It includes 27 all-time favorite gospel hymns. With the hymn book, we have produced CDs of instrumental or vocal accompaniment music that has on them all the songs in the booklet. As our resources allow, they are provided without charge to anyone requesting the materials who is willing to volunteer to help us distribute them to individuals receiving long-term care. 

Christian Christmas Carols
In addition, we have a large-print booklet called "Christian Christmas Carols" which also comes with an instrumental accompaniment CD.  It has twelve of the most favorite old Christmas carols.  These, too, are available without charge to anyone who is willing to volunteer to help us distribute them to the residents of care facilities. 

Worship Service Programs
In addition to the information on this page we also have on this site, "Worship Service Programs" to help with conducting "church services" in care centers.  This is a free download which you can use to make "Church Bulletins" that include a poem, a responsive reading, hymn selections from "Favorite Hymns of Grace" and a short devotional with opening and closing prayers.  Please follow the link above for more information. 

More Info
If you would like more information on any of our free materials, call, write or leave a message in our Guestbook today.  Phone: (757) 714- 3133 Mail: Christian Concourse, 1543 Norcova Ave., Norfolk, VA 23502. 

Sonshine Society
Another source for sing-along tapes and large-print songbooks is The Sonshine Society, P.O. Box 327, Lynnwood, WA 98046-0327, phone (425) 353-4732.  They also have a wonderful devotional book with great material for sermonettes. 

There are other CD and MP3 recordings available that may meet your needs just fine. Some are a "split-track" recording with which you can use just instrumental music or have singing backup by adjusting the left and right speaker output on your player. 




Often, strategically placed between songs, we will read a poem or a short inspirational devotion which enhances the sermonette in some way. Many residents look forward to this with keen appreciation for the poetry and its message. A good source for Christian poetry is Salesian Missions Publications, 2 Lefevre Lane, New Rochelle, NY 10801, phone: (914) 633-8344.  Also, visit section 12 of this handbook, "Poetry," for poems for use in LTC ministry.




As mentioned above, we pray in the opening of each church service we conduct in care facilities. This is formally called an invocation. At the end of each church service we also pray. This is formally called a benediction in which we again ask the Lord to touch and strengthen hearts and thank Him for the blessings we have received. In our prayers, we often ask the Lord to forgive us of our sins, to lift suffering off those who are hurting and to save the souls of those we each may know who are lost. We consider these prayers to be vital "bookends" to our efforts.

On occasion, it is obviously appropriate to pray in the middle of the service. This prayer may be a way to draw the audience back into a worshipful attitude after some disruption or distraction. Or we may pray for specific needs that we are aware of in our group. In some cases, residents will pass along to us prayer requests and the names of those in the hospital or those very ill and in bed.

At some point in our prayers during the service, we are careful to pray for the staff of the facility and for the residents who were not able to make it to the service. God is good, and He gracefully responds to the prayerful faith in our cry, and the faith in the hearts of our audience, for His intervention on their behalf.

Some do not feel comfortable praying extemporaneously in public.  If that is the case, a good source for written prayers are books by Word Ministries, Inc.




After prayer and singing and poetry, we preach. The message is not a long, drawn out dissertation on systematic theology, but rather a short sermonette that varies in length from 5 to 20 minutes long, depending on the type of audience and the situation. We use down to earth illustrations of Biblical truths that are universal yet relevant to the circumstances and experiences unique to the group we minister to. This takes some consideration . . . experience is the best teacher. We try to look at our audience. We consider what they have been through in their lives. We consider the state in which they find themselves now. We consider how long many of them have been faithfully walking with Jesus!  In this light, we make a concerted, determined effort to strengthen their faith in Him with our words - from our heart.

The following are three examples of the type of material we use in the sermonette.


Sermonette Sample One: "God Strengthens!"


"At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, . . . ."  2 Timothy 4: 16-17 (KJV)

Often, we feel deserted and betrayed by others. Paul certainly felt this way. He is writing this letter to Timothy, a beloved student. From a dark, damp, cold Roman prison cell, Paul awaits execution. During the trial he had no one to help him defend himself before the Emperor. The charge, the verdict, and the sentence were unjust. He was going to pay with his head for trying to help folks avoid hell! And he was just being obedient to what the Lord had called him to do! Think about it . . . after all Paul had done for so many people . . . and how faithfully he had served Jesus for all those years! Now he was going to be executed for it. If anyone ever had a reason to get mad at God, Paul did. BUT, instead of getting mad at God, he leaned more heavily upon Him. And what did the Lord do? Commute the death sentence? Destroy the Emperor? Confuse Paul's accusers? Help Paul escape from prison? No. What DID the Lord do? He stood with Paul, because Paul kept his heart open to Jesus. He loved Jesus. And he never stopped loving Jesus, no matter what. And what else did the Lord do? He strengthened Paul! The God of the universe not only kept Paul company through his trial, He also gave him the possession of strength inside, of personal fortitude, of supernatural calm in the storm!

Oh! How often this is unlike my response to the troubles of life! I'm subject to get upset with God and everyone around me if things get too bad. But, like Paul, when I lean on Jesus in the storm, when I call on Him, instead of blame Him, He always comforts me with the reassurance of His presence and with the strength to keep my peace and joy in the thick of it all. This is not theory or cold theology. This is not fables and dreams. The experience of His strength imparted to us is real and vital and available to us all, all the time! May we be evermore encouraged to seek the Lord, not run from Him and blame Him and get bitter in trials. And if we could talk to Paul now, I'm sure he would say it was worth it all.


Sermonette Sample Two: "How Much Rat Poison Is Too Much?"


Imagine with me being at a delicious July 4th cookout in your back yard. Roasted silver queen corn, a baked potato right out of the coals, and corn bread from your grandmother's special recipe baked in a Dutch oven over the open fire . . . all of it floating in real country, hand-churned butter. And right in the middle of the huge platter on which this feast is served, is a great big, thick, juicy T- Bone Steak!

And your next door neighbor's rambunctious little boy comes over and sprinkles rat poison over this scrumptious meal while you're up to get a refill of ice tea before you get started!

The foaming white ooze on your T-Bone immediately alerts you to the prank and your neighbor's belly laugh over the fence tells you who's to blame. You stomp over to the edge of your yard and start to vent your anger when your neighbor defensively blurts out, "Hey, wait a minute, my little boy only put a sprinkle of the stuff on your plate. It won't hurt you!" Relieved you calm down and settle back into your chaise lounge to enjoy your banquet.

WRONG! You wouldn't touch the stuff would you? Why not? Because you don't want ANY rat poison on your T-Bone. None, zero, zilch, right?

Ezekiel 18: 4 quotes God as saying, "The soul that sins shall surely die." God doesn't want any rat poison on His plate either!

And in Romans 3:23, Paul states that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." So we have a very big problem! We all live under a death sentence. But, unlike your neighbor, our Heavenly Father doesn't think it's funny. In fact, He was the only one who could justly do anything about it . . . He was the only one who could clean that lovely meal of its contamination. And He did! Praise God!

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3: 16 (KJV).

May each of us NEVER FORGET this simple message. A lot follows our faith in Jesus Christ because it releases to us an eternity of wonderful, growing life, but without that uncomplicated faith we are DEAD!


Sermonette Sample Three: "The Power of Love"


"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." 1 John 4: 7-9 (KJV).

The following is a true story. In the early days of aviation, a small postal service company was trying to establish air mail over the Andes mountains between Peru and Argentina. They hired a young, brave pilot who was newly wed. The couple was deeply in love. Not long after taking the job, due to unexpected problems, the young man ran out of gas in the middle of the huge mountain range. He crash landed in a frozen, jagged wasteland in the middle of the Andes. For days he waited for rescuers to find him. He saw one plane searching for him, but they did not see him or the flare he fired. A few hours later a blizzard swept into the mountains and he realized that the search would be called off.

Though the usual rule is for survivors to stay at the crash site, it became clear to the downed flyer that his only hope was to find his way out of the mountains before he starved or froze to death. Most of his thoughts were absorbed by the vision of his little wife waiting and praying patiently, as she did on each of his flights, for him to come home. Scaling peak after peak, the prospects of success diminished each time he broke the next crest just to see more of the forbidding wasteland stretching as far as he could see in every direction. After many days of struggle, fighting frostbite and overwhelmed with the hopelessness of his situation, he finally decided in his frozen delirium to lay down and die. He built a pillar of rocks around him to mark his body and began to say goodbye to his beloved wife. But the thought of her tormented despair . . . the longing in his heart to comfort her . . . . Deep within his being he could hear her calling, "Don't give up! I love you! I need you!"

Somehow, someway, the lost pilot's stiffened limbs moved. The rocks piled to mark his death slowly rolled away. He dragged his body erect with determination, ignoring the agony, ignoring the hopelessness. A few hours later, exhausted and frostbitten, the lost young man crumbled off a shelf of snow on a mountainside into a valley of grass where a shepherd found him and brought the rescuers to his aid.

As soon as the delivered newlywed, warm and recovering, could get to a phone, he called his precious wife. All he said was: "I love you, thank you for saving my life!"

Each of us, in our own situation is much like that pilot. We find ourselves often in desperate circumstances, enduring hardship and pain. Christians are all on a spiritual trek over hostile territory, struggling with our own weakness in the face of insurmountable odds. How many times have we felt like giving up? The lost pilot found strength in the love he and his wife shared for each other. May God grant us such a vision of His love for us, that no matter what comes our way, the love He has for us and the love we have for Him will keep us faithful until we hear our name on His lips calling us home! When we are tempted to give up, let us remember how He loves us.


A Word About Bible Translations


Because most of the dear souls in the facilities to whom you will be ministering are elderly, we would remind you that the majority of them were raised with either the King James Version being used in the church and in the home or the Revised Standard Version. We know that, today, there are many newer versions which have advantages for many different reasons. But, if you use them, it may not make a big difference to most, but a few in your audience will not think you are reading from Holy Scripture unless it is the "KJV" or the "RSV." For this reason, if you are really uncomfortable with the wording of these classic translations, we suggest you try the excellent work of the New King James Version or the New Revised Standard Version. For clarity, it may often be appropriate to read a verse or two from more than one translation.


Memorial Services


How to Do a Memorial Service


In the event of the death of a resident, the care facility may choose to offer a memorial service for the staff, residents and family members to participate in. In the following material a sample invocation and benediction is included, along with a generic announcement to be used on the bulletin boards of the facility, a "Sample Letter to Friends and Family," and generic Memorial Service Programs. The programs (or service bulletins) offer a format for a service including an invocation, a popular hymn, a responsive reading, a time of reflection on the lives of those who have passed, an appropriate poem and a benediction.


By using these materials and following the simple programs provided, a staff member, a capable resident or a volunteer from the Christian community can conduct the memorial service. The "Sample Notice to Staff and Residents" can be used to invite them to join in the memorial. Use the "Sample Letter to Friends and Family" to invite the loved ones of the deceased to the service.


Memorial Service Invocation Prayer:


Heavenly Father, We set ourselves aside in these moments, Before Your Presence, To commemorate the lives of these, our friends and family.
We ask you for comfort in this time of loss. May the good memories of our loved ones who have gone before us Serve to inspire us here to a better life in Your sight and before our fellow man.
Thank you Lord,



Memorial Service Benediction Prayer:


Father God, Truly, You are the Hope of life And we acknowledge Your Providence and Care In the lives of these our loved ones. We thank you for letting us be near them And to know them. We thank You for their lives. And we now commit them into your loving Hands.


Sample Notice To Staff and Residents for Memorial Service


TO: All Staff and Residents

FROM: Activities Department

DATE: xx/xx/xx

R. E: Memorial Service

A brief Memorial Service will be conducted in the dining room, Tuesday, August 19, XXXX at 2:00 PM. This will be a time of reflection on the memories of those residents who have passed away recently.
This commemoration will be conducted by the Activities Department. The service will last approximately fifteen minutes. All residents, staff members, and friends and family of the deceased are encouraged to attend.

Thank you.

[Activity Director]


Sample Letter to Friends and Family for Memorial Service



Dear (friend or relative of deceased):

   facility name    will hold a brief memorial service for all the residents that have passed away in the recent months.   __resident's name__ will be remembered on Tuesday, August 19, XXXX at 2:00 PM in the dining room. This service is conducted by the Activities Department.
We know that it helps to share with others who understand and care about your sorrow; therefore, friends, residents and staff will be encouraged to attend. Please let me know how many family members and friends you are aware of that would like to attend. Call me at (757) XXX-XXXX.

John or Jane Doe
Activity Director


Memorial Service Programs


For use in long-term care center memorial services, the following eight segments of this webpage can be copied and pasted into a word processor to be formatted as bulletin style programs.  They are actually four "service programs" (front and back) which provide an easy format for a memorial service.

Each program includes an

a popular hymn,
a responsive reading,
a time of reflection on the lives of those who have passed,
an appropriate poem and
a benediction.

Please fashion the text and clip-art below into your word processor as needed for use in your facility,




 for a .pdf file of these memorial service programs click here (a free ".pdf" download). 

Note: When you click on the link for the form above you must have Adobe Reader loaded on your machine to see and print it. Click here to go to the Adobe website to download a free copy. 




Below are the contents for the front and back pages of the first Memorial Service Program (8½ X 11 folded over).




Responsive Reading

As we cry You do not shun us, O God,
In our need, precious Father, You come to us,
Not as a lofty ruler, gazing from on high,
Not as a ghost, gigantic in its outlines!
Father, You come to us as protector of our soul.
You come to us in meekness and tenderness of heart.
As You share our tears You strengthen our hope.
We marvel at Your faithfulness,
For Your Word and Your mercy endure forever.
Only Your Grace is a sufficient answer to our weakness.
You come and teach us love and humble rest
Bringing with You encouragement to our frail faith.
We praise You for Your constant presence in our lives!

Be Forever Mine

by John Newton

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this heart and flesh shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.




praying hands




Below are the contents for the inside pages of the first Memorial Service Program (8½ X 11 folded over).




Amazing Grace


by John Newton

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun.




Order of Service


Song: "Amazing Grace"

Responsive Reading

In Loving Memory of:

Poem:  "Be Forever Mine"




Below are the contents for the front and back pages of the second Memorial Service Program (8½ X 11 folded over).




Responsive Reading

Taken From Psalms 28
Unto thee we will cry, O Lord our rock;
Hear the voice of our supplications, when we cry to Thee.
In times of trouble the Lord is our strength and shield.
We lift our wounded hearts to Him in His presence: Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance, O Lord,
For You are the saving strength of Your anointed.
We trust in You with our heart: You are our only help.
We regard Your works and the operations of Your hands;
Blessed be the Lord, for He hath heard our prayer!
The Lord is our strength!
Surely, the Lord doth build us up!
Therefore, our heart greatly rejoices!
With melodies from our soul we do praise Him!

Don't Worry, But Pray

by Lissie DeArmond

God knows every heartache, each burden and care,
The troubles and trials often you bear,
His presence is with you each swift passing day
Then trust in His goodness, don't worry, but pray.
The clouds may hang heavy, no sunshine appear,
Amid the dark shadows the Comforter's near,
"Fear not, I am with you," I hear the voice say,
Then trust in His goodness, don't worry, but pray.
Just pray when you're weary at heart and oppressed,
Look unto the Savior and you will be blessed,
He knows ev'ry struggle, along the life-way,
Then trust in His goodness, don't worry, but pray.





Cross and Bible




Below are the contents for the inside pages of the second Memorial Service Program (8½ X 11 folded over).




What A Friend

by Joseph Scriven

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Ev'rything to God in prayer!
O What peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Ev'rything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do they friends despise, forsake, thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In His arms He'll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.




Order of Service

Song: "What A Friend"


Responsive Reading

Poem: "Don't Worry, But Pray"

In Loving Memory of:





Below are the contents for the front and back pages of the third Memorial Service Program (8½ X 11 folded over).




Responsive Reading

Dear Lord, in our changing world we seek your face; Through the ages you have proven you are ever the same.
Our hope and trust is answered by your ever-present hand.
Through the ages you have proven you are ever the same.
Our breath and our lives are testimonies of your mercy.
Through the ages you have proven you are ever the same.
Though we wander and waver in our faith you find us.
Through the ages you have proven you are ever the same.
With renewed comfort we commit our lives to your grace.

Thy Wings Of Love

by Thomas Moore

O Thou who driest the mourner's tear,
How dark this world would be,
If, when deceived and wounded here,
We could not fly to thee!
But, thou wilt heal that broken heart,
Which, like the plants that throw
Their fragrance from the wounded part,
Breathes sweetness out of woe.
O who could bear life's stormy doom
Did not thy wings of love
Come brightly wafting through the gloom
Our peace-branch from above!
Then sorrow, touched by thee, grows bright,
With more than rapture's ray;
As darkness shows us worlds of light
We never saw by day.





Easter Lily and Cross




Below are the contents for the inside pages of the third Memorial Service Program (8½ X 11 folded over).




In The Garden

by C. Austin Miles

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear Falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet, the birds hush their singing
And the melody That He gave to me,
Within my heart is ringing.
And He walks with me and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share, as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.




Order of Service


Song: "In The Garden"

Responsive Reading

In Loving Memory of:

Poem: "Thy Wings Of Love"





Below are the contents for the front and back pages of the fourth Memorial Service Program (8½ X 11 folded over).




Responsive Reading

The 23rd Psalm

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

O God, Our Help In Ages Past

by Isaac Watts

O God, our help in ages past,
My hope for years to come,
My shelter from the stormy blast;
And my eternal home!
Under the shadow of thy throne,
Still may I dwell secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And my defense is sure.
O God, our help in ages past,
My hope for years to come,
Be thou my guide while life shall last,
And my eternal home.





The Good Shepherd with Lamb




Below are the contents for the inside pages of the fourth Memorial Service Program (8½ X 11 folded over).




'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus

by Louisa Stead and W. J. Kirkpatrick

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise;
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord."
I'm so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more!




Order of Service


Song: "'Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus"

Responsive Reading

In Loving Memory of:

Poem: "O God, Our Help In Ages Past"





Copyright © 2010 Christian Concourse Ministries, Inc. 1543 Norcova Ave., Norfolk, VA 23502 Ph.: (757) 623-7228 All rights reserved. Copies permitted for care facility ministry.


----------------------End Memorial Service Programs




Volunteer Chaplaincy Program




As discussed elsewhere in this handbook, increasing numbers of elderly citizens are being cared for in long-term care facilities. Unique challenges to pastors are brought about as many of these elderly parishioners and family members are forced to make decisions that place the elderly far from their home church. Also, it is not unusual for a care facility resident to have lost contact with their church because they are of a previous generation and few of their contemporaries are still alive. Thus, clergy and lay people from the home church cannot or do not always effectively minister to the spiritual needs of seniors belonging to their congregation who now live in nursing homes.

In the light of this growing need for chaplain ministries in care facilities, Christian Concourse encourages qualified volunteers to consider helping to fill the void of this vital Christian service. Our suggestions around which you can fashion your own chaplaincy program with a specific facility are described in the following paragraphs. Our special thanks goes to Rev. Ed Strange, a gifted and anointed chaplain, for his assistance in formulating this program.

The purpose of a volunteer chaplaincy program is to provide Christian pastoral services for elderly residents. Occasionally, their family and the staff of the facility caring for them will request such ministry. The activities a care facility chaplain offers could include Christian encouragement, serving communion, conducting baptism, Bible reading, hospital visitation, funeral services, bereavement support and prayer. If possible, the chaplain would be on call for emergencies and deaths.

Though it is a matter of the policy of each care facility, we recommend that a chaplain be a licensed minister. We should immediately note that there may be exceptions to this rule and each candidate for this program should be considered on the basis of their specific skills and qualifications.


Chaplain Pastoral Visitation


In order to establish a meaningful pastoral relationship with the residents, it is recommended that visitation to care facilities be a minimum of twice weekly. During these visitation periods, which should be scheduled with the facility activity director, residents may be seen upon request or by referral from staff or family members, but never without the residents' expressed consent. A general availability of pastoral care to encourage residents is also important. Allowing for specific facility regulations on privacy, the "Chaplain's Information Form" (which follows this article in text form or click here for a .pdf file of the form) should be provided to the minister for each resident that is referred to him or her for a pastoral visit. These forms must be kept in the facility in a special notebook for the minister to refer to and annotate as necessary. The only ones with access to this notebook would be the minister, the staff of the facility, and the resident (upon their request).


Chaplain Visitation Log


In some long-term care settings it would be helpful to the staff of the facility, especially the activity director, if a log were kept documenting the various resources and activities that the volunteer chaplain has shared with which residents.  A log like this would also be helpful to the chaplain in sharing the practical aspects of his or her ministry with supporters.  For an example of such a document, developed in the field and used for such a purpose, click here for a .pdf file of the Chaplain's Visitation Log.    


Note: When you click on the link for the forms above you must have Adobe Reader loaded on your machine to see and print them. Click here to go to the Adobe website to download a free copy. 


Hospital Visitation


There is a special need for regular visits from the familiar chaplain for residents when they are hospitalized. Often, family members will need assistance during this critical period. It is necessary to establish good communication procedures with the care facility in order to effectively provide services when residents are hospitalized. Families should also be informed of the availability of pastoral care as part of the facility's commitment to the spiritual needs of the resident and their family. It should be noted that the hospital stay for elderly patients is often longer than most because the elderly are prone to complications due to their age and chronic medical conditions. Family members appreciate visits and receive much needed support when pastoral care is readily available and frequent.

It should be noted that a resident's recovery from hospitalization may require several weeks or months in rehabilitation at a nursing facility and they may not return to their original facility. Pastoral care should be continued if possible to encourage these residents, and they should be referred to another pastoral care giver when necessary.


Family Bereavement Support And Funeral Services


Bereavement support may be extended to family members in the event of a resident's death. This service may be optional where pastoral care is limited or the minister is unavailable to perform such services for the family. When bereavement support is available, the care facility should inform the family upon notification of the resident's death and provide information for contacting the minister concerning his/her availability for pastoral bereavement support (and funeral services if desired). The facility should notify the chaplain of the death of a resident as soon as the information is available in order for the minister to offer his condolences and support to the family.

Family support may also include a written sympathy card from the minister which reflects the chaplaincy program of the care facility. This should be done as expediently as possible and with the support of the care facility administration.


Bereavement Support for Facility Residents and Staff


In most cases, facility residents and staff are unable to attend funeral services for those residents who have died. Bereavement support within the facility itself then becomes an effective way to allow residents and staff to express their feelings and loss. It is also a comfort for them to know that they will be remembered by their extended family when they themselves die.

This support can be accomplished by the resident chaplain in two ways: First, individuals who were close to the deceased resident can be referred to the minister for visitation when the staff feels it would be appropriate or helpful. Second, a memorial service may be held within the facility for those residents, staff and family members who wish to attend. For ideas and materials for performing Memorial services refer to that heading in this section of the handbook.

It can be noted that where closure is provided and when bereavement support is available, residents suffer less depression and express less behavior that serves to act out their own anxiety and fear. This allows the facility staff to focus more of their attention on present needs rather than the continued anxious behavior of residents who are left with unresolved grief at the death of others.


Click here for a .pdf file of the Chaplain's Information Form


Note: When you click on the link for the form above you must have Adobe Reader loaded on your machine to see and print it. Click here to go to the Adobe website to download a free copy. 


Chaplain's Information Form

Resident's Name: 

Room No.:

Age: Circle One: Male / Female

Religious Preference:

Referred By (facility staff member): 


Physical Concerns:

Reason For Referral:


Date of Initial Visit: 



Copyright © 2004, 2010 Christian Concourse Ministries, Inc. 1543 Norcova Ave., Norfolk, VA 23502 Ph.: (757) 623-7228 All rights reserved. Copies permitted for care facility ministry.




Though some facilities have a van or small bus, just about all long-term care facilities could use assistance transporting their residents. It is not unusual for an activity director to have to leave behind some residents when going on an outing. If you have a spacious vehicle or a church bus, you may be able to help. Call your local care facility for the possibility of meeting a great need.

If you do not have a vehicle, you may still be able to aid in transportation by being a chaperone. The more able-bodied volunteers that attend an outing, the greater the number of residents will be that are able to participate. Help is needed with boarding the vehicle, holding doors, pushing wheelchairs, and many other tasks.


Handicap Fitted VanDepending on the kind of facility under consideration, the types of trips might include museum tours, sightseeing, movies, shopping mall visits, attending concerts, doctor and clinic visits, going to amusement and theme parks, state fairs, sports events, fishing trips, church services and special religious events . . . to name only a few.


Church Shut-In Visitation Program


Man in sick-bed.On the following pages are the tools for a Pastor or leader within a local congregation to use in developing a "Visitation Committee." Those who would be "recipients" of the ministry of the group would include shut-ins, hospitalized individuals, and care facility residents.


Such a program within the church helps to insure that all members and friends of the congregation who should receive phone calls, visits and postcards will get them from people who care enough to do it. This type of activity in a local congregation greatly increases the effectiveness of the ministry and outreach of the church.


Visitation Committee - Leaders Worksheet


Study this outline, filling in your ideas where applicable. Then, just follow the outline in the first meeting with the members of the group, getting their input and adjusting where necessary.


Use the forms for documenting and organizing your activities:


Privacy Note: Please be careful to respect the privacy of all the individuals you visit. Never visit in a private home or a care facility or a hospital without the individual's expressed consent. Be careful to maintain their privacy in filling out these forms and sharing them with others. Also, you must familiarize yourself with and observe all the privacy rules of the institutions in which you minister.


For a .pdf file containing the complete packet of the following outline and all the forms, click here.


Note: When you click on the link for the form above you must have Adobe Reader loaded on your machine to see and print it. Click here to go to the Adobe website to download a free copy. 


Regular Visitation Recipient


Use this form to build a notebook of individuals who will receive phone calls, personal visits, or postcards from members of the committee. This will keep all the necessary contact information in one place.


Visitation Report Slip


The committee leader will fill out this slip for each one who is to receive a visit, etc., and give them to the appropriate committee members. They are to be completed by the committee members and returned at the next meeting of the committee to report their activities to the group.


Individual Visitation Record


Blanks of these forms are to be placed behind each of the informational "Regular Visitation Recipient" forms in the notebook. The leader will fill these out using the "Visitation Report Slips" handed in by committee members. From this information, the committee leader can make detailed reports to the Pastor and leadership of the church on who is visiting, who they are visiting, and how often.




Visitation Committee - Leader's Worksheet


A. General

1.  PURPOSE -- What is the Biblical reason for the Visitation Committee?
2.  OBJECTIVE -- What are the practical objectives to be accomplished by this group?
3.  DURATION -- How long will this group plan to exist?


B. Meetings

1. Monthly/Bi-Monthly?  (Week, Day, Time) - How often and when will the group meet?
2. Length - How long will each meeting last?
3. Meeting notes - Who will keep the notes of each meeting?
4. Format - The following 4 point format is suggested for each group meeting:

i.   Devotional.
ii.  Prayer.
iii. Visitation reports.
iv. Visitation assignments.


C. Coordinator - the person who will lead or facilitate the group.

1. Term of Office - how long will each Coordinator hold office?
2. Responsibilities - The following responsibilities of the Coordinator are suggested:

i.    Make monthly reports to pastor or church leadership.
ii.   Recruit members for group.
iii.  Determine who needs visitation on an ongoing basis.
iv.  Maintain records of recipients of visitation.
v.   Prepare meeting agendas.
vi.  Assign visitation responsibilities to caregivers.


D. Membership

1. Requirements for participation.
2. Length of commitment.


E. Covenant - each member of the group should be able to commit to the following:

1. Attend each scheduled meeting.
2. Get to know one another better.
3. Encourage each other in faith in Christ.
4. Mature in Christ by developing the discipline to:

i.   Pray regularly for each other.
ii.  Pray regularly for assigned care facility resident(s).
iii. Visit, call or write -  monthly - assigned care facility resident(s).


F. Documentation of actions of the committee:

1. Notes kept for all meetings of the group.
2. Monthly visit reports.

i.   Number of visits.       
ii.  Hours of visitation.         
iii. Individual residents visited.
iv. Special needs of residents.



Regular Visitation Recipient


Beginning Month: 

Of Year:

Recipient's Name:

Home Address:

Home Phone:

Family Contact:  Phone:

Facility Name:

Facility Address:

Room Phone:

Facility Contact:



Special Notes:


Copyright © 2004 Christian Concourse Ministries, Inc. 1543 Norcova Ave., Norfolk, VA 23502 Ph.: (757) 623-7228 All rights reserved. Copies permitted for care facility ministry.


Visitation Report Slip


Name of Person to Visit: 

Date Assigned:


Action (circle):   Call   Visit   Card

Date of Action:  

Length of Visit: 




Comments About Visit:


Copyright © 2004 Christian Concourse Ministries, Inc. 1543 Norcova Ave., Norfolk, VA 23502 Ph.: (757) 623-7228 All rights reserved. Copies permitted for care facility ministry.




Individual Visitation Record


Name of person visited:


Fill in one line for each phone call, personal visit, or card sent to this individual and the hours spent in so doing. For "Hrs." - Count any portion of an hour as one (1) hour then multiply hours by number of caregivers visiting.  Use more than one row for notes if necessary.


Date / Call / Visit / Card / Hrs. / Note / Caregivers



Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2004, 2010 by Christian Concourse Ministries, Inc., 1543 Norcova Ave., Norfolk, VA 23502  Ph.: 757-714-3133.  All rights reserved.

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