Care & Concern
A culture of care
At crisis moments and in daily living, God’s mercy and consolation are present – through the attentive listening and compassion of God’s people. A prayer, a caring touch, a safe place to voice disappointments and distress – these are signs of God’s grace.
St. Paul’s social worker/counselor is available to supplement the counseling services of our pastors. Her service to St. Paul members and the Madison Elementary School community is free of charge, and assists those who may be going through a difficult transition, struggling in relationships, experiencing depression or anxiety, working through some trauma, or in need of a listening ear. In light of the current Coronavirus pandemic, in-person counseling sessions are on hold. We now offer tele-health counseling services (over both audio and video). If you are interested in exploring these options and determining if this is an appropriate fit for you, please contact Angie.
Contact: Angie Vaaler, 563-326-3547, ext. 312.
Our pastoral team extends the care and support of the faith community during hospital stays. St. Paul people: Please call the church office whenever you (or a family member) are admitted to the hospital. Privacy laws and short hospital stays sometimes slow the channel of notification. Without your contact to the church, it’s quite likely that pastors will not hear of the hospitalization in any other way.
Contact: Becky Harper
Sometimes a listening ear is needed to sort out life’s challenges and concerns. The people of St. Paul trust in the confidence and care of our pastoral counseling team. Place a call to the church office or to a pastor.
A Care Companion is not an expert or a counselor, but someone who walks alongside and shares a journey for a time. Friendship, presence, and prayer are their tools. Be part of this team of compassionate people. Lynn Batcher, a retired hospital chaplain, teams with Pastor Sara Olson-Smith for this ministry.
Contact: Lynn Batcher
The Prayer Chain
The Prayer Chain works quietly and steadily behind the scenes. If you have a prayer request, call the Prayer Chain. It may be for a problem or illness, or in praise or thanksgiving. No request is too small. Requests are worded for confidentiality.
Contact: Karin Hanson
Additional caring groups & ministries
Better Choices, Better Health: An evidence-based program developed by Stanford University offers self-management skills that empower us to live healthier, more enjoyable lives. Contact: Beth Laureijs
Blood Donor Day: Give the gift of life. Blood donation is a simple process that takes about 45 minutes. St. Paul hosts blood drives twice a year. Contact: Pastor Sara Olson-Smith
Walking the Grief Journey: A supportive, compassionate series for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. This group explores anger, depression, fears, acceptance, and new strength for a hopeful future. Pastor Sara Olson-Smith is a facilitator. Offered twice a year. Contact: Pastor Sara Olson-Smith
Grief Group Drop-In Online: This group meets two times a month, to connect and work through grief that comes from a variety of sources. Contact: Pastor Sara Olson-Smith
Motherless Daughters is open for any woman who has experienced mother-loss at any time and needs a safe place for support. Gather to celebrate our mothers, deepen relationships, and develop a network for continuous healing. Second Saturday morning of the month, September-May. Contact: Nicole Rathje
Adult Children of Alcoholics practice the Twelve Steps, focusing on accepting God’s love and finding freedom from the past and a way to improve lives today. Meet on the second floor of the Education Wing. Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Contact: Dick Jensen
Home communion: Illness or age sidelines many of our members from worship. In-Home Communion wraps them warmly into congregational life. Carrying along special communion kits, volunteers visit our homebound members in care facilities and private homes on the first Sundays of February, May, August, and November. Contact: Becky Harper
Radio broadcasts: Tune in on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. on WOC Radio, 1420AM. This outreach blesses many of our older and homebound members. The broadcast can also be heard worldwide at iheartradio.com. Contact: Jessica Taylor
Van rides: Each Sunday morning, van rides are provided for the 9 a.m. worship service. If you need a ride, contact the church office by Friday afternoon. Contact: Jennifer Garvey
Friends & Family: A drop-in group for people whose loved ones are impacted by mental illness, this is for anyone looking for mutual support by sharing with and listening to others. Held on the third Thursday of the month, 6 p.m. Contact: Pastor Sara Olson-Smith
Survivors of Suicide Loss: Offering support for those who have lost a friend or family member to suicide at any time, this monthly gathering is for care, compassion, and encouragement. Held on the first Monday of the month, 7:30 p.m. Contact: Deb and Joe James
Stroke Support Group: On the third Wednesday of the month, 2-3 p.m., this group brings together stroke survivors and their families in an atmosphere of caring and sharing to assist recovery. Contact: Karen Caldwell
Veterans’ Gathering: Are you a veteran from any era? Connect in a variety of ways to provide camaraderie, support, and conversation. Contact: Lyle Peterson
Care & concern: Pastor Sara Olson-Smith