Volunteering as a Lay Pastoral Visitor

Skills, Experience, and Qualifications

  • Member of the Orthodox Church in good standing
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Living in the greater Toronto area
  • Recognised within the local parish community as a person of good reputation
  • Skilled and compassionate listener and shows respect to others
  • Has a clear understanding of the non-judgmental role of the Lay Pastoral Visitor
  • Relates effectively and communicates clearly with others
  • Flexible and open-minded in response to each situation
  • Has an understanding of the issues relevant to the homebound, homeless and institutionalised
  • Has participated in a training process
  • In cases of emergency, knows contacts and procedures

Personal Traits and Qualities

A successful lay pastoral visitor

  • Desires to serve the community and to commit time and talents to this ministry
  • Has a non-judgemental attitude toward housebound parishioners
  • Is honest, dependable and can maintain strict confidentiality
  • Respects the privacy and dignity of the housebound
  • Is comfortable in the presence of sadness and tears, bearing witness to suffering, pain, and the realities of advanced illness such as uncomfortable sights, sounds, odours
  • Is comfortable dealing with elderly, infirm, or disabled people
  • Is at ease with social encounters, and can look people in the eye
  • Is friendly, patient and has good relational skills
  • Is comfortable with being accountable and is sensitive to the observance of proper boundaries
  • Has resiliency and capacity to develop of effective coping strategies, self reflection, self care approaches to maintain one’s own well-being and ability to persevere in this role
  • Has a spirit of generosity and creativity

Orientation and Training

Participation in this programme as a volunteer requires the completion of  Lay Pastoral Visitor orientation (or its equivalent).

Benefits and Working Conditions

Lay pastoral visitors will

  • Directly contribute to the social well-being of the parish community
  • Further develop pastoral care and relational skills
  • Improve the spiritual well-being of the homebound and/or institutionalised
  • Have the opportunity to perform community service and gain experience for the purpose of school or career advancement
  • Be required to visit private homes, local hospitals, hospices and nursing homes and must adhere to the requirements of those institutions

This is a volunteer position requiring a minimum time commitment to be determined with the St Hermione Lay Pastoral Visitor Coordinator.

Preparation and Supervision

This is a high risk position and therefore requires:

  • Completion of a volunteer information form
  • Interview and personal references
  • Criminal record check
  • Training and orientation
  • Supervision and periodic evaluations
  • Participant follow-ups

The St Hermione Lay Pastoral Visitor Coordinator is the first level of support, supervision and evaluation.

O Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray to you for your servant whose sickness is bringing him/her to the end of his/her earthly life. You are the God whose only-begotten Son taught us that not even the smallest sparrow can fall without your knowledge, and that you hold all creation in your merciful arms. Look upon your servant and allow this illness to be for the death only of those things which are the result of evil and sin. Let his/her thoughts be quieted with the peace and confidence of his/her final deliverance into the fullness of tour love. Keep his/her soul and body pure, and sanctify them during the time he/she remains among us, that on the last day he/she maybe raised up with all your saints to live with you in never-ending glory. For to you belong praise and worship, to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

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