Caring Community

we careFrom We Care Neighborhood Sunday, November 13, 2016 

Cedar Lane as a Community of Care

Many join a congregation to become part of something larger than themselves, to join a community. To be human is to seek meaningful companionship with others, not only to share the everyday experiences of life but to belong to a people that celebrate individual joys and mourns individual sorrows. Like many faith communities, caring for one another is a cornerstone of congregational life at Cedar Lane.

As relationships develop and strengthen between people, much of the love and support Cedar Lane offers is informal, gestures of support and concern between friends during difficult times. But caring for one another is also a spiritual practice, something the congregation offers as an expression of our shared compassion and faith. Here is an overview of the intentional ways Cedar Lane members and friends give and receive care:

Sunday Worship:

By gathering as a community and bearing witness to the greatest joys and challenges in human life, participants often leave Sunday worship with a lighter heart than how they entered. Most services, including our Chapel for All Ages services, include a time to name collective and individual joys and sorrows, silent reflection, and pastoral prayer. 

Pastoral Visitors: 

This ministry team addresses both long-term and temporary pastoral needs. Trusted volunteers receive training in basic pastoral care skills and make ongoing visits with church members – the home bound, the infirm, the terminally ill and those going through periods of transition, such as healing from surgery, the birth of a child or a divorce. The Assistant Minister meets with the Pastoral Visitors regularly to gather and share information, to provide continuing education and to support the volunteers in this life-changing service. Along with filling out a card on the "candle table" in the Auditorium, you may also engage a Pastoral Visitor by contacting the Lay Coordinator of Pastoral Care Ministries, Betsy Binckes. To learn more about Betsy, please read her biography.  To learn more about the Pastoral Visitors, please review this brochure.  To request a visit from a Pastoral Visitor or to provide a pastoral care update on you or someone you know, please e-mail

Ministerial Appointments: 

Our ministers at Cedar Lane make themselves available for pastoral counseling sessions. These meetings are intended for short-term support; long-term counseling requires the services of a professional therapist. Pastoral counseling functions more like spiritual direction (finding "the sacred" in a given situation) than traditional psychotherapy or practical problem-solving. If you wish to have an opportunity to be listened to, to make better sense of a difficult situation or to pray with a religious leader, contact one of the ministers for an appointment.

Sharing Joys Cares with our Community 1

Sharing Joys & Cares with our Community:

Have you ever wondered how the "Community Cares" column make it into our publications? Our pastoral care team and ministers hear about them throughout the week and weekend, and then Rev. Katie Romano Griffin compiles them during the week and submits them for our weekly eNews. Our weekly Worship Associate reads them from the eNews as well as any others that the ministers pass along and they are read aloud in worship.

So how do you get something recognized? It's easy! Just let Rev. Katie or any of the pastoral visitors know. What do we include? Anything that's weighing on you, anything you'd like prayers or blessings for, or anything that you're celebrating and would like to share with our Cedar Lane community, births, marriages, promotions, good news, anything. Remember that we can only publish something we have permission to share, so if it's about another Cedar Lane member, it might not be able to go in until we've gotten their permission. Please do feel to share and helps us to nurture our beloved community.

We Care: 

This is a lay-led ministry team that ensures that Cedar Lane members connect with one another and receive practical support in times of crisis. The Cedar Lane membership area is divided into "neighborhoods," designated by a number. (Cedar Lane members can find their neighborhood number on their nametags.) Each neighborhood has a chairperson (or co-chairs) that coordinate(s) care in their area. When Cedar Lane members have short-term needs for support - food delivered in the event of a family death, rides to doctors' appointments - the Chair contacts the neighbors in their neighborhood and makes sure that the needs are met. You may find out your neighborhood through the on-line map below. To learn more about the We Care ministry, please review this brochure.

Small Groups: 

In a large congregation like Cedar Lane, members often need to find support, connection and meaning through small groups. While small groups in general offer supportive environments (Soul Matters, Adult Programs, etc.,) some small groups have more of a pastoral focus. 

Pastoral Prayer:

Through prayer we name – with the subject's permission – the personal matters of our friends and members: births, deaths, illnesses, accomplishments. Pastoral prayer is also a time to acknowledge national or global events outside of our walls that give us pause. If you want to have you or a loved one named in prayer, please connect with the person leading the worship service before Sunday morning.

Candles of Joy and Sorrow:

In our sanctuary, there is an artistic stained glass chalice alongside the left-hand wall. During worship, one may silently light a candle within this chalice as a symbol of someone or a joy or concern they carry in their heart. On the same table as the stained glass chalice, one can also find cards that will reach the Pastoral Visitors' team.

We Care Map:

If you put an address in this map, it should "instantly" show you which neighborhood it is in. Click here to open up the custom Google Map. In the search bar above the map, please enter the address you are searching for and click search. In the bottom left corner, you will see a small bar with a plus sign and CLUUC Neighborhoods. Click on the plus sign and select CLUUC Neighborhoods. Don't unselect the address you have put in. Click on the color that the flag has popped up in and it will tell you what neighborhood that address is in as well as who the We Care chair for that neighborhood is.

View CLUUC Neighborhoods in a larger map.
We Care Neighborhood Chairs - If you already know your neighborhood number and want to know who your We Care Chairs are, check out the table below for a list of We Care Chairs.
LocationNumber (#)Chair 1Chair 2Chair 3Emails
KENSINGTON 1 Don Cleary Betty May Cleary
BETHESDA-CHEVY CHASE 2 Dianne Seiffert Bonnie Beavers
KENSINGTON 3 Maryann Dillon Julia Gorey
KENSINGTON 4 Eric Durland  Steve Jones 
BETHESDA 5 Cathy Knapper John Gubbings,
BETHESDA 6 --  --  
NORTH BETHESDA -GARRETT PARK 7 Kathleen Reedy Marion Torchia 
GARRETT PARK 9 Mandi Mader  --
SILVER SPRING 11 Carol Ireland  Terry Ireland
NORTH BETHESDA 14 Marion Torchia Kathleen Reedy 
BETHESDA-CHEVY CHASE 15 Charlene Zellmer --  


17 Marilyn Hathaway Mary Butler
BETHESDA 20 Nancy Bliss  --
POTOMAC-W.COUNTY 21 Jack Rodgers  Judy Rodgers 
BETHESDA-CHEVY CHASE 22 Karen Lerner Harvey Lerner Charlene Zellmer
SILVER SPRING 24 Lisa Chernikoff --
DC 26 Carol Zachary Moyo Ellis  
OLNEY-N. COUNTY 27 Dawn Steinfeld Emily Mellgren
-- 28 -- --    
NORTH SILVER SPRING-COLESVILLE 29 Terry Tretter Jean Schaible 
OLNEY-N. COUNTY 31 Greg Falcigno Barbara Falcigno (shared e-mail)