Most, if not all of us, have been impacted in one way or another by cancer (the “Big C”), either through our personal experiences or those of our family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, or fellow church members. St. Paul’s, Conway, has an active ongoing Stephen Ministry program. We are making plans to interface and augment our Stephen Ministry with a specific lay pastoral cancer care ministry in the fall. Our emphasis will be in the areas of the spiritual, emotional, interpersonal and familial concerns of our clients: St. Paul’s members, family, friends and the community served by St Paul’s. The no-cost training and resources for this “Our Journey of Hope” endeavor is provided by the Pastoral Care Department of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) (cancercenter.com).
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (scdhec.gov) logged over 31,710 new cancer diagnoses in 2020 (averaging 87 per day). Yearly, 10,780 South Carolinians die from cancer and its effects (daily, 29). The most common types of cancer in South Carolina are lung, breast (female), prostate (male) and colorectal, with lung cancer being the deadliest for South Carolina.
The coordinators of this program invite insight from other churches in the diocese who have such a cancer ministry program, and we would also like to share our experiences with other churches desiring to begin a program of their own. The contact person is Deb Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org at St. Paul’s Church, 710 Main Street, Conway, SC
By Dr. Scott Johnson, St. Paul’s, Conway