Pastoral Care

Pastoral Assistants

Pastoral Assistants are a small group of church members who have covenanted with the congregation to offer support to church members in times of need. They are trained lay-persons committed to understanding, spiritual awareness, compassion, open-mindedness, and integrity. The time they give to serve others is entirely voluntary. This program is an extension of our shared ministry which complements and encourages the informal, caring network which already exists.

The Pastoral Assistants act as a caring presence, providing support and empathetic listening. They help coordinate, through the ministers, additional services as available. They provide an opportunity for people to talk, helping them to find their own peace and strength, rather than offering to solve their problems. All service is coordinated with the ministers. Pastoral Assistants also serve as the contact for the congregation when a minister is unavailable.

You may reach a Pastoral Assistant by calling the Pastoral Care line at (517) 351-4081 ext. 102 and leaving a message there. That line is checked daily.

In times of loss and transition, it can be helpful to talk to someone. The Pastoral Care Team is here for you.

Life Decisions Team 

Our Life Decisions Team aims to educate and empower church members and friends by providing up-to-date information relating to defining care priorities, navigating the health care system, and making vital decisions for themselves and their loved ones.

Below you will find up-to-date information on important life decisions that are available in Michigan.

Advance Directives: Advance Directives take different forms in different states. In Michigan an Advance Directive is called the MICHIGAN PATIENT ADVOCATE DESIGNATION. 

The one legal form you will need in Michigan is the Health Care Agent assignment (a.k.a Health Care Proxy or Medical Power of Attorney). Any of the forms linked here will include a portion for the Health Care Agent assignment. It needs to be signed by two witnesses, (not your health care agent or a realtive) and it does not need to be notarized.

Add to the legal form any other form that offers more information about your wishes, should you be in a critical health condition with little chance that you will recover the ability to know who you are or who you are with (you can use several different forms to make sure your wishes are clearly stated). And remember it is very important that you have a conversation with your family and friends about your wishes. The Conversation Starter Kit gives you a great tool to start that conversation.

Here is the link to one extensive Michigan Advance Directive form:

Hospice facilities in the Lansing Area

Michigan Willed Body Programs
                Michigan State Willed Body Program
                Wayne State University Body Bequest

Funeral Planning
In Michigan a funeral director will need to transport the body from the place of death to either your home (if you are planning a home funeral), to a funeral home or directly to a cemetery or crematorium. The website may be helpful in comparing funeral related prices in the area.

Notice: The least expensive option, besides a Willed Body program, would be Direct Cremation or Direct Burial. The Michigan Funeral Consumers Information Society is an independent organization which offers a lot of information on burial procedures in Michigan.

Michigan Death Certificate
                Order form:

Death with Dignity Legislation
Michigan has no legislation yet. Rep. Tom Cochran and Pam Farris introduced House Bill 4461 in March 2017.

Feeling overwhelmed?
Navigating the Logistics of Death Ahead of Time is a This NY Times article that reviews companies that offer digital tools for many life decisions. One of them - Everplans - offers numerous free resources, guides and links to forms relevant in Michigan.

Please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the Life Decisions team should you have any questions about the topics mentioned above. (Joanne Cameron, 517-3339-7329,; Molly Dean, 517-214-5210,; Gabriele Mayer,  517-655-2161,;  Deb Mosher,  517-337-0169,; Kathleen Veith, 517-802-7424,