Those of us with a history in pastoral care have long admired Wayne
Oates as THE teacher of pastoral care and for pastoral caregivers. His
recent death is a loss felt throughout the world of pastoral care.
In this tidy little book is a fine resource for pastoral caregivers,
many of whom sadly miss the mark in matters related to bereavement, but
also presents itself in ways that will serve well for lay ministries,
volunteers and often the bereaved themselves.
The most significant contribution in the book is that we don't get so
immersed in the parishioners that we lose sight of the pastor. We start
where we must start, "The pastor: a person of sorrows, acquainted with
grief." Because too many pastors refuse (or do not understand its
necessity) to take the plunge into their own stories and their own
losses, they not only lose out on the stories that are their
parishioners (how can we get close to others when we refuse to get close
to ourselves), but often diminish our effectiveness and thus hurt the
people we are "called" to help.
Chapters include grief and separation, grief and divorce, work-related
grief and separation, and grief and separation in the life of faith.
The Rev. Richard B. Gilbert, D.Min.,
The World Pastoral Care Center