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Pastoral Care Companion

May 19th, 2007
Marketing Advertising Blog — VuManhThang.Com

I spent a pleasant hour with the Pastoral Care Companion today and I can summarize my reaction to it with three words: Wow and wow. Oh, how I wish I would have had this resource when I was in the parish. Anyone who has struggled with the paucity of practical and helpful materials in the "Little Agenda" will be overjoyed with this resource. It is truly a remarkable tool for pastoral care of souls. Thanks be to God.

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  1. weedon
    May 19th, 2007 at 21:06 | #1

    And you said that *I* would gush? Geez! Just start shipping them already!!!

  2. May 22nd, 2007 at 21:47 | #2

    Placed my online order Sunday night! They called me and told me my name wouldn’t fit as an imprint though…must be a small book!
    McCain: It is four inches wide. What precisely were you asking to have imprinted on it?

  3. May 23rd, 2007 at 12:33 | #3

    Just “Rev. Matthew Ruesch”…They said 18 characters, and I suppose if you count spaces, it’s 19. No matter…I told them to just send it blank…thought if I could fit it on there I would!
    I suppose I could have done “Rev. Matt Ruesch,” “Pr. Matthew Ruesch,” “Pastor Ruesch” “Matthew Ruesch” or any number of variations–but I was on my cell phone in my car when I spoke to them and I wanted the call to be brief, so I just told them to cancel the imprinting.
    McCain: Yup, 18 is the limit on this book, apparently. Rev. Paul McCain…phew, that would just fit!

  4. Rev. Allen Bergstrazer
    May 23rd, 2007 at 17:38 | #4

    I received my copy this morning in the mail (I had it on backorder) and I’m impressed, it’s much better than the Lutheran Worship little Agenda. The wording of the Communion of the sick and homebound is more similar to setting 3, and should be more familiar to the older members of my congregations. It also has a section entitled ‘collects and readings’ which means you won’t have to lug the Altar book out if you want to pray the collect for your devotions. I also appreciate that it has hymn texts included in the various rites.
    Those who were wondering about the size of the Pastoral Care Companion it is about the same thickness as the Small Catechism, but its overall length and width is an inch or so less. It looks good alongside my gift edition of LSB, which till now I had been using on calls.

  5. Michael Zamzow
    May 24th, 2007 at 19:57 | #5

    I have waited over 30 years for a resource like this after returning from Germany. If I were to make one addition, it would follow the Handreichung fuer den seelsorgerlichen Dienst for Lutheran Churches in Germany in including two readings from Sirach. Chapter 2 is a wonderful encouragement to practice patience in affliction.
    Sirach 38:1-4, 6-10, 11b-15 is a reflection on medicine and physicians as gifts from God.
    This companion is a wonderful gift of LCMS and CPH to all English-speaking Lutherans—and perhaps non-Lutherans. The order for accompanying the dying answers a crying need. The German order served as a model in my ministering for years. It is good to see that such resources are now readily available. Thank you to the Commission on Worship and CPH. Thanks and glory be to God.

  6. May 28th, 2007 at 07:41 | #6

    Comment from Susan Gehlbach regarding the Pastoral Care Companion:
    Thursday morning I walked into the Bible class room and saw a little book in Pastor’s hands and exclaimed, “THAT is what I want to look at!” He immediately offered me his copy of Pastoral Care Companion, but first I had to attend to duties, putting away bunches of groceries for the wedding and other preparation for the reception. Eventually I got my hands on the book, and I had 30 minutes to soak it up before class started.
    This book is awesome! I mean, it is almost unbelievable in the tools provided for spiritual warfare.
    One of the things I have achingly been missing in LSB is the collects and the proper prefaces. Both of those — plus the Beichtafel (questions designed to show one’s sin in preparation for private confession or going to the Supper) — are included in the Pastoral Care Companion. So I’m thinking that it may not be an inappropriate book for laymen. For pastors, the book is also a portable agenda, with the funeral rites, the wedding rites, and other Services he may need to have handy when away from church.
    But the reason I couldn’t put the book down on Thursday was the section with resources for various situations. (Phooey — that sounds so vague.) For each situation it’s got appropriate Bible passages, psalms, prayers, and hymns. Situations are as varied as rejoicing at the birth of a child, struggling with infertility, a run-away child, persistent grief at the loss of a loved one, difficulty dealing with changes in life, considering suicide or abortion, periods of anxiety or depression, and so much more. This book will be a tremendous reference for pastors who think, “Now what am I supposed to do? How can I bring God’s word to bear on this situation for my troubled sheep? How do I help them???”
    When Pastor finally managed to pry the book free from my hands, he spent the first half of Bible class bubbling over to the group about the book. He said he wished for two things with regard to this book.
    First, he hopes pastors will begin using the book for their own personal prayers. There is so much in the book about family life and one’s daily work and about struggles with doubts & worries & fears. If the pastor is using this in his daily prayer life, he himself will be edified. But there will also be the resultant benefit that the pastor will know what’s available in the book, and he will begin to learn how to use it to minister to his people’s needs.
    Second, Pastor said he hopes that the Pastoral Care Companion will be something used in the confessional. In the private confession rite in the hymnal, it says after the absolution that the pastor will know additional passages with which to comfort the troubled conscience. Well, what happens when the pastor doesn’t know what to say? What happens if he knows which Law to apply, but knows it’s time for him to shut up with regard to speaking the Law, and needs to speak Gospel? The Pastoral Care Companion will put God’s Word into the mouth of the pastor so that those sweet words from Jesus will go into the ear of the penitent.

  7. May 28th, 2007 at 07:43 | #7

    Pastor William Weedon’s reaction to the Pastoral Care Companion:
    I’ll not forget then-Seminarian Kalvin Waetzig holding in his hands my little copy of Lindemann’s Daily Office, smelling it, making it wiggle, and then exclaiming in delight: “It’s so packy!” I cocked an eyebrow and asked what he meant by “packy.” He explained: “This. When a book smells nice, is small, and flexible like this, I call it packy.”
    So I am sure that Pastor Waetzig is in ecstasy over the Pastoral Care Companion. It is packy to the max.
    How did CPH pull it off? It’s so little – until you open it! And then it is packed full. Most pastors have, I suspect, at one time or another expressed dissatisfaction with the resources provided in LW’s Little Agenda. The Occasional Services book (accompanying LBW) did a far better job of giving you concrete guidance of what Word of God to share with a person in difficult or joyful moments. But the Pastoral Care Companion? It’s almost beyond belief what they packed in there! Helps for dealing with those struggling with homosexuality, addictions of various sorts, a still birth, wedding anniversaries, demonic oppression, moving, retirement. Goodness! Too many to list out. This section, which is the heart of the book, runs from page 160 to 534. YES, THAT MUCH! Psalms, Scripture readings, Prayers and Hymns for just about every pastoral care situation imaginable.
    Packy and I mentioned page 534? Oh, but that’s not the end of the book. It has a total of 708 pages. And it’s little, you ask? YES. Oh, so I can’t read the print, I guess. WRONG. The print is nice sized, very legible. The paper is thin, but doesn’t “bleed through” the following page in any distracting way.
    What else is cool? Well, it’s great to have the rites handy: Baptism, Confirmation, First Communion, Marriage, Visiting of Sick or Distressed (with anointing), Divine Service for Shutins or the sick, Commendation of the Dying, Burial liturgies. Other goodies: a prayer section for pastors to use prior to many care situations (before a Baptism, before a Confession, etc.), a Beicht-tafel in preparation for Confession (why wasn’t that in the HYMNAL?), a form for examining those to be admitted to the Lord’s table, and essential liturgical prayers in both German and Spanish.
    And all in that tiny volume that, I checked it out, FITS IN MY PANTS POCKET or easily into my jacket pocket.
    Packy to the max. CPH, yet another homerun in the LSB materials. Thank you!

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