Care

"Bear one another’s burdens, and in so doing, fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) Our goal is to demonstrate Jesus’ compassion, providing encouragement through visits, scripture, prayer, and linking those who hurt to resources where they can find healing.  Because we believe a relationship-based approach to Care reflects God’s design for church and community, we desire that every friend and member of First Presbyterian Church will both give and receive care as needs arise.  

At FPC, the Deacons are officers of the church, ordained lay-people specifically called and set aside to show compassion in Jesus’ name.  They oversee the congregation’s ministry of compassion to the sick, friendless, bereaved, and those in any way distressed. If you would like to be a part of one of the many congregational ministries of FPC, click here.

Our deacons coordinate and engage in a number of ministries, reaching out to the congregation and into the community:

  • Meal Support is provided for those in the congregation who have new babies, or are ill, hospitalized, or have had a death in the family.  Contact the church office if you or someone you care for would appreciate being cared for in this way, or if you’d be willing to take someone a meal.​

  • Love I.N.C. is a network of churches that helps meet peoples’ needs; FPC is part of that effort through our Food Closet ministry and in several other ways.  If you need assistance, contact Love I.N.C.  They will assess the need then make a referral to an area church or agency that can provide resources to help. Learn more about Love I.N.C.   ​

  • In-Touch - For those who find it difficult to get to worship and other activities, our Deacons minister by staying In-Touch with them at least every couple of weeks. We do this in a variety of ways, including visits, phone calls, and sending notes or cards.

  • Care Coordinator - When special care needs arise within the congregation (e.g., surgery, death in the family, lingering illness, acute illness, etc.), Care Coordinators administrate the various ways our congregation provides care. These may include meals, transportation, chaplain support. Contact Ataloa Woodin if you have the gifts of administration and mercy and would like to learn more about this vital ministry.  

  • Transportation for congregants unable to drive to Worship services or medical appointments can be arranged by contacting the church office.

  • If you are looking for Daily Devotional Resources, we supply two publications Our Daily Bread and The Upper Room free of charge. They can be found on the church entry bulletin board.

  • Memorial Receptions - Funerals and Memorial services are often followed by a reception in our Fellowship Hall.  Our Deacons arrange for and serve at memorial receptions, showing Christian compassion to those who are grieving and have gathered to honor and remember their loved one. 

We believe in prayer and want all members to grow through prayer in their personal relationships with God our Father. But prayer is also a collective effort, and Jesus is present in a special way when two or more are gathered in His name! You may participate in prayer at FPC in several ways:

Receive Prayer

As a body of believers we want to be available for one another in prayer. If you are in need of:

  • Immediate Prayer | Email your name and best contact phone number to prayer@fpcfresno.org, and you will receive a call within 12-24 hours from a First Pres Prayer Team member.
  • Ongoing Prayer | If you would prefer prayer from our staff and Deacons, complete this online form and our church staff and Deacons will pray as requested. This prayer request may be submitted with your name, or you may remain anonymous if you would like.
Give Prayer

There are several groups that pray at FPC. You are welcome to participate in any one of these.

First Pres Prayer Team (FPPT) | A group of Jesus followers committed to prayer.

  • Pre-Service Sunday Prayer Time | Everyone is invited to join one of several small group conference calls with FPPT members 9 am Sunday mornings. Commune with God; intercede for the pastors, ministries and congregation; pray for the preached word, salvation and transformation of all around us. Grow in prayer. Contact Chester Goodale to get connected to this vital ministry.

  • Pray with Others | Respond to requests for prayer over the phone. No special skills necessary, just intimate communion with God and fellow believers.

  • Prayer Team Quarterly Gathering | The next quarterly gathering will be announced when we are able to meet together again. This will be open to current and potential Prayer Team members. We would love to have you with us.

Cordon of Prayer | A confidential prayer chain ministering in prayer for the many spiritual and physical needs of our congregation.

All-Church prayer time | 6:30 - 7:15 Friday mornings in the church Fellowship Hall. All are invited to join with Pastors and Elders for weekly communion with God and each other in prayer.

For more information on how to participate in one of these groups, contact Chester Goodale, 360-9432.

Stephen Ministers are caregivers who have engaged in 50 hours of training in Christian caregiving topics such as listening, feelings, boundaries, assertiveness, and resources in Christian caregiving. Stephen Ministers walk through life with those experiencing divorce, grief, job loss, loneliness, hospitalization, terminal illness or other life difficulties.

Stephen Ministers are lay people, not professional counselors, whose role is to listen and care. Trained to recognize if a person needs professional help, they work with those receiving care to help them get the level of assistance they need.

Pastors and chaplains are often a church's primary caregivers. However, in church congregations, care needs abound--and Stephen Ministry is intended to assist our pastors and chaplains to meet our congregational care needs. God has called all of us to minister to one another. Scripture says,

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians  6:2  

“Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 

Could you use some support? Do you know someone who might benefit from receiving care? Contact Dianne McKneely, Stephen Ministry Referral Coordinator, to begin your process today.

Do you think you would be a good caregiver? Talk to any of our Stephen Ministry Leaders to learn how to get into a training class. 

Meet FPC Stephen Ministers:
  • Dianne McKneely, Stephen Minister, Leader - Referrals

  • Debby Rader, Leader - Ministry Trainer

  • David Parker, Stephen Minister

  • Mary Jones, Stephen Minister

  • Marsha Wilson, Stephen Minister 

  • Lee Burks, Stephen Minister

  • Jim Swanson, Stephen Minister, Supervision Facilitator

Resource: Stephen Minister Application

Do you long to move toward deeper healing from life's hurts & trauma?

FPC now has trained volunteers ready to offer you a Circle of Care. This is a one time opportunity to share your story, be heard and experience the love of Christ within a safe, prayerful community.

A typical Circle of Care lasts 1 - 2 hours. Any of these trained Circle of Care leaders would be happy to help you discern if one of these gatherings is right for you. They'll arrange for two to four other trusted leaders to join the circle.

Contact a Circle of Care Leader to talk further or to begin your Circle of Care: Meagan Bergem, Gerre Brenneman, Stuart Conrad, Jim Dice, Touradj Etezadi, Debbie Fletcher, Melanie Franz, Chester Goodale, John and Lisa Goodell, Linda Guzman, Terry Jaurena, Carolyn Johnson, Allan Knepper, Dianne McKneeley, Lori Meadors, Ann Morgan, Margie Nunez, Jeremy Vaccaro and Charity Whitney.