"I have come to believe that I was created to teach. My life flows with joy being here.
My area of teaching is Pastoral Care and all that goes with it. I believe the caring ministry must be grounded in and informed by theology. What I do is very practical and responsive to real needs of the people of a particular context.
I see Pastoral Care as connected to every other area of ministry – preaching and worship, education, administration, and spirituality (and more). People who come to church are often in pain and struggling in their lives and we have to be able to offer a relevant ministry to them. That ministry requires hearing what is going on with them.
Ministers have to be people of great courage – to face the messiness of the lives of the people and their contexts. We have to be prepared to deal with shattering grief and overwhelming conflict. We can’t hide or back away when what we meet in another feels threatening. This means that persons in ministry have to have a clear sense of their own selves – what scares them and what repulses them. We have to know what is going on within ourselves, if we are to be able to face what is going on in another person.
Courage and openness may be two of the most important characteristics those in ministry need to embody. Pastoral care requires us to be comfortable with ourselves and comfortable with people who are different from us. Of course, all of pastoral care hinges on being able to listen to others – an act of hospitality."
– Emma Justes