The objective of the Deacon Bereavement Committee is to provide Christian comfort to those persons associated with First Baptist who experience a death within their family.
There are many different ways to comfort people who are mourning. Your approach will be based on the relationship of the deceased and their family to First Baptist, their proximity to Columbia and your own personal judgment as to what seems appropriate. Briefly, here are some suggestions you may want to consider in the death of members and non-members of First Baptist Church:
- First Baptist Church members – it is likely that many church members will respond to these situations.However, the diaconate, as one of the leadership arms of the church, can play an important role in these cases.
- Try to make personal contact if possible during the visitation or the funeral. If this isn’t possible, a phone call would be appropriate. You are not expected to travel out of town.
- If you are unable to make personal contact, try to send a letter.
- Non-members who have family at First Baptist – in these cases a phone call or letter would be appropriate.
- For All Bereavements – try to make at least two contacts. The first should be immediately and the second within 30 days as a followup.
There is no specific script to follow when contacting family members of a recently deceased person. After you express regret over the news you may want to ask if they have specific needs with which you could help and offer your prayer support.
The process for the Bereavement Committee will be as follows:
- The Chairman will confirm with the Church office that all Bereavement Committee members are on the e-mail notification list.
- First Baptist Church staff will notify, via e-mail, appropriate personnel of a death. All members of the Bereavement Committee will be copied on this initial notification.
- The Chairman of the Bereavement Committee will then assign each death to a member of the Bereavement Committee.Assignments will be on a rotating basis. The Chairman will maintain a record of the assignments.
- Upon receipt of an assignment, the Bereavement Committee member should initiate contact with the family and report the contacts back to the Chairman.