Throughout the next few months we will highlight Shallowford staff members in an effort to build community and educate our church family. This week we are excited to share Laura Jernigan’s responses with the SPC community!
  • Staff: Rev. Laura H. Jernigan
  • Position: Parish Associate for Congregational Care
  • Start Date: January 2019

Q&A with Pastor Laura

I am motivated to wake up and go to work by the call to serve in ministry, which takes shape in a particular community of faith. And so, I am motivated by Shallowford’s call and commitment to ministry – to share the good news of Jesus, hear the Word, worship and praise God, witness to God’s love, bear one another’s burdens, lift one another in prayer, serve others, and “rejoice in the Lord”. (Also, a cup of coffee literally helps me to wake up and go to work!)

As Shallowford’s Parish Associate for Congregational Care my day-to-day responsibilities are fluid and ever changing. I serve in a part-time, “contract call pastor” position. My average work week is Monday through Wednesday. I provide pastoral care to members, and take weekend rotation in the “Pastor on Call” schedule. Pastoral care might be with a member who faces a crisis, someone who is sick, or someone in need of emotional support. I pray, make hospital visits, and visit in homes, including our homebound members, and in assisted and skilled-living facilities. Since we were extremely limited on in-person visits this past year due to COVID precautions, I have used my cell phone frequently! I also lead memorial services as needs arise. I edit the weekly email prayer concerns for the congregation.

In addition, I oversee the work of the Congregational Care Committee in its ministries of care, compassion, and support: Care Ministers, Take-Them- A-Meal, Support groups (Alzheimer’s Caregivers and GriefShare), the Prayer Network, the Prayer Shawl Ministry, Bereavement receptions, and our [email protected] with elder teams. We are always on the look out for any who would like to join this work!

My most meaningful “project” during the pandemic has been this: surprising moments of grace on Zoom! Whether for support groups, committee meetings, Bible study, or volunteer training, Zoom gatherings have helped us keep the faith, talk to each other, inquire after each another and learn new insights. They have also brought folks together who are not usually in the same room. Though not the same as being together, our times on Zoom have served as a means of grace in the wilderness of the pandemic.

The times we experience God’s presence through one another: in our honest sharing of griefs and downturns and tears, in journeys of acceptance and healing, in the little encouragements people offer each other, and in the uplifts we experience through laughter, fellowship, and music.

When Laura was in third grade, she played “Marta” in The Sound of Music” at Midwestern State University. And she loved it!

  • Laura wants to know…

Who helped you discover grace in your own journey of faith?

Staff Visibility - Laura