Guild of the Beloved Disciple


Guild of the Beloved Disciple


Guild of Blessed Disciple

A ministry in lay pastoral care at Holy Innocents’.

The beloved disciple is witness to the last days of Jesus’ life and ministry and is never identified by name.  At his crucifixion Jesus gave the care of his mother over to the beloved disciple. 

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.                                     John 19.26-27

Martin L. Smith, a member of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, writes that the author of John's gospel may have deliberately obscured the identity of the Beloved Disciple in order that readers of the gospel may better identify with the disciple's relationship with Jesus:

Perhaps the disciple is never named, never individualized, so that we can more easily accept that he bears witness to an intimacy that is meant for each one of us. The closeness that he enjoyed is a sign of the closeness that is yours and mine because we are in Christ and Christ is in us.

Lying Close to the Breast of Jesus. A Season for the Spirit (Tenth anniversary edition). Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications. p. 190.

The Guild of the Beloved Disciple is a most fitting example of the way a pastoral care provider takes care of another in a time of hardship or celebration, in the name of Christ.  The Guild takes pastoral care at Holy Innocents’ to a new level consistent with our vision for pastoral care. We strive to be a caring community of people reaching out to one another in times of adversity and celebration.  Throughout the centuries clergy and laity have shared the ministry of pastoral care; nurturing and encouraging one another as we grow as the body of Christ.   So it is that light that we began the Guild of the Beloved Disciple.

If you desire a companion please call the church and speak with either Melody or Alison.  If you are interested in becoming a beloved disciple … read on.


From time to time we will offer training. Our hope is that the training will bless and strengthen the work of pastoral care and increase the confidence of laity as they care for others. The course will discuss the various theologies of pastoral care, how to listen, what to expect on visits to hospitals and homes.

Class Description and Goals:

The 8-week course presumes that each student is growing in awareness of his or her own spiritual life and practice. The course work will continue to attend to the skills, attitudes, knowledge, and spiritual disposition necessary to provide meaningful and faithful pastoral care.  The classes explore the nature and theory of pastoral care, helping participants to develop a self-understanding of their pastoral role and function as well as set clear goals caring for others in the parish.  Participants learn about the types of pastoral care and how they are appropriate in the congregational setting.  General helping skills and specific counseling models are introduced to help provide appropriate pastoral care.  Learning is pursued through discussions, reading assignments, listening partnerships, role-plays, and written reflections. 

The next class will be offered class begins in September 2014.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand the role, goal and function of a pastoral care provider in the Guild of the Beloved Disciple
  • Examine the theologies of pastoral care
  • Increase ability to employ prayer and theology in the practice of, and reflection on, pastoral care.
  • Increase ability to respond to others empathically.
  • Increase knowledge of, and comfort with, the particular aspects of pastoral care


 All those interested should contact the church office