Sharing Alongside Programs
Gary Barckert works significantly with families during extended illness, providing funeral and memorial services and follow-up as needed. He reaches an average of 100 families during a year through this service. He also provides general pastoral counseling to individuals working through other types of transitions in life -- e.g. personal growth, employment change, personal crises, and marital issues. He provides pre-marital counseling prior to officiating at a wedding and also follow-up counseling when requested.
Five times a year Sharing Alongside produces and creatively presents an inspirational, thematic writing that is sent to approximately 1000 family units.
Sharing Alongside, as an act of goodwill in the community, has distributed gift-wrapped pears throughout the community -- up to 400 individually gift-wrapped pears to homeless shelters, and up to 400 pairs of pears gift-wrapped and personally delivered to family units.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
A unique component of Sharing Alongside is the interconnection of significant friendships in which this service thrives. Our mission is fulfilled as we learn your story, integrating the past with the present for the future; hold your story, reflecting and understanding the connections; weave your story's themes, integrating the connections; and context-ualize your story in grace. It is difficult for a family to have someone they have never met officiate at a service for their loved one. The interconnection of friendships make it easier for the family. With one recent family he'd never met, Gary Barckert discovered four common, significant, mutual friendships they shared.
Because of the sensitive and confidential nature of this service, Sharing Alongside has always maintained a very low profile in fund raising, relying on those who appreciate what we do and want to support it. All contributions go directly into providing this service, while we maintain very low overhead by not having extra hired staff or renting space. In this year (2009) of recession, we need general support of $56,000 by year-end to reach our budget goal of $117,000.