August 14, 2016

Pastor Letter

Director of Caring Ministries - Florence A. Barker Ferguson

Florence was raised in the small town of Paw Paw, Michigan and belonged to the First Presbyterian church. While in high school she became an active member of the local Methodist youth group. She participated in many activities and helped fund raise for the summer youth trip at the Redbird Mission in Kentucky. (Currently one of the missions that has products at our own Alternative Christmas Fair.) Florence graduated from Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She has thirty years of experience with diverse populations such as: The Greystone Foundation (group homes for adult severely autistic men ages 35-60), The Beacon Hill Friends House (summer Manager for an Intentional Quaker Community), Crotched Mountain Rehabilatation Center (formerly known as the New Hampshire School for the Deaf), The Menninger Foundation (Psychiatric Hospital and School), Willoughby Group Home (for severely autistic teenagers), Kennedy Memorial Children’s Hospital (as a Inpatient Mileau Counselor for 2-9 year old emotionally and physically abused children ), and Department of Aging/Senior Care (working with at-home seniors placing services in the home and later as a Supervisor for the Case Managers). At night she also pursued a Masters degree in Organizational Communication. During the weekends she square danced at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she met her husband, Douglas E. Ferguson. Now they live in Cypress, California and have two daughters . Schylar, 20, is junior at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and Landry, 17, is a senior at Connections Academy High School. Over the years Florence has taught Sunday school, been the Director of Vacation Bible School and been a Girl Scout Leader for Daisies, Brownies, Junior, Cadets, and Senior Girl Scouts. In her free time she likes to read, do crafts, swim and knit/crochet.

As Director of Caring Ministries she oversees the five small group caring ministries of our Los Altos UMC family. Florence visits our home bound and hospitalized members. She also delivers donated chancel flowers when they are available.

Caring Cards: Small group that writes cards of hope, faith, and Christian love to our home bound members and visitors to our church.

Caring Visitors: Small group that performs their ministry by visiting our home bound and sick members and providing encouragement, and spiritual community.

Prayer Quilts: Small group that meets monthly and sews quilts to be blessed by our congregation and distributed to anyone who is ill, has suffered a loss or is in the midst of crisis.

Prayer Shawls: Small group that meets monthly and knits or crochets shawls to be blessed by our congregation and distributed to anyone who is ill, has suffered a loss or is in the midst of crisis.

Prayer Team: Small group that organizes the prayer requests received each Sunday and daily via the church office and church website. They share the requests and pray daily.