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General principles

The New Testament is based mostly around events which took place in the first century. In the first century, a matter that received priority was the provision for the practical as well as spiritual needs of the ecclesial members. Poorer members were supported by those more well off. The widows and orphans were also cared for. The believers at Antioch sent relief to the believers in Judea during the great famine during Claudius Caesar's emperorship.

These first century examples provide a solid basis for care and welfare arrangements today. Individual members of the ecclesia have an important role in being aware of the needs of their fellow believers. They can give financial support but also practical help and encouragement. However, those who received support in the first century were expected to make appropriate efforts to provide for themselves. Paul makes this point clearly when he says "If any will not work, neither let him eat" (2 Thess. 3:10).

What happens in the ecclesia

The ecclesia has appointed a welfare team to perform a "Pastoral Care" function. This includes arranging visits to the sick, elderly, etc., sending cards and contacting members who may be sick, absent, etc., and providing general welfare support as possible (e.g. information on social and external services) and other help as required.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 April 2013