Spring 1992 · Vol. 21 No. 1 · p. 2 

From the Editors: Caregiving

Elmer A. Martens

In an increasingly tattered world of personal and societal relationships, caregiving assumes a larger and larger profile. The articles that follow trace a multi-dimensional perspective on caregiving.

The results of a several-year project by Congregational Care Associates, involving the survey of six churches on care needs and caregiving, are reported by the coordinating teams, Drs. Martens, Kliewer and Dueck. This bench mark experiment offers firm data: What do people say their needs are? Who gives care in crisis times? A promising spinoff of this project is the development of resources for lay informal caregiving. The task force proposal is being processed by five denominational leadership groups and several seminaries. Proposals for the project “Equipping Congregations to Be Caring Communities” are underway. Print resources, training seminars and support services for deacons, elders, pastors and professionals are a few of the components of this project.

In the following pages five perspectives on caregiving are highlighted. Evangeline Truex describes a biblical theme, compassion. Professor Larry Martens offers a theological—specifically Anabaptist—perspective. Hard data are presented and interpreted by Professors Kliewer and Dueck. A practitioner, Marie Riediger, offers good counsel. Two others, Driedger and Jost, tell about experiences in receiving care.

An unusual feature is a bibliometric study. Direction is the case study for the way in which the direction (a limp pun) of a periodical can be chartered.

The Fall issue will be devoted to the subject of the Christian and the Environment.