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For you to do your work as care-giver you need a record-keeping system. Now that the season of church activities has started, you need to have the system in place for your district. In case you don't have one yet, here are some hints. The onset of the season will also be the time to bring your existing system up-to-date, reflecting a new situation.

In your District Log-book, set up a personal page for every member/family of your district. Even in this electronic age, you may prefer a paper note-book which you keep handy. Under each name you enter the pertinent details: age, family-function, occupation, possible functions in church-life, etc. As the season unfolds you continue to record events and significant experiences: illnesses, problems, honors, journeys, celebrations, etc. Whenever you make a visit: make a note, add a few details.

A system will do you no good unless you regularly consult it. The advantages are at least two-fold: it reminds you to pray for the people entrusted to your care, and it is your reminder to follow up on obligations and commitments.

A word about follow-up visits. Every act of ministry is a high-light of sorts for your parishioner and will be appreciated. But it will be doubly appreciated when you follow up, a week later or so, with a phone-call, a note, or another little visit. Chances, of course, are that this member still faces difficulties and is still in need of care. He/she may well wonder whether you are still as concerned as your appeared at the original visit. In these ways your administrative system enables you to remain mentally and spiritual in touch with your district. 

Let us know your ideas about an effective system!

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