I'm currently writing a manual on pastoral care in a Church community.
In our cultural context, we use the term "pastor" not only for the traditional role of a community leader but also for anyone providing pastoral care - this works well and is an established part of our vocabulary.
Where I'm struggling is in finding a good word to describe the person receiving the care. Simply using "person" is a little unclear in many contexts (as you may imagine, many point of the manual will involve the person receiving pastoral care and a number of others). Being overly etymological and going back to the root meanings, I'd be left with terms involving sheep and flocks, all of which sound impersonal and condescending when applied to an individual. I'd like to avoid adjectival phrases like "person receiving care" or similar.
We've used the term "pastee" in jest for a number of years (for trans-Atlantic readers, this is funny because a "pasty" is also a delicious foodstuff) but if I have to resort to using it in the manual then it will need a little explanation!
Can anyone offer any suggestions?
Can you suggest a noun meaning "person receiving pastoral care" that isn't: 1. Clumsy 2. Condescending