Many people in the area want pastoral care when they
experience the strong feelings produced
by a crisis in their lives or the lives of their loved
John is bright, articulate and self-aware.
He is also profoundly affected by his own struggle with
mental illness. He is not a member of any particular faith
community, but has his own personal faith in God. Sometimes
he feels alone, abandoned, a danger to himself.
John was visited by a pastoral visitor.
A strong connection was formed which allowed him to express
his feeling freely. The pastoral visitor reinforced the
benefit of the 'cry for help' which had brought John into
medical treatment. The visit ended with prayer and a shared
sense of comfort.
This was not magic, but simply a
listening with the heart, which opens a space for faith
and for healing.
Prayer and emotions are often a part
of the role of a pastoral visitor. Beatrice was about to
have a mastectomy. She had known that this was coming for
more than two months, and had feared the day. Before the
surgery, she asked to see the chaplain who had come onto
the Ambulatory Care Unit. The chaplain noted: "We
laughed, we cried, and I offered the prayer that she asked me to say for her."
Does this sound like it could be
you, bringing peace into the life of another?
One of our chaplains came onto the
Women's Health unit just a few minutes after an unexpected
miscarriage. She offered to meet with the family, but the
request was declined. Their own pastor was on his way and
they felt that they had enough support for their spiritual
needs. The chaplain then talked with the hospital staff
who had worked with the family, and arranged to return
a week later to meet with any staff would like to talk
about their experiences. She also met with some friends
of the patient who were about to visit and who were asking
for advice on how to approach their friend and her husband
at this time.
Chaplains don't have all the answers.
But they are willing to be present and to support others
as they find their own answers in the midst of hardship.
I asked our volunteers why they willingly give up so much
of their time (most of them volunteer two hours a week) and their emotional
energy to be present with people who are hurting.
- One of the chaplains answered, 'because there was someone there for me
when I needed someone. I'm just giving back what was given to me."
- Another, "I've done many things that were fulfilling at the time, but
this excels them all." I'm doing something for someone else, and it is very
good for me!
- Another, "Some of the older patients have so much to tell me about themselves
and about faithfulness. It comforts me to know that."
- God will be there for me when I'm a patient, and I need to share a prayer
request with a chaplain."
- Another, "It is the highlight of my week!"
Most of our volunteer chaplains would agree with that
Volunteers in the pastoral care program come from
a wide variety of religious and spiritual backgrounds.
don't have all the answers. But they are willing to
be present and to support others as they find their
own answers in the midst of hardship --
PASTORAL CARE TRAINING PROGRAM--OPEN
TO ALL--NEXT TRAINING SESSION SPRING 2006
Click here to
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS COURSE
here to receive information/express interest
A Pastoral Care
Training Program, jointly conducted by Mid Coast
Hospital and Parkveiw Adventist Medical Center
is planned for Spring 2006.
The program, while limited as to the number of students who can enroll,
is open to everyone in the area. There is no requirement that you agree
to volunteer with the program (though preference is given to those who
want to consider volunteering with us).
This training program focuses upon empathetic listening
and spirituality & healthcare. It
will include discussion, case studies and practical experience, and will benefit
anyone who participates. There is no cost
for the program.
Volunteers in the pastoral care program come from a wide variety of
religious and spiritual backgrounds. The program affords both lay
and ordained persons to develop their gifts for providing care in a hospital