As an organization founded on Christian principles, we believe that every person has a spiritual need and identity that deserves to be affirmed and nurtured. Our pastoral care staff is here not to preach or evangelize, but to accompany each individual on his or her journey—with eyes to see and ears to hear needs, open hearts and minds to understand different perspectives, and strong shoulders to help carry burdens. These are things from which people of all faiths, or even no faith, can benefit.
CH employs ordained ministers who serve as full-time chaplains for all of our programs and services. Chaplains provide individual care, counseling, and prayer, as well as community-wide worship and small-group experiences to explore issues of faith. They are also available to meet with family members for comfort and consultation.
Our chaplains work closely with local clergy of various denominations and faiths to help them remain involved with their congregants who are staying at CH. While ecumenical worship services are offered several times each week, CH also hosts services of other faiths including Catholic Mass and sacraments, rabbinical visits, and visits from other spiritual leaders.
Pastoral Care services also extend into the community-at-large through the CH Speakers Bureau. Staff members are available to speak on various topics at meetings, conferences, and other gatherings. For example, Rev. Tim Dunn, LCADC, LSW, Chaplain for Ramapo Ridge Psychiatric Hospital and Southgate behavior-management unit, has made several presentations on “Spirituality and Aging” to community groups. CH chaplains also regularly serve as guest chaplains for area churches.
So, what does the Pastoral Care team mean to me?
The Pastoral Care team at CH is such an integral part of the diverse team that delivers care and service to our residents, patients, clients and consumers. In addition to what some might see as “traditional” roles for Chaplains and others from Pastoral Care – leading worship services, conducting Bible studies, visiting individuals at the bedside – they also perform many other critical and important functions. These include orienting new staff to the mission of the organization, participation with clinical teams in designing and delivering plans of care, serving as conduits with faith communities and individual members of the clergy throughout our area, contributing to organizational strategic planning and goal setting, and encouraging all of us to be the hands of Christ in the lives of those we serve. As we continue to enhance and improve our devotion to person and family-centered care, our Pastoral Care team represents a valued and valuable force toward continuous improvements. In addition to that and unique to CH, the clinical background, expertise and credentials of many within our Pastoral Care team makes their contributions toward health, healing and wellness that much more impactful. We are very blessed by the commitment and dedication of our Pastoral Care team and we see those blessings as evident in the lives of those we serve and work alongside.
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