Chaplaincy and Care 2020 Year-End Letter

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Dear valued friend, 

It’s an understatement to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the working environments and workloads of almost everyone—especially workers on the front lines. CRC chaplains are meeting the call and stepping up to provide ministry in the midst of the crisis, where many people are not allowed to have local clergy visit them in the hospital or in long-term care facilities. But, as essential employees of these institutions, chaplains are filling the void.

“One of the big changes [of the pandemic] . . . is not working with families or pastors or priests at the time of death or during significant moments but taking that on ourselves due to visitation restrictions.” —Chaplain Marc Z., Children’s Hospital (Ohio) 

“Small screens [iPads] are having a big impact on patient-family connection in this COVID-19 environment.” Chaplain Tim D., Hospital (Ontario)

“I am focusing much more of my time on care of staff. Processing their emotions and
helping them find the strength for their work.” —Chaplain Ben S., Hospital (Michigan)

The CRC’s Chaplaincy and Care Ministry is proud to provide care for these caregivers. We’re focused on developing, supporting, and encouraging these special individuals and their families.

But we can’t do this without your help. Would you consider giving a year-end gift to our ministry?

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly changed the workplace and workloads of almost everyone—especially chaplains. So, in response, and in addition to existing educational meetings, we started scheduling hour-long virtual meetings every week to provide prayer, encouragement, and resources to chaplains as they continued to serve on the front lines providing grounded pastoral care amid the chaos of the crisis.

During each of these meetings, 12 to 30 chaplains provided critical updates from their regions. They requested feedback from their peer group with regard to meeting new criteria for providing spiritual care. And they shared new resources or spiritual-care practices among them. 

One chaplain participant shared, “My week is so full with so many meetings and additional work that I need to do in the midst of COVID-19 [that] it’s tempting to skip these meetings, but each time I attend, I’m so thankful that I have joined.”

Did you know that chaplains make up 10 percent of CRC ordained clergy? They are serving in 34 states and provinces and on five overseas military bases, providing ministry to an estimated 2 million people annually. They are specially trained, called, and ordained by the church and sent by Jesus Christ to provide spiritual care to people in pain or spiritual distress beyond the walls of the church. 

And Chaplaincy and Care Ministry is there supporting these specialized ministry workers. 

Chaplain Ben also shared this observation about the pandemic: “I see God working in the ways that people are pulling together and helping one another—in the outpouring of love and gifts to those working on the front lines.

Can you give a financial gift and strengthen these chaplains working on the front lines?

Through your generosity, you can help us reach our goal of raising $85,000. Your gift today will provide CRC chaplains with the specialized training, mentorship, and advocacy they need to flourish in their ministries.

On behalf of our chaplains and the people they serve, thank you for supporting Chaplaincy and Care Ministry. Your giving enables our chaplains to continue their ministry and to be the light of Christ in moments that matter.

In Christ,

Rev. Sarah Roelofs, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy and Care Ministry, CRCNA

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