Many of you are aware that on July 1 the Chaplaincy and Care Ministry became part of a new denominational agency called Thrive which was approved by Synod 2023. Thrive consolidated nine ministries of the CRCNA and placed them all under one roof. Thrive has two co-directors: Rev. Chris Schoon (US director) and Rev. Leslie Van Milligan (Canada director).
I am now part of the Thrive Engage team under Chris with the position title of Ministry Consultant/Endorser. However, my primary focus remains continuing much of the previous work associated with the recruiting, endorsing, and equipping of chaplains.
One of the notable changes for chaplains will be participating in the Pastors’ Conference in Albuquerque, NM (November 14-16). We will join our fellow CRC pastors for worship and to hear the main speaker, Rev. Mary Hulst. There is a special chaplaincy track that will accomplish our training and give us time to focus on supporting each other in our work as chaplains. Much of the conference logistics, including registration, will be under the Thrive Operations team. The Operations team will also provide additional administration support in my role as the endorser since I no longer directly supervise a dedicated administrative assistant.
I ask that you continue your prayer support for the chaplaincy work in Thrive as we discover new ways of collaborating together. Pray for the Thrive team to listen well to not only the needs, but the dreams of our churches, and to those who serve in specialized ministries beyond the walls of the church.
In terms of financial support, you can still designate your gifts to support chaplaincy and the chaplaincy endorsement fund. And there remains a Chaplain Sunday (November 19th!) for congregations to recognize and lift up chaplains through prayer and offerings.
Finally, I want to thank all those who have prayed for my family and myself since the death of my wife, Kristen, on March 11. Please continue your prayers as we cope with this unfathomable change. I cling desperately to Rev. 21:4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Thanks be to God that Christ changed everything for us.
Grace and Peace,
Thrive Ministry Consultant/Chaplain Endorser