Skip to main content

Institutional Recognition

Last month, many of our chaplains were recognized by their institutions for the work they do in pastoral and spiritual care. In Canada, the week of October 16-23 was designated as “Spiritual and Religious Care Awareness” week. In the United States, the recognition took place the following week.

43 Christian Reformed endorsed chaplains serve in the healthcare setting to include the US Veterans Administration Healthcare. During the day, at night, and on weekends, chaplains provide pastoral care to patients, families, and staff. From the emergency room, to labor and delivery, to recovery from surgery, chaplains come alongside those in need.

Personal Consideration

I was personally reminded of the incredible pastoral care that our chaplains provide. While visiting several chaplains on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, my wife Kristen went to the emergency room for stomach pain. After receiving a CT with contrast, she was told that the scan picked up cancerous masses in her pancreas. I shared the shocking news with the CRC chaplain community and received overwhelming support and prayers.  

Long before the diagnosis, Kristen had her arm tattooed with the words “Consider It Joy”. The design has sparked numerous conversations with nurses about the significance of the James 1 text. It brings back my experiences as a VA chaplain resident when I would go to my assigned clinics to see all those that God wanted me to care for that day - nurses, doctors and patients alike.

Now as Kristen begins her chemotherapy, which will involve spending time in hospitals, I am reminded once again how much chaplains minister to those in crisis. Kristen and I take comfort in knowing that God has sent, and will continue to send, chaplains to care for us and remind us of God’s faithfulness to us in this season of incredible need.

Grace and Peace,

Tim Rietkerk

Director of Chaplaincy and Care

Let's Discuss

We love your comments! Thank you for helping us uphold the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.

Login or Register to Comment

We want to hear from you.

Connect to The Network and add your own question, blog, resource, or job.

Add Your Post