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.
Christian Health employs five 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 Christian Health. While ecumenical worship services are offered several times each week, Christian Health also hosts services of other faiths including Catholic Mass and sacraments, rabbinical visits, and visits from other spiritual leaders.
The Pastoral Care Department is active throughout the Christian Health campus, offering:
The Pastoral Care Department also offers diverse programs throughout the year for area clergy and church professionals. Clergy Days are full-day events and have featured nationally recognized speakers. Pastoral Colloquiums are under two hours in length. Topics for both types of events are suggested in advance by participants.
Office staff members from religious institutions are invited to “Oasis from the Office,” a lecture series featuring Christian Health support-service professionals. Presentation topics have included “Understanding Microsoft Publisher,” “Excel,” and more. In addition, parish nurses are invited to Parish Nurse Ministry Forums. These half-day gatherings provide support and professional enrichment to parish nurses.
Pastoral Care services extend into the community-at-large through the Christian Health 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 Behavioral Health and Southgate behavior-management unit, has made several presentations on “Spirituality and Aging” to community groups. Christian Health chaplains also regularly serve as guest chaplains for area churches.
In cooperation with Valley Hospice, Christian Health offers Faith & Grief Luncheons. Faith & Grief is a ministry of compassion and connection that provides an opportunity for people dealing with grief and loss to share a meal and talk with others who are experiencing the same issues. Trained facilitators—typically clergy from various local religious institutions—facilitate small groups that meet the third Wednesday of the month. For more information about the Faith & Grief program, please call our Pastoral Care Department at (201) 848-5839.
(To learn more about Faith & Grief and to find additional resources, visit the organization’s website at FaithandGrief.org .)