Pastoral Care: Supporting Spiritual Wellness
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At Christian Health, we prioritize the spirit as strongly as we do physical health. As an organization that strives to serve as the hands of Christ, we believe that we should nurture every person’s individual faith and spiritual identity, and we aim to ensure our residents, clients, and patients are supported spiritually through every step of their journey with us.
That’s why we offer compassionate spiritual support services through our Pastoral Care Department, which consists of five ordained ministers who serve as full-time chaplains for all of our programs and communities. Our chaplains provide one-on-one spiritual counseling and prayer as well as community-wide worship and small-group meetings to explore issues of faith, grief, and spirituality. They also meet with family members of residents and patients to offer comfort and consultation.
The Pastoral Care Department offers the following services throughout Christian Health’s campus:
- Individual and small-group spiritual care and counseling
- Regular worship services
- Daily Bible study
- Overhead devotions
- Monthly Communion service
- Faith & Grief luncheons, monthly gatherings to discuss issues of grief and loss
Support Throughout the Journey
Our Pastoral Care team plays the pivotal role of supporting and guiding those who are nearing the end of their life. Rev. Anthony Matias, Chaplain, believes his presence brings spiritual comfort to those in our care as they reach this stage of their journey.
“As a chaplain I walk alongside patients, especially during the dying process,” he said. “I find that my presence and spiritual support create a safe, sacred space where patients can share their concerns, hopes, and fears without judgement. They have a listening ear and welcoming presence alongside them, who meets them where they are and upholds their dignity.”
“Out of everything that is changing for them in that dying journey, my presence will remain the one constant, which brings a sense of comfort and creates trust,” he continued. “While the care team might have to leave the room because of their important duties in caring for the body, as a chaplain, I remain to tend to the spirit.”
Support for Every Faith
Our Pastoral Care team treats every person we serve as an individual and supports all residents and patients, regardless of faith. “We are respectful of everyone’s faith traditions,” said Rev. Dawn Rivers, Chaplain. “We are here to support, not to proselytize or convert.”
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. And 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.
“As chaplains, we respect the faiths of all those in our care, as well as those with no faith,” said Rev. Kathy-Jo Blaske, Chaplain. “We practice the all-inclusive love of God. We respond to those who have concerns and rejoice with those marking religious holidays, personal accomplishments, and reasons to celebrate life. Upon request, we’re pleased to call upon a rabbi, imam, or other spiritual leader of choice to visit because we care about the mental, physical, and spiritual health of all the men, women, and children we serve. Through prayer and presence, through worship and visitation, we extend compassionate care toward peoples’ holistic health.”
Learn More About Our Pastoral Care Team
Our Pastoral Care team supports our mission to be the hands of Christ and provides supportive services, guidance, and prayer to nurture the spirit of all those in our care. To learn more about how our dedicated chaplains serve our patients, residents, and clients and their loved ones, please visit ChristianHealthNJ.info/PastoralCare or call (201) 848-5839.