When taking a photo, sometimes a wide angle that shows the whole picture is compelling. Other times, a smaller part of the image is worth focusing on instead.
Spiritual Care Week/Pastoral Care Week is Oct. 25-31, and the theme this year is, “Collaborative Healthcare: Chaplains Complete the Picture.” Spiritual Care Week provides an opportunity to zoom in and focus on the spiritual caregivers in our midst. It also serves as a time to zoom out and see the larger picture – how spiritual care is an important part of the holistic approach to care that Bethesda embraces, as we serve people in mind, body and spirit.
Bethesda’s two ordained pastoral care chaplains, Pastor Bill Miller and Pastor Mary Hovland, have served the Bethesda community for nearly three years. They are trained, certified and called by the church for work in a long-term care setting. The chaplains work in partnership with residents, tenants, their family and parish.
When the pandemic began, the chaplains thoughtfully adjusted their approach to ministry, so they could continue to provide quality spiritual care to Bethesda residents, tenants and staff. They minister to all, sharing God’s Word through sacrament, Bible study, and spiritual care visits. They offer a gentle presence, a reassuring voice, and spiritual understanding.
Below, we share a meaningful message from SpiritualCareWeek.org that describes the role chaplains play in a care setting like Bethesda:
Sometimes a picture is more informative and revealing than either words or actions, referencing the thought, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Collaborative Healthcare: Chaplains Complete the Picture encourages professionals and constituents across the healthcare continuum to view the work of chaplains as part of an image that conveys inclusive healthcare practices among spiritual care practitioners. Viewing chaplains through a lens whereby they collaborate to provide holistic interdisciplinary care, that otherwise would not be complete if the chaplain were not included.
The lens acts as a focal point to capture what is considered important and conceptualizes messages created in thoughts as images. The intent and perhaps purpose, is to reveal moments captured for later reflection.
Chaplains providing spiritual care in spaces that affirm and value their contribution can foster an impression or an idea about what is considered important for care.
The question then is, what are all of the components of practices, and services that shape the outcome of care? The chaplain needs to be within the frame of focus for healthcare professionals, patients and families who directly benefit from their presence and spiritual care services. All stakeholders look through the lens and assign a value for all providers in the frame, including the chaplain.
When chaplains are serving as part of an interdisciplinary team, they are visible and regarded as an integral part of patient care. It is during these experiences, scope of practices, and interactions that the chaplain becomes one of the central subjects of focus of this picture and image. They are within the lens, within focus and demonstrate relevance as they give meaning to their trade as a chaplain.
Learn more about the spiritual care our chaplains provide, by visiting the Spiritual Care page on our website.
Bethesda is a Social Ministry Organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and is supported by an ecumenical group of 25 area churches including Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Methodist. To learn more about Bethesda’s member churches, visit the Member Churches page on our website.