Changing Aging Blog

An Appreciation of Ecumen’s Dedicated Chaplains
Date: Oct 12th, 2017 12:59pm

Author:

Ecumen Communications

By Chris Quistad, Ecumen Director of Spiritual Care

Chaplains play an indispensable role in senior communities, offering residents spiritual care, compassion, encouragement and support.  October is Clergy Appreciation Month, and Ecumen wants our chaplains to know how highly we value the work they do.

Often our residents are faced with transitions in life – a recent move, loss of independence, grief from loss of spouse or friends. During these times, they may need a listening ear to process forgiveness, reconciliation, or find peace in relationships with God, family, or friends.

Chaplains and spiritual leaders have a heart for serving others – impacting physical health, mental health, and well-being. They assist others in finding peace and meaning in life. Their nondenominational ministry goes well beyond providing weekly interfaith chapel worship.

Their work involves providing pastoral care and counseling; meeting each resident to assess for spiritual needs/distress; providing sacraments/rituals; developing spiritual programs such as discussion groups, choirs, or family support groups; serving as a liaison between resident’s home faith community; recruiting and training volunteers from faith communities; and providing end-of-life and bereavement care.

Chaplains also offer spiritual and emotional support to our staff. Many times employees need a listening ear when they are dealing with difficult situations, not only at work but personally. Chaplains are there to provide that emotional counseling, thus decreasing employee burnout. They also provide staff training on grief or spiritual/ethical issues.

During Clergy Appreciation Month – we honor our dedicated chaplains and spiritual leaders across Ecumen:

Jean Anderson, Ecumen Lakeview Commons

Karen Cherwien, Ecumen North Branch

Peter Fritch-Gallatin, Ecumen Detroit Lakes

Janet Geisler, Ecumen Prairie Hill & Ecumen Sand Prairie

Ron Gerl, Ecumen Parmly LifePointes

Tim Hinrichs, Ecumen Pathstone Living

Scott Keehn, Ecumen Bethany Community

Roger Klinghagen, Ecumen of Litchfield

Alice Olson, Ecumen Lakeshore

Susan Schoon, Ecumen Seasons at Maplewood

Michael Hedges, Ecumen Hospice

Corein Turbak, Ecumen Hospice

Gary Cumings, Ecumen Hospice

Keith Carlson, Ecumen Hospice

Bill Kerr, Ecumen Hospice

Joann Siverling, St. Mark’s Living

Lori Morton and Steve Neuter, Luther Park at Sandpoint

Thank you for all your dedication, encouragement, and compassionate care – not only to our residents but also to our staff! Your tireless commitment to service is at the heart of what Ecumen is all about!

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:9)  

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