Celebrate Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors During Pastoral Care Week

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Celebrate Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors During Pastoral Care Week

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/14/13)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) asks American Baptists to celebrate and pray for chaplains and pastoral counselors during Pastoral Care Week, October 20-26, 2013.

“When I think about the ministry of chaplains and pastoral counselors, I think about persons who are present with others,” says Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III, ABHMS executive director and ecclesiastical endorsing agent. “I salute them for that. They are present with people in so many ways. They’re present with people as the compassionate heart of Jesus Christ, they’re present with them as the listening ears of Jesus Christ, and they’re present with them as the voice of mercy and kindness—and as the prophetic voice as well.”

Spotlighting pastoral care’s life-giving focus, this year’s theme—“Prophetic Voice”— encourages organizations and institutions throughout the world to acknowledge and learn more about the spiritual care provided by professional chaplains and pastoral counselors.

“In line with the American Baptists tradition of recognizing and endorsing men and women called to minister in specialized areas, more than a thousand American Baptist-endorsed active and retired chaplains and pastoral counselors worldwide today provide care and bring hope in such varied settings as hospitals, prisons, businesses, industries, long-term care facilities, pastoral counseling centers, hospices, military settings, corporations, congregations, schools and universities,” says Dr. Laura Miraz, ABHMS associate executive director of Mission Services.

To hear an interview with the Rev. Harry Simmons, chair of the American Baptist Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors Endorsement Committee, institutional chaplain at Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Richmond, Va., and recipient of American Baptist Churches USA’s Merit Award for Institutional Chaplaincy, visit www.abhms.org and click the “Faces and Places of Hope” logo on or after Oct. 23.

Other available Faces and Places of Hope podcasts feature retired Chaplain (Major General) Lorraine K. Potter; retired VA Chaplain the Rev. Robert Roesler; and the Rev. Monica Harmon, chaplain, Crossroads Hospice, Cleveland, Ohio.

For a variety of chaplaincy and pastoral counseling resources, visit www.abhms.org and click “Chaplains & Pastoral Counselors.” Available is a list of Judson Press resources for chaplains and pastoral counselors, including the book “More Than a Parting Prayer: Lessons in Care-Giving for the Dying” by William Griffith. Visit YouTube to view Judson Press’ “Behind the Book” video of Griffith, a hospital chaplain with more than 20 years of experience.

For more information about ABHMS’ Chaplaincy & Pastoral Counseling Ministries, send an email to endorsement@abhms.org.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.

American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.