Saturday, July 21, 2007 at 9:46 pm
Weekly Update 21 July 2007
Choice Christian greetings!
Someone once wrote that Chaplaincy is about "my story," "our story," and "His story." When Church of God ministers enter chaplaincy service, they take their Pentecostal stories into a vast, pluralistic setting. If their stories have deep roots, integrity and have been processed properly, they will be able to serve a vast, almost global, audience without losing their Pentecostal identity. If, on the other hand, they bring distorted stories of their person and faith, they will come across shallow and distorted. Their witness will be weak and without integrity.
Chaplaincy is also about "shared stories." One of the secondary benefits of chaplaincy service centers on us joining our story with the stories of so many other faith groups. Chaplains discover almost immediately that they have more in common with their fellow chaplains than disagreements.
Especially in crises areas, such as a hospital, combat zone and prison systems, cooperation with other Christian chaplains is not a luxury; it is a necessity. It is not uncommon, prior to an execution at a large prison, for chaplains of all faiths to come together for common prayer, embracing each other for this crisis moment. The same experience happens in combat, whereby Christian chaplains will join together, praying for each other and especially praying for their soldiers. I will never forget the time in my military ministry when Jeanette, my wife, was facing a critical, life-threatening illness. She awakened one morning to find the Catholic Priest at her bedside, calling upon Almighty God for healing and deliverance. As you might suspect, that Priest became our life-long friend.
And finally, chaplaincy is about "His story." We must never lose sight that it is not about us or them; it is about "Him." We are there, in every chaplaincy act of ministry, to honor Him; in our personal walk of holiness, in our faithfulness to the Word of God and in our witness to those who are in need. If those we serve can see in us that glorious grace of the Lord, Jesus Christ, lives are changed and situations radically altered. That beautiful story of Jesus’ witness to the woman at the well illustrates the profound nature of "His story." After having a conversation with our Lord, her words expressed the power of the encounter. She stated, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" In other words, she met someone, after knowing her for what she was, had offered her grace and forgiveness. "My story, our story and His story;" they come together as a witness to a wounded world for such a time as this.
We just received word that Army Chaplain (CPT-P) Clayton Gregory has been selected for the rank of Major. Chaplain Gregory is currently serving in Korea. His wife, Susan, living in Cleveland, Tennessee, while Clayton is deployed, works as a volunteer at our Commission offices. Susan just returned from a visit to Korea where she had the opportunity to be with Clayton for three weeks, enjoying time together and a trip to China. We all celebrate this promotion as a result of outstanding ministry, and truly coming from the Lord. Send your notes of congratulations to Clayton and Susan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
A NOTE TO COMMUNITY SERVICE CHAPLAINS:
Our volunteer chaplains, more appropriately called Community Service Chaplains, are those who have received our Basic CSC Course and are actively involved in chaplaincy ministries. We endorse hundreds of these chaplains, serving in hospice, jails/prisons, industries, hospitals, NASCAR racetracks, college campuses and the list goes on. In fact, today you will find Community Service Chaplains in some 35 different types of institutions.
The requirements for volunteer chaplains are the same as for full-time chaplains. Endorsing a chaplain is not only a spiritual matter, but a legal one. The chaplain who is endorsed represents the high standards of the Church of God Chaplains Commission. Therefore, every endorsed chaplain must report to this office monthly. Otherwise, we, in accordance with our guidelines, must withdraw that endorsement. We cannot be responsible for chaplains if we do not know what they are doing.
We are asking all of our Community Service Chaplains to report each month; and, we encourage them to support this ministry monthly with a free-will offering. These funds from our Community Service Chaplains are used to train other chaplains, particularly in remote and difficult areas.
If any of our Community Service Chaplains have questions concerning the monthly reporting requirement, please address them immediately to our CSC Administrator, Wayne Roberson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTHER CHAPLAINCY NEWS:
1. Hospice Chaplain Susan Harper, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, reports: "I am asking special prayer for our hospital. Like all clinical settings, staff, administration and patients need our prayers. I recently had the opportunity to lead a memorial service for a deaf woman who died without family. She was a precious Christian who used sign language and writing to communicate her love for Christ. Ministering in these settings is a humbling, but rewarding experience."
2. Hospital Chaplain Richard Gilbert, Vancouver, Washington, notes: "This month, I assisted with 12 different families whose loved ones died. Some of those who passed away were young; many were very old. Each death was unique; providing me with a wonderful opportunity for ministry."
3. Army Chaplain (COL) David Moran, Heidelberg, Germany, gives us an update of his recent reassignment: "Cindy and I are now settled in and receiving house guests. Chaplain David Hall and his wife, Michele, along with their family of seven (including David’s mom and aunt) joined us in Heidelberg for a great time of fellowship and sight-seeing. David was anxious to get back to his unit so that he could preach at their Sunday morning service in Baumholder."
4. Army Chaplain (CPT) Everett Franklin, Fort Rucker, Alabama, requests prayer for their daughter, Lindsey. She is scheduled for surgery on August 2, 2007. Send your prayer notes to the Franklins at: Everett.email@example.com.
5. Prison Chaplain Michael Vanderburg, Granite Falls, North Carolina, reports: "The Lord is doing some awesome work in our institution. In addition to great worship services, we are attempting to align these young men in our institution with pastors and congregations as they anticipate being released. We currently have 17 volunteers in congregations that take turns ministering to these young inmates. Several of our inmates have recently given their hearts to the Lord and have been baptized in the Holy Spirit."
6. Dr. Vernelle Allen, Live Oak, Florida, long-term prison chaplain, sends this interesting report: "Last week, I received a telephone call telling me I had been nominated for Cambridge’s Who’s Who in American Women.
After answering a few of their questions and being congratulated on being accepted as a member, he told me they had two plans.Plan A would cost me $700; Plan B, $500. I thanked him for his time and told him that for that amount of money I could buy 80 Bibles for female inmates that were lost and hurting. Thanks, but no thanks! My honor comes from the Lord. Also, I am happy to report that my second book has been released by Derek Press,
Finding Peace in Pain. This book was written when God helped me through a very physically painful time in my life."
7. Air Force Chaplain (CPT) Gabriel Rios, San Antonio, Texas, tells us that he is on his way to his new assignment in Germany. He notes: "Marilyn, Elizabeth (our youngest daughter – 13) and I flew to Germany July 16th. Pray for our son, David (18) who we dropped off last week at the Air Force Academy; and for our daughter, Ruth, (20) who will be staying in San Antonio to complete her educational programs." I know all of you will remember the Rios in prayer as they begin their new assignment.
For the past several months, all of us have been praying daily for Sheena, married daughter of Retired Army Chaplain Randy Imhoff. Sheena was involved in a critical accident that has left her in a semi-comatose state, requiring extensive care, numerous surgeries and other medical procedures. In his daily reports, Chaplain Imhoff keeps us well informed as to Sheena’s progress. As I have often told Chaplain Imhoff, Sheena represents all our sons and daughters who need our constant prayers. They, our kids and all those we serve, remind us of the importance of corporate prayers. United in prayer, we truly do invite the Holy Spirit into our lives and ministries.
Dr. Robert Crick
Director, Chaplains Commission
Categories: Weekly Update