Wednesday, July 25, 2007 at 10:24 am
Weekly Update 27 July 2007
Choice Christian greetings!
This week’s Update is coming early due to travels of Commission Staff.
Last week, I had the opportunity to be the guest speaker at the Chattanooga Area Clinical Pastoral Education Association annual dinner/conference. Twelve years ago, I had the good fortune of being on the initial Committee that was instrumental in getting Clinical Pastoral Education into Chattanooga’s Erlanger General Hospital and Sisken Rehabilitation Hospital. This was no small task. Grants were secured from several Foundations; a CPE supervisor was hired; and, after a two year extensive assessment, the two hospitals were accredited for CPE training. The second CPE supervisor hired was Church of God CPE Supervisor, Dr. Keith Munford. Since the program was started some ten years ago, 165 Church of God Theological Seminary students have either finished the Basic CPE Unit or one year Residency. Many of these students are serving as full time military and institutional chaplains; others are in Missions, as well as outstanding pastors, educational directors and a number of other ministries. 30 of those who have taken advantage of this special clinical training were from countries outside the US. It is about partnerships; with colleagues from other Christian faith groups assisting in the training of Church of God chaplains. At this annual dinner I thanked all those who have assisted in helping Church of God students, chaplains and other ministers experience a deeper level of the integration of "head" and "heart." The results often is a more mature chaplain/minister giving service to those needing care centered in the grace of our Lord.
THREE CHAPLAINCY COURSES FOR NEW YORK CITY:
This past week the Church of God Chaplains Commission co-sponsored with New York Theological Seminary three chaplaincy courses. The courses were held at the NY Interfaith Center, Manhattan. They were: (l) A Basic Community Service Chaplaincy 40 hour course; instructors Dr. Jake Popejoy, Dr. Doc Williams and Dr. Bob Crick; (2) A Spanish language CSC Basic 40 hour course; instructors, Dr. Hector Chiesa, Co-Director of NY State Prison Chaplaincy and Chaplain Ismael Ponce, Chaplaincy Coordinator for Puerto Rica and (3) a Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Course; instructor, Chaplain Roger Daniels, long-term Law Enforcement chaplain. 75 students were enrolled in these three courses; most pastors and lay persons from the NY City area.
Ten Church of God Theological Seminary students took advantage of the NY City courses and ministries. They made the trip by vans; and were hosted by the Church of God East Flatbush in Brooklyn , Senior pastor Dr. Hugh Nelson. In addition to the courses at NY Seminary, our students were placed in a practicum which allowed them to visit and minister in churches in Brooklyn and the Bronx. They were introduced to Dr. Nelson’s church, which has more than 50 local church chaplains ministering in prisons, hospitals, homeless centers, rescue missions and other intercity institutions that care for those in need. Dr. Jimmy DuPree, Administrator for the Seminary Care Ministries programs, was the coordinator for this NY practicum experience. If you are interested in our NY City chaplaincy program, contact us for future courses and chaplaincy internships at: <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com
OTHER CHAPLAINCY NEWS:
1. Prison Chaplain Betty Standifer, Chattanooga, Tennessee, notes: It breaks my heart to see women in our institution on suicide watch. Pray with me that I will be able to reach these women with the Gospel. Jesus gave His life for them.
2. Prison Chaplaincy Coordinator Mable Manning, North Carolina states: "Last week in one of our prisons we ministered to 74 men who were hungry for God and His Word. They worshipped, sang praises and rejoiced in the Lord; and begged us to hurry back for more services."
3. Pastor and Pastoral Counselor, Rodney Vickers sent this special prayer need: "Urgent prayer is needed for the 20 South Korean Christians who were kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Also pray for their families."
4. Army Chaplain (MAJ-P) Mickey Jett, Iraq gave these inspiring remarks: "I had 165 in our Sunday worship service; and in our new evening service we had 85 present. My staff is multiracial; one white chaplain; one black chaplain and one female chaplain. My executive pastor is a black minister getting his M/Div from a Seminary in the US. My lead lay ministers for the evening service are one black and one white. We have the most diversity of all the worship services in this area. My model of ministry and vision for any church has this same ground breaking concept; I want to reach up and down the spectrum of my community, whether in the military or civilian world."
TEN YEAR REFLECTION FROM AN ARMY CHAPLAIN
Army Chaplain (MAJ) Steven Cantrell, Fort Benning, Georgia reflects: "After almost 10 years as a Church of God chaplain, I have good news for Dr. Crick and our Chaplains Commission. Every day young US citizens volunteer to be Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard. They fearlessly volunteer for combat service. I thank the Lord for Cornerstone COG as they host each month an evening called "Operation Appreciation" for those in basic training. For military families, this outstanding church offers catered Italian family dinners with candlelight and childcare so the couples can have a date night out. Pastor Dan McEachin, one of a kind, honors Church of God chaplains in the worship services. I am also thankful for our Ministry to the Military outreach. And, I salute our retired COG military chaplains, and our senior active duty chaplain, as great mentors. We recently had retired Army Chaplain Bob Jenkins with us; he ministered to basic training soldiers at a prayer breakfast. Prior to going to Iraq, our unit in Italy, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, invited Dr Crick, who served the 173rd in Vietnam, to be our guest and speaker. He told the hundreds present that, like our troops who served in Vietnam, ‘you will not be forgotten.and your sacrifices will not be in vain.’ Truly, the Lord is saving souls and strengthening our US military through the teamwork of local Churches of God, our Chaplains Commission and our Ministry to the Military."
Today, the Church of God has outstanding chaplaincy programs in 69 countries. In some of these countries, hundreds have been training for full time or volunteer chaplaincy service. We have many chaplains in Iraq and many other dangerous combat areas. In a recent review of our ministries, we discovered that Church of God chaplains are serving in 37 different types of institutions.military, prisons, college/university campuses, industries, race tracks, hospice, hospitals, retirement centers, gospel rescue missions and the list goes on and on. Chaplaincy believes that we must "go to them; not expect them to come to us." Our chaplaincy ministries are only as good as those who carry the title "chaplain." And you can be assured that they are the very best. Pray for our Church of God chaplains and the thousands they serve.
Dr. Robert Crick
Director, Chaplains Commission
Categories: Weekly Update