Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 10:19 am
This past week a number of individuals from the Care Ministries Division attended the Latin American Summit in Guatemala City, Guatemala. It was an exciting week filled with dynamic worship services and numerous classes covering almost every area of church ministry. Some 1500 leaders from across the entirety of Latin America attended the day services and in the evening services an additional number of local leaders numbering approximately 1000-1500 joined the evening time of worship. I deeply appreciated Dr. David Ramirez, the Field Director of Latin America for allowing Care Ministries to be involved. From the Care Division Board of Directors, we were able to provide assistance in the amount of $80,000 (US) to help some 200 leaders in the travel, lodging and other expenses so they could attend. How wonderful it was to, not only participate but also to observe the attendees as they faithfully attended all worship services and all classes. This was no small accomplishment in as much as the morning services began at 7:45 am and continued all day into the evening that usually concluded around 10:30 pm. In the afternoon classes, every class seemed to be packed full. It was an extraordinary commitment that I have not witnessed in years.
The Latin American Summit night services were outstanding filled with powerful video presentations, awards and also the preaching of the gospel. Dr. Tim Hill preached a powerful message on Wednesday evening and I was able to share the preached word on the concluding night, which was Thursday evening. Of special note was the televising of the evening services. According to Dr. Ramirez, some 11 million people were able to view the night services on a cable station that covered all of Central America. I cannot express enough my deepest appreciation to the Executive Committee of Latin America that chose to present me with a special award on Thursday night. I love and appreciate these brethren that I have worked with for many years, they are among the most choice servants of the Lord.
The Chaplains Commission was particularly highlighted being the only ministry that was provided the time to teach a full course of instruction for CSC certification. Dr. Popejoy and Becky, along with CSC Administrative Assistant Diana Cardona did an outstanding job the entire week. We were particularly glad to have Diana and Dr. Esdras Betancourt from the Ministerial Care Office to assist us with the language translation. For those of you who were praying for us, please know we felt the strength of your prayers.
May God continue to bless you is my prayer!
Donnie W. Smith, D.Min.
Ministering on the edge of eternity is one way to describe hospice chaplaincy. Hospice chaplains have the opportunity to walk with their patients in their final days of life on earth up to the edge of passing into eternity.
One of our newest hospice chaplains is Chaplain Elizabeth Buckner. Elizabeth, who has extensive experience ministering to young people and the military (she is a new Army National Guard Chaplain), had never thought of doing hospice chaplaincy until recently. She told me, “Since taking advantage of the opportunity to work for hospice, I have found that I love my job.” She said that it is rewarding to provide emotional and spiritual support to patients and their families during some of the most difficult times of their lives.
Chaplain Buckner enjoys working on a professional team. Her hospice team, like many others, consists of a doctor, a registered nurse, a certified nursing aide, a licensed social worker (MSW) and a chaplain.
As a chaplain to all, her primary objective is not to proselytize. She provides spiritual and pastoral care during her visits within the scope of the patient’s beliefs and her own. However, she has had patients ask her about her faith in their final days and she has had the blessing of being able to share the love of Jesus Christ with them and see them experience the miracle of salvation just days before death. She also said, “I have met many faithful saints during my time with hospice and have had the bitter sweet experience of seeing them go home to be with the Lord.”
Hospice chaplaincy is a growing area of Vocational Chaplaincy that may not be for everyone. Chaplain Buckner believes, “For those called to it, it is a wonderful ministry experience and blessing that warms the heart.”
News from the Field
Congratulations to Army Chaplain Steve Cantrell who was selected for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Navy Chaplain, Commander, David Gibson announced his upcoming retirement from 29 years serving the Navy. The Florida Administrative Bishop also announced David’s appointment as pastor of the Covenant Church of God in Pace, Florida. Congratulations to David and Tami for both their retirement from the Navy and the appointment to their new place of ministry.
Richard L. Pace, D.Min.
Endorser and Coordinator, Vocational Chaplaincy Ministries
Community Service Chaplaincy News
The world of Community Service Chaplaincy is expanding; literally expanding around the globe. The Church of God Chaplains Commission has taught 33 courses since December 1st, 2012. This does not include the many courses taught by our Chaplains Commission certified affiliates in many other parts of the world. I am personally having conversations with Church, civic and educational leaders who are seeing the need to “diversify” their ministry outreaches in order to reach a larger group of people in the market place and their communities.
After a successful Latin American Summit in Guatemala City, where the Chaplains Commission had ample opportunity to present certified Community Service Chaplaincy. (Photo at right, Chaplain Popejoy and Diana Cardona meet with several Latin American Chaplains.)
We are now honored to have back to back courses in Dublin, Ireland this week and next. National Chaplaincy Coordinator for Ireland, Daniel Sylverston is once again assembling a group of pastors and laity for his 2nd annual Chaplaincy Congress in Dublin.
Please keep us all in your prayers as we instruct another team of men and women to go into the market place of ministry.
PLEASE NOTE: LEVEL III TRAINING is fast approaching. Make your reservation to attend this class May 29th – 31st, 2013, in Cleveland, Tennessee. Online registration is available at www.tiacsc.com.
(NEW) Level III CSC Training – May 29th – May 31st, 2013
Cleveland, Tennessee – USA
Updates and Reports from the Field
Community Service Chaplain Myrna A Moody, Dryden, Washington, reports the following: “Prayer and Needs: Pray for an 8 year old to respond positively to counsel and possible medication. Pray for good guidance for the mother to parent both boys with great success. Thank you. Significant Activities: Drove many miles to give emotional support to a young mother of two boys; helped calm them and give direction and steps for family counsel.”
Community Service Chaplain Ralph Flores, Fairburn, Georgia, submits the following report: “Prayer and Needs: Spanish-English Prison Ministry Inc. I would like to become a Full Time Chaplain in the Prison. Significant Activities: Ministry at Robert Deyton Detention Center.”-Chaplain Flores, thank you for your continued service to the ministry of corrections.
On behalf of a fine Administrative Bishop, Community Service Chaplain and grand supporter of Church of God Chaplaincy I submit a great letter of recognition on behalf of the United Nations:
To His Excellency Bishop Humes,
First of all, I would like to thank you for your availability and your willingness to meet with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As discussed during our meeting, we are actively looking for new partnerships in The Bahamas and in particular we are seeking shelter alternatives for refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR. As you are aware, UNHCR has a limited budget for the Caribbean Region and that obliges us to maximize the effective use of our resources. In that sense, I would like to follow up with you to see to what extent UNHCR could make use of some of the dormitories that you have available to host some of the refugees in The Bahamas. For your information currently there are a total of 12 persons of concern to UNHCR that are in need of shelter until a durable solution is found for them (most likely resettlement to a third country). UNHCR is actively working with different Governments and partners in identifying durable solutions for the refugees. However as this is something that not only depends on UNHCR, there is no exact time frame until the most appropriate durable solution is identified.
For your easy reference, I would like to share with you the framework agreement for operational partnership with UNHCR as well as a donation letter that would enable us to transfer any funds required for this arrangement. UNHCR looks forward to working with the Church of God and is available to answer any questions that you may have.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Please take note that the CSC website is now located at www.tiacsc.com. Your visit and registration will be appreciated.
The Church of God Irish Chaplains Commission will be hosting our 2nd Annual CSC Training the weekend of May 3-6, 2013, in Dublin, Ireland.
Dr. Jake Popejoy
Coordinator, Training and Community Service Chaplains