“Everything happens for a reason.” “Just give me a call if there’s anything I can do.” “She’s in a better place now.” Ever heard one of these? Better still, ever FELT one of these? Try as we might to help each other through all of what life is, sometimes we fall short. St. Benedict reminds us that we are accountable to each other because we share common life. Further, we love one another in a real way when we share time together. Listening is a vital part of caring for each other and of hearing the divine whispers that lead us to a greater realization of ourselves and of God in our midst. These two points are a portion of what The Community of Hope tries to tap into in its lay chaplains.
These chaplains sign onto a 15 week training period filled with prayer, study, self-reflection, presentations, and practice. Following the training, they engage in a three month internship where they implement their skills. Using the monastic model of obedience, humility, and discipline, they carry out their individual calls in the world, while using each other as a firm foundation for accountability, prayer, formation, and debriefing. Being part of an intentional Benedictine community allows them to better “Listen with the ear of our heart,” as St. Benedict so wisely advises.
Though we are not monks or nuns, we commit ourselves to a vocation of pastoral care and ongoing spiritual formation. Our individual calls may look differently, but our intention is the same: to work for the reconciliation of the world by serving with compassion and love.
On September 27 at the 10:45 AM service, eighteen parishioners will be making sacred vows before God and the congregation to a commitment to pastoral care, spiritual growth, and prayer with the Benedictine community of The Community of Hope, International (COHI). Please consider praying for their ministry to each other, to you, and to the broader community. On that day, you will be invited to pray for their purpose as well. They will be available in the Greeting Area outside the parish hall for a brief time to answer questions and connect to the parish after their commissioning. Please stop by!
Lay Chaplain, COHI