Over 100 friends and family members recently celebrated with the newest (and largest) graduating class of Bishop Anderson House’s Volunteer Chaplain Training course. ELCA Bishop Wayne Miller presided over an inspirational worship service of Holy Eucharist and Certification of Pastoral Care Visitors at Faith Lutheran Church, Glen Ellyn.
A festive luncheon (thanks to a “Faith-ful” volunteer corps) provided the backdrop for congratulatory hugs and poignant goodbyes, as the newly commissioned students reflected upon the pastoral care skills they refined and sharpened during the 12-week program. Coming from varied faith traditions and 14 congregations, the group bonded over the goal of fostering the spirit of care in homes, congregations, and senior or health care facilities.
Faith Pastor Jim Honig was instrumental in building the partnership with Bishop Anderson House. “Here at Faith, we had the strong sense that this was a quality program that would be a great blessing to our congregation, not just in serving our own people but in reaching out to the community. However, we also felt like it would be very unlikely that we would find anyone willing to drive into the city on a Tuesday evening at rush hour for 13 weeks running. It felt a little like a shot in the dark to ask if they’d be willing to come out here. It was so refreshing to find a ministry partner willing to take the risk and see what would happen. And as it turns out, it’s been a huge win for everyone involved.”