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The "None" Box
When asked to indicate their religious affiliation, more and more people are choosing to check the "none" box. In other words, the number of people that do not identify with any organized religion is on the rise. Pastors and other church officials often fret over this growing statistic, but in healthcare ministry, it’s just another day at the office.
I have spoken with people who are Pagan, Wiccan, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and an untold number of people who choose not to identify with any particular religion. I also speak with many who identify themselves as Christian, but no longer regularly attend church. No matter what religion or non-religion of these people, they all have something in common. They are all going through a challenging time of life. They are often alone, definitely not in control of what is happening to them, and facing everything from life-changing illnesses and injuries, mental health challenges, and end of life fears and concerns.
Into each of these situations, we enter in with the love and compassion of Jesus to spend time, listen to stories, hold hands, and bring comfort, forgiveness and hope. We enjoy the unforced rhythms of God’s grace together. What a privilege it is shining the light of Jesus’ love behind the walls!
Chaplain Mark Wenzel
Hospital Health Care
Caring for hospitalized individuals is where it all began, and this continues to be an important ministry. Often patients are far from home, making it hard for their pastors and congregations to easily serve them. Institutional Ministries offers a bridge between of care, with in-person chaplains who bring comfort to hearts darkened by illness, pain or grief. Institutional Ministries shines the light of Jesus wherever people are behind a wall.
Mental Health Care
People who suffer with Mental Health Issues are both young and old, and they struggle with everything from depression and anxiety, to learning disabilities and substance abuse. Nevertheless, they are all dearly loved by our gracious God, who invites us to join him in this amazing ministry — shining the light of Jesus’ love on the walled-in souls of our communities!
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