Next week, we celebrate National Spiritual Care Week, an annual observance that brings together the spiritual care community to share their story and to celebrate various ministries. Taking place from October 25-31, this year’s theme, Collaborative Healthcare: Chaplains Complete the Picture, highlights the invaluable role chaplains play in providing a holistic approach to healthcare.

The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated just how vital the work of chaplains is. As COVID-19 continues to take a toll on people’s physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual wellbeing, we chaplains work tirelessly on the front lines.

Our presence, whether via phone, tele-communication, or safely in person, helps to ease the myriad of concerns being widely expressed. Chaplains are an essential part of the inter-professional team of caregivers, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We listen, pray, and offer words of hope, gratitude and encouragement from a variety of sacred texts. Chaplains are a non-anxious presence, and are calm and compassionate listeners in times that are overwhelming and uncertain.

Serving in 11 healthcare institutions across the state, our Chaplains have taken on the challenging role of providing support for patients and healthcare providers alike, persevering through the stress of creating connections while in PPE, abiding by social distancing and following other safety measures.

In honor of Spiritual Care Week, we hope you will lift up our Chaplains and support the education and practice of spiritual care through professional chaplaincy.