Resilience in Pastoral Care

Throughout the pandemic, I have been amazed at the resilience of the folks offering themselves in pastoral care at Chapelwood. Whether they are on staff or are dedicated lay members, they have given their creative energies to continue to care for the Chapelwood family, and many others beyond our walls. When customary ways and means of offering care to our congregation were halted (i.e., the closing of hospitals to visitors, nursing homes locked down, social distancing rules and regulations implemented, etc.) Chapelwood found new ways to continue to offer congregational care.

Funerals have been held outdoors. Meals and care packages have been delivered to the homebound. Socially distanced Memorial Services have been held in our Columbarium. Thousands of masks have been hand-made by our volunteers. Thousands of caring phone calls have been made to the entire congregation by staff and volunteers. DVDs of worship services have been delivered to assisted living centers for elderly unable to participate in worship online. Chapelwood’s Prayer Ministry has helped so many. The list goes on and on.

Where has the resilience come from to continue with these efforts? I believe it is because we have learned to “abide in Christ.” In John 15, Jesus paints a beautiful picture of this abiding relationship. “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me…Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit.” Those demonstrating such resilience in pastoral care have learned to draw their life, passion, and compassion from Jesus Christ in a continuous, sustained manner. They are vessels of God’s love and care because it comes from God and flows through them. It is a blessing to be a part of the expression of the body of Christ called Chapelwood – a spiritually resilient people!

Dr. Wick Stuckey
Sr. Associate Pastor, Pastoral Care