Jesus, I Will Love Whom You Love

Jesus, I Will Love Whom You Love

by Rev. Jessica Moffatt & Rev. Dr. Thomas Hoffmann

Did you know there is a group of persons at Church of the Servant who have said, “Yes!” to a most beautiful work of God? Our eight Care Chaplains faithfully pray for, encourage, offer healing to, hold hands with, listen to, and extend compassion to you and me – especially when we are hurting or sick – in the name of Christ and on behalf of the entire Servant family.

The roots of our Care Chaplain ministry go back to 1980 and the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Bob Gardenhire. When the church was in its heyday of attendance, over 70 Care Chaplains were serving at one time. In these more streamlined days, our “Octet of Caretakers” continue to carry the load for those of us who are sick, in long-term care facilities, or who just need prayer and encouragement – and, of course, these acts are extended to our family and friends as well.
At the helm is our Coordinator for Care Ministries Vicki Roberds, and her partner-in-blessing Camilla Riley, Care Ministries Associate. Vicki and Camilla receive prayer requests and hospital reports, make Chaplain assignments, coordinate with the pastoral staff for funerals and visitations, and even help find food, clothing, and shelter for persons in need. One of their more recent care partnerships is with the State Alzheimer’s Association, and this work is growing quickly at Servant. Spend just a few minutes with Vicki and Camilla, and you will see God’s joy in their eyes and feel Christ’s compassion for others in their hearts as they go about their ministries.

We were told this was true of ALL of our Care Chaplains. We knew we had to meet these behind-the-scenes, unsung spiritual heroes ourselves. So, a few weeks ago, we gathered with them for a simple meal and deeper conversation. The remainder of this blog is simply their words. Because your Care Chaplains don’t like drawing attention to themselves, we won’t attribute the quotations to any individual. No matter who is speaking, however, you’ll hear the accent of God’s love and call.

  • “One of Servant’s pastors invited me to be a Care Chaplain. I stepped out of my comfort zone and said, ‘Yes.’ It’s been one of the greatest blessings of my life.”
  • “The Lord said to me in retirement, ‘I am going to give you some things to do.’ When I started sitting with hospice patients, I asked permission to sing ‘Jesus songs,’ and patients responded to those when they hadn’t responded to anything before.”
  • “I was attending Church of the Servant and didn’t know anything about Care Chaplains. One of the pastors explained it to me and convinced me I could do this. He was right!”
  • “Every job I ever had was in a hospital, so Tom McGee told me about the Care Chaplaincy at Servant. That was 15 years ago, and I’m still serving!”
  • “The heart and soul of this ministry are the visits, phone calls, and cards we send out. These simple acts touch people’s lives.”
  • “One of the pastors recruited me and my husband for this ministry. At first, I was concerned that I didn’t have enough knowledge, but we were trained. Now we love it. It’s been so rewarding to serve, to give back to others.”
  • “Jesus told us to 1) preach the Gospel, and 2) love the Lord God and each other--with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. That’s what being a Care Chaplain is all about.”
  • “It is SO GOOD to care for other people!”
  • “My aunt started a nursing home ministry when she was 75 years old! When I became a Care Chaplain, she would ask me, ‘Did you touch them? Someone who’s hurting needs to feel your touch.’ I learned how to be a good Care Chaplain from her.”
  • “Caring comes naturally to me. When my adult kids were dating, I would say to them, ‘I will love whom you love.’ It suddenly occurred to me that I should make that same commitment to Christ: ‘Jesus, I will love whom you love.’ And Jesus loves everyone! That’s the blessing of being a Care Chaplain.”

One way we can say Thank You to these “servants of Servant” is to bless them in the name of Christ. Please join us this Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. in the Celebration Center; as part of our worship, we will do just that.

In Christ,
PS: Inspired to know more about becoming a Care Chaplain? Reach out to us anytime.
L to R: Carolyn Hays, Linda Gully, Carolyn Wright,
Sally Riffey, Jane Bronnenberg, Camilla Riley,
Vicki Roberds, Gary Riffey.