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A contemplative review of 2017

by in Newsroom
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Dear Franklin,
 
 
We are living in unsettled times.
 
A quick Internet search on the prevalence of fear and worry in America today will yield broad coverage of the subject and the issues driving this widespread apprehension. From just a brief sampling:
 
  • “Why Americans are More Afraid than They Used to Be” (Time Magazine)
  • “Mass Shootings and Trauma: In a World that No Longer Feels Safe, How Do We Cope?” (USA Today)
  • “We're Living in the Age of Fear” (Rolling Stone Magazine)
  • “Americans are More Fearful of Terrorism than at Any Other Time since 9/11” (Time Magazine)
 
Americans are unsure about the safety of their families, finances, and communities. At the same time, many are facing life-altering situations of their own that can include their or a family member’s health crisis, loss of a loved one, troubled relationships, and isolation due to age, illness or any number of factors in their personal lives.
Someone to Talk To 
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network hears from people every day who are struggling to face the fear in their own lives, or hoping to help another who is suffering from illness, addiction, depression, or other difficulties that challenge us to our core. Our line is open to people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and worldviews, and is not restricted to addressing one particular type of problem.
 
HCCN offers a place to turn for anyone seeking support, understanding, and an end to isolation that is sometimes fueled by fear or despair. Our chaplains offer person-to-person care at numerous hospitals and outpatient facilities in New York and beyond. And, via phone, email or video call, people are reaching out to our helpline – called Chat with a Chaplain or Chat with a Counselor – for connection, relief and a way forward.
 
Why Chaplains?
Misunderstanding continues to this day about what chaplains do. Dispelling this misunderstanding is critically important, especially given the unique set of skills that chaplains bring to their work. A chaplain can be part of any faith tradition, or no faith tradition. She or he may be a clergy member, but even chaplains who are clergy are specifically trained – through both academic work and a clinical residency – to address the emotional, existential and spiritual needs of anyone who seeks help, regardless of that person’s faith, or lack thereof. Proselytizing is not under the chaplain’s purview. Chaplaincy care is open to all, without exception.    
 
In this complete openness and compassionate understanding that all faiths – whether of organized traditions or individually-held – connect with each other in our spiritual depths, chaplaincy is a profession that can bring healing in these times of fear, hurtful rhetoric and division.  
Reaching More People at Times of Deepest Need
At HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, we are working to make a greater difference in this world of ever-increasing need – to reach greater numbers of people in crisis with our Chat with a Chaplain or Chat with a Counselor helpline, and to provide more bedside chaplaincy services at our partner hospitals where we care for patients, families and medical staff.
 
Indeed, the services of our chaplains are more in demand than ever before. In 2017, we added six new hospitals to those where we provide direct chaplaincy care. Increasing numbers of nurses, social workers and doctors are looking to HealthCare Chaplaincy for education on how to address the spiritual, emotional and existential concerns of their patients – how, in other words, to care for the human spirit in conjunction with all else they do. And we are leading the way in defining and sharing best practices to ensure that this kind of care, which considers patients’ values and deepest concerns, is based on what works in relieving suffering and improving patient experience and satisfaction.   
 
Your year-end support will make a profound difference
in the lives of many who are facing the challenges
that can define us as human beings.
 
Your gift will enable HealthCare Chaplaincy Network to help individuals overcome fear, pain and isolation and work toward resolution as together we face our world, ourselves, and our potential for wholeness and happiness. 
 
Wishing you every blessing for a peaceful holiday season and coming year.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Rev. Eric J. Hall
President and CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network

 

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Guest Tuesday, 21 August 2018