In June, more than 110 individuals—86 of them current CRC chaplains—met at the Prince Center in Grand Rapids, Mich., to network, learn, and begin celebrating the 75th anniversary of chaplaincy as an official ministry of the CRC.
Most of the ministry’s former directors of the Chaplaincy and Care office were present and were honored at this year’s conference, which focused on the theme “Spirituality and Psychology —Duality or Dichotomy?”
The CRC’s Chaplaincy and Care Ministry, which formally began during World War II, actually goes back more than 100 years to 1913, when informal chaplaincy began at Bethesda Sanatorium in Denver, Colo., and at Pine Rest Christian Hospital in Grand Rapids.
As the total number of endorsed chaplains continues to grow—now 144—their influence is growing in a range of settings including the military, health care, senior care, corrections, and the workplace.
Throughout the coming year, the church will be asked to recognize and celebrate this ministry, with a final recognition planned during Synod 2017 as it meets on the campus of Trinity College in Palos Heights, Ill., next June.