Called to Serve as Chaplains

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"I've probably had more opportunities to engage in missional ministry here in three months than in 11 years prior,” said Lloyd Wicker after his first few months as a Navy chaplain. “Not to discredit the importance of parish ministry in the least, but this is what I was ordained for, and I’m loving it!”

Lloyd Wicker loved being a pastor, but something drew him to look beyond the local church as an area of ordained ministry. Serving military troops in the field appealed to him, so he began to pray and investigate military chaplaincy. Lloyd recently returned from his latest deployment, this time with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Near East.

The military isn’t the only area where chaplains can serve. Individuals are drawn into chaplaincy for a variety of reasons, to meet a variety of needs at different seasons of their lives. Trent Elders approached the Chaplaincy and Care office while finishing his final year of Calvin Seminary. He has been accepted into an intense training program known as  Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at UCLA Medical Center.

Wenda Salomons started out in her teens and twenties as a visual artist in Edmonton, Alta., before hearing the call and beginning to train for chaplaincy. She is now serving as a long term care chaplain while also continuing her involvement in visual arts.

Tim Blackmon grew up in the Netherlands and began his post high school education at the European Bible Institute in Lamorlaye, France. In college, Tim was drawn to Reformed theology. He moved to the U.S. to study at Calvin Theological Seminary. Today he serves as the chaplain of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of official chaplaincy ministry in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The first “unofficial” chaplains began serving 25 years before that without an official ministry to support or endorse them. Over the course of these years, the number of CRC chaplains has grown. Today there are nearly 150 CRC chaplains serving around the world, and 70 additional men and women have inquired about chaplaincy or are actively preparing for this type of service.

For a quick look at the 140+ faces, names and service details of our chaplains, visit https://www.crcna.org/chaplaincy/faces.

About the Author

Ron Klimp, CRC Chaplaincy

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