Mindfulness the Focus of NCCA Fall Education Day

Mindfulness in chaplaincy was the theme of the North Carolina Chaplains’ Association fall education day Oct. 12, 2017 at Caraway Conference Center in Sophia, NC. Eighty-five chaplains, chaplain educators, and students gathered from across the state to glean and hone techniques shared by Bobby Newell, a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Durham. Newell specializes in mindfulness practices with her clients, and her topics at the chaplain’s meeting included “Mindfulness based interventions,” “How to use mindfulness based interventions,” and “Compassion Fatigue.”

Among the definitions for mindfulness, Newell included the following:

  • Intentionally living with awareness of the present in the moment.
  • Paying attention on purpose, without judging or rejecting the moment, but also without attachment to the moment.

Newell reminded the group that mindfulness fights memory loss, reduces anxiety and reduces the effects of PTSD. She also used pictures of brainwave synchronization with and without meditation to show that meditation produces a more integrated system, optimizing mental and emotional health.

The education day also featured opportunities for participants to practice mindfulness meditation, and to share their own experiences incorporating mindfulness techniques into their chaplaincy. During the final session on compassion fatigue, Newell recommended caregivers develop their own emergency self-care kit. Newell shared a sample of what one might look like.

During a brief business session, the association elected Chelsy Mitchell, chaplain at Novant Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte, as its new secretary, replacing the outgoing Patricia Cadle, oncology chaplain at UNC hospitals. Chaplains also had opportunities to socialize, network, and play together.

NCCA will meet again May 2-4, 2018 at Camp Dogwood in Sherrill’s Ford, NC, where education will focus on advanced chaplaincy skills.


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Images from Fall Education Day 2017

This month, on October 11-12, almost ninety chaplains gathered at Camp Caraway in Sophia, NC, for fellowship and education.  Chaplains learned about mindfulness, carried on the business of the organization and enjoyed time together.


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NCCA Supports Spiritual Care Week 2017

NCCA Supports Spiritual Care Week 2017

October 22-28, 2017

“Hospitality: Cultivating Inclusion”

Spiritual Care Week (also known as Pastoral Care Week) gives opportunities for organizations and institutions of all kinds and types to recognize the spiritual caregivers in their midst and the ministry which the caregivers provide.

For resources and ideas for promoting Spiritual Care Week in your community or organization, visit the website here.

For more information or to send feedback or comments please e-mail the Pastoral Care Week Committee c/o Chaplain Clyde Angel at Clyde.Angel@va.gov.


About the 2017 theme

The theme for Spiritual Care Week this year is “Hospitality:  Cultivating Inclusion.”   Pastoral/spiritual care is important for peoples’ sense of identity as they find meaning in belonging to a common humanity and particular cultures. The idea of our sharing  a preciousness as human beings has found its source in religious, philosophical and societal communities.  Sadly for some, defining the “other” has been a desperate attempt to exclude those who are different.

Hospitality as practiced by so many cultures and religions breaks through walls of alienation and marginalization which deny human belonging. Welcoming, understanding, and celebrating the place of those who have been isolated makes for a wonderfully diverse expression of community. Cultivating (growing and nurturing) attitudes and actions of inclusion means that people are cared for as valuable members of the human family.


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Congratulations, 2017 Board Certified Chaplains!

A Message from NCCA President Cynthia Vaughan:



Last week, several of us attended the 2017 Annual Conference of the Association of Professional Chaplains in Houston Texas.  As usual, the conference provided excellent educational and networking opportunities and was well-attended.  This year’s theme was “The Powerful Voice of Chaplaincy.”  If you are not already an active member of APC, I highly recommend you consider making this a professional affiliation in addition to NCCA.

The following current members of the North Carolina Chaplains’ Association received recognition and certification as noted:

  • Jane Mitchell – Board Certified Chaplain –Hospice/Palliative Care Certified  (BCC-HPCC)
  • Brenda Harris – Board Certified Chaplain (BCC)
  • Tammerie Day – Board Certified Chaplain (BCC)
  • Leah Leath – Board Certified Chaplain (BCC)
  • Lisa Lundeen – Board Certified Chaplain (BCC)
  • Chelsy Mitchell – Board Certified Chaplain (BCC)
  • Ryusho Jeffus – Board Certified Chaplain (BCC)
  • Kathy Turner – Board Certified Chaplain (BCC)
  • Steven Chewning – Provisional Board Certified Chaplain (PBCC)
  • Ellen Abercrombie – Provisional Associate Certified Chaplain (PACC)

Please extend congratulations for “hard work well done” to these NCCA members! Although we celebrated you in fine fashion at the APC banquet night, NCCA will recognize you again at our Spring Conference 2018!  Please plan to attend.

Other chaplains from North Carolina who were recognized last week but are not yet members of NCCA are listed below.  Please also congratulate them and encourage them to join NCCA or renew their NCCA membership.

  • Marilyn Davis – BCC
  • Maria Jones – BCC
  • Leon Maxwell – BCC
  • Omoviekovwa Nakireru – BCC
  • Jonathan Speed – BCC
  • Deborah Lannon – PBCC
  • Veronica Martinez-Gallegos – PBCC


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Executive Committee Positions Available

The NCCA Executive Committee met on Monday, June 12, to debrief the Spring Conference, plan for upcoming meetings, and address other business before the Association.  In reviewing Executive Committee Rotations, the Committee noted the following leadership opportunities:

Secretary (immediate opening Fall 2017): The Secretary records minutes of all Executive Committee meetings, as well as membership business meetings; distributes minutes and coordinates maintenance of approved minutes, reports, and handouts for archives; and makes approved changes to By-Laws and Constitution.  This position is elected to a two-year term.

Vice President (opening in Spring 2018): The Vice President serves as chair in president’s absence, and provides support and assistance to president and other members of the Executive Committee. This position will rotate to the duties of President in 2020-2022 and remain with the group as Past President in 2023.

Education Co-Chair (opening in Spring 2018): The Education Committee Co-Chair coordinates planning and implementation of Fall Education Day and Spring Conference. Responsibilities include determining topics, location, speakers, and schedule; coordinating CEU certificates; and assisting with contracts, logistics, and flow of conferences. The Education Co-Chairs are appointed strategically for a three-year term, to allow overlap of co-chair functioning.

Advocacy Chair (opening in Spring 2018): The Advocacy Chair educates institutions on the merits of utilizing and maintaining employment of professional chaplains, advocates for support of chaplains who are already hired, and provides support for individual members. Advocacy Chair is appointed to a three year position.

Committee Members are also needed for Education, Advocacy, Publicity/Marketing, and Finance.

Please consider how any of these opportunities would help broaden your experience as a chaplain. It is a chance to make a difference and be on the cutting edge in our profession. Some expenses (i.e., mileage) are paid for Executive Committee members to attend 3-4 meetings a year, if they are not reimbursed by their employer.

Notify Cynthia Vaughan by email at cynthia.vaughan@nhrmc.org as soon as possible if you are interested in any of these opportunities or if you would like to nominate a colleague. She will forward the names to Greg McClain, chair of the Nominations Committee, who will follow-up with you.


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