A Chaplain’s Hope

The North Carolina Chaplains’ Association provides resources for chaplains in many ways, including reflections and thoughts to provide encouragement.  We celebrate the variety of gifts that exist among NCCA members.  Here is a word about hope from outgoing NCCA President, Reverend Beth Jackson-Jordan:

So many aspects of chaplaincy inspire hope in me. What a privilege it is to meet people facing life’s most difficult moments who allow me to walk even a brief portion of that journey with them. They entrust me with their deepest expressions of faith, their fears, their vulnerability and their hope.

At this point in my career, I can say that the most hopeful aspect of my work as a chaplain is the friends and colleagues with whom I am honored to work. I’m profoundly grateful for the gifted, compassionate and wise chaplains I have known and learned from. I recently asked some of these chaplains how their chaplaincy work inspired hope in them. Two Hospice chaplains described the hope that comes through witnessing “extraordinary demonstrations of love,” “estranged relationships reconciled” and the responses to life limiting illness of “tears, extended arms to touch, and words that are timeless.” Some hospital chaplains talked about how they are impacted by the patients they serve. One notes, “my hope is strengthened by the patient I meet occasionally who is so prepared for death that it makes me examine my own beliefs and seek a deeper relationship with the transcendent.” Another says, “As they openly share experiences, successes, failures, fears and optimisms, I am lost to and of my myself.” A long term care chaplain describes the hope that comes as she witnesses a wheelchair bound skilled nursing resident who leads the invocation and benediction at the weekly chapel service.

Chaplains give me hope and inspire me every day. What an amazing profession to be a part of!

– Rev. Beth Jackson-Jordan is Assistant Director of Pastoral Care and ACPE Supervisor at Carolinas Medical Centers-Northeast in Concord, NC


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