Concordia Way 2018 Spring Issue - Page 11

Spiritual Care
Body, mind and spirit: Spiritual care at Concordia
Rev. Kathleen Rempel Boschman
s members of a faith community, Mennonites are pleased
that our original vision of meeting the needs of the community remains vibrant, 90 years after we began the first
Concordia Hospital. We are grateful to God for giving us the opportunity to deliver excellent healthcare services in the way we
would want to see our loved ones treated. We also continue our
commitment to care for the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.
Our team of chaplains ensures that when you need someone to talk
to about your spiritual or religious needs, someone is always there
to listen in a caring and non-judgemental manner.
Spiritual Care at Concordia is reflective of our core values: compassion and respect. Our staff are trained to accompany and support our patients and their loved ones during times of illness, and
respect their beliefs, values, and religious or spiritual background.
Listening with Empathy and Understanding
Chaplains understand that receiving a diagnosis—be it mild
and passing, chronic, or serious—can stir up many emotions.
Some people prefer not to talk about their feelings, but many
find it helpful, particularly if the person they’re talking to is not
a family member or a friend. Knowing that a chaplain will keep
your conversation confidential allows you to unburden concerns
you may not want to trouble your family or friends with. Listening
also helps clarify what lies at the root of your feelings. Is it anger?
Fear of the unknown or the future? Loss of meaning, purpose,
identity, or control over your destiny? A chaplain helps you and
your family name what you’re feeling and move toward understanding why. Affirming and normalizing feelings often softens
the intensity of our emotions and leads to calm. Learning more
about how to cope, and where to find support, helps lighten the
weight of negative emotions.
Many people turn to their faith during times of illness. A chaplain will respectfully inquire about your connection to a particular
faith and offer to make a referral to a faith leader from your chosen
faith or spiritual path. We want patients and their families to
feel safe in expressing the traditions and rituals of their faith or
culture at Concordia. These traditions and rituals are important
reminders that there is a Creator or God who is very aware of our
difficult circumstances. In the Christian scriptures it says, “God
is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.”
This same truth is found in many faiths. It is our hope that people
will feel safe in practicing their faith in order to find comfort,
strength and hope. Chaplains are available to pray with people of
all backgrounds, if they wish.
Grief Support
Hospitals are often the place where our loved ones pass away. It
is an honour and a privilege to care for you and your loved ones at
the end of life. Our greatest desire is that everyone has a peaceful
passing. Our healthcare teams are highly skilled and are able to
make this a reality for most patients. When we require additional
expertise in pain and symptom management, we are blessed with
WRHA palliative care teams who make excellent recommendations that ensure everyone’s goals are met.
Some patients and families prefer to journey through this
experience with each other’s support. Other families are open to
the support of a chaplain. Everyone’s grief experience is unique.
Chaplains are available to listen, and affirm and normalize feelings.
Chaplains help families feel comfortable in the hospital setting,
explain the process of dying, and help families make decisions
about treatment options at the end of life. Loving families can be
faced with having to make hard choices. We hope to make those
choices just a little easier for you. A chaplain also works with
patients and families to find peace, express their thanks and love,
and say goodbye.
Dignity Therapy
Dr. Harvey Chochinov is a Winnipeg psychiatrist who won the
Order of Canada for his work in Dignity Therapy. Each chaplain
at Concordia Hospital has training in Dignity Therapy. One
aspect of Dignity Therapy includes asking patients or residents
questions about which life accomplishments they are most proud
of, or what they learned in life that they wish to pass on to others.
Some patients or residents answer all questions. The chaplain then
transcribes their answers and gives a copy to the patient or resident
to share with their loved ones. Patients, residents and their family
express much gratitude for the opportunity to participate in this
kind of therapy.
Respect for the Beliefs of All
Over the years, the Spiritual Care Team at Concordia has worked
hard to connect with faith leaders of all traditions. It is always a
joy for us to call a faith leader or elder from a particular tradition
and have them recognize our name, and then respond with thanks
for inviting them to minister to someone from their faith. This is
one way in which we hope you experience Concordia’s hospitality
and respect for your culture and beliefs. Concordia’s chaplains
graciously offer anyone a word of encouragement from the Bible
or pray with them, if that is their desire. At times, receiving Holy
Communion is very important to a patient. We gladly accommodate these requests.
The Hospital Chapel
Our beautiful Chapel on the main floor is open 24 hours a day
for patients, families and staff to pray or sit and meditate. Interdenominational services are held weekly. Roman Catholic Masses
are held once a month, though Roman Catholic volunteers bring
Holy Communion to the hospital twice a week. A collaborative
program with Recreation Therapy, called Spiritual Reflections, is
held once a month and focuses on topics such as the joy of friendSpring 2018
Spiritual Care at Concordia is reflective of our core values: compassion and respect.
The Spiritual Care Team at Concordia works hard to connect
with faith leaders of all traditions.
Concordia’s chapel offers a place of comfort and worship.
Chaplains of Concordia
Kathleen Rempel Boschman.
Lori Jorgenson.
ships, amazing nature, finding contentment in life, et cetera. A rack
of Care Notes in the Chapel offers words of comfort and wisdom to
seekers on a wide variety of topics related to healthcare and other
challenging life situations.
Hours of Service
Chaplains are on duty in the hospital and the Personal Care
Home Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:15 pm. On-call service
providers are available during off hours, weekends, and statutory
holidays. Roman Catholic priests are on call daily except from 11:00
pm to 7:00 am. Chaplains routinely refer to Indigenous Health
Services for Spiritual, Cultural Care.
Concordia’s Spiritual Care program is funded primarily by the
Concordia Foundation. If you would like to make a gift in support
of the ongoing work of Spiritual Care, please call 204.661.7156,
email, or visit
Rev. Kathleen Rempel Boschman, B. Med. Rehab. M. Divinity, is
Manager of Spiritual Care at Concordia Hospital.
Gerry Derksen.
Dementia Caregivers
Support Group
re you caring for a family member or friend
who has dementia? The Alzheimer’s Society of
Manitoba has recently started a Care Partner
Support Group to serve people living in East Kildonan
and Transcona. The group is co-facilitated by our
Concordia Place Chaplain. They meet every second
Tuesday of the month in the Concordia Place Chapel
at 7:00 pm. If you or someone you know would like to
join, contact Gerry Derksen at 204-661-7309.
Centre News 11


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