When a patient spends time in the hospital, the care team takes care of them medically. When that patient needs spiritual guidance, another team steps in.
Volunteers in the Pastoral Services office take their task seriously.
“In their lowest moment people need a friend, they need hope and they need encouragement. We’re here to do that,” said Barbara Saufley.
Barbara and her husband Duane have been volunteering at Chambersburg Hospital for the last eight years.
Both draw on their past careers in education. Now retired, the pair says their volunteer work is not only personally rewarding but has brought them closer in their 56 years of marriage.
“We give people comfort and spiritual guidance in a time that is uncertain,” said Duane. “When people are in the hospital, we’re often their only contact that is not medical; it’s uniquely different.”
The couple got involved after taking a training course.
“For us, it was the right time. We just retired and were looking for something to do for the community,” said Duane.
The training by the hospital’s Department of Pastoral Services covers topics such as caring for children and adults, bedside manners, and care for those who are grieving.
“We don’t only cater to the patient, but also their family who is on this medical journey with their loved one,” said Barbara.
“The training is an excellent opportunity for people in the faith community to grow and mature in their role as lay leaders,” said Rev. Kibreab Gudeta, director of pastoral services, Chambersburg Hospital.
Pastoral Services currently has opportunities for volunteers like the Saufleys.
“You have to be a person who genuinely cares about other people. You have to see their need and want to help. The bottom line, you have to want to make a friend,” said Duane
To be considered for the training, a candidate must complete the following
- Online application
- Letter of recommendation
- Interview with course instructor
Applications are due November 15th.
For more information, visit the pastoral services website at SummitHealth.org/pastoral-services or contact Beth Shetter-Ray at (717) 262-4526 or email firstname.lastname@example.org