We need more disaster chaplains.
In conjunction with my retirement last year, I have become a Disaster Spiritual Care Associate, AKA Disaster Chaplain, with the American Red Cross. Those of us who do this ministry respond to the victims of local disasters, most often residential fires, and sometimes deploy to larger disasters or crises like hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes.
Our job is not to evangelize or to instruct clients in our particular brand of theology, but provide comfort and a listening ear while helping clients access the resources of their own faith traditions. During COVID times, most of our ministry has been done virtually from the comfort of our homes, but some have physically deployed to crisis locations and more physical deployments will happen as the pandemic recedes.
You do not have to be ordained to be a disaster chaplain but you must have chaplaincy training or experience
We need more disaster chaplains. In the Missouri-Arkansas region of the Red Cross, we have only eight chaplains. We are handling the day-to-day needs right now but should there be a major disaster in our region we will need help. We especially need some chaplains who can speak Spanish. I have been called more than once asking if I could speak Spanish and could deploy to a shelter near the southern border. Alas, I cannot carry on a conversation in Spanish, so I couldn’t help.
You do not have to be ordained to be a disaster chaplain but you must have chaplaincy training or experience and will need an endorsement from the bishop. If you or someone you know is interested in this ministry, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.