The Visiting Chaplains Association
A Ministry of The Lutheran Orthodox Church, inc.
Thank you for visiting our page. Here you will find all the information on our organization, it's history, officers, current ministries, and information on how to join us if you are interested. We welcome your inquiries,comments and suggestions, and as always, we would welcome your phone calls and emails. And may The Lord always bless you in all you do.
Who We Are: Nursing home pastoral care
We are an organization of both ordained clergy and trained lay persons thoroughly qualified and called by God to the very specialized ministry of chaplaincy. We minister to the poor, elderly, chronically and terminally ill, as well as those who are homebound or otherwise do not have regular clergy visits and want to be comforted or encouraged by pastors without any other sort of obligation. Sadly we found that many churches will not send clergy to those who seek them in their time of need unless they were members of their congregation. We believe God gave us freely and we in turn give freely to others. We will visit, pray for and assist anyone and everyone who seeks us out, free of charge and without any obligation whatsoever.
We provide pastoral care to hospices, hospitals, nursing and assisted living homes, private residences, shelters, prisons, 12 step programs, and so on. Our roster of chaplains includes those of many denominational backgrounds such as Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Old Catholic, Anglican and others. We as a group agreed to transcend man made denominational boundries to minister to all, as one Body in Christ. We will attempt to, however, provide a chaplain of a specific denominational background if the client requests.
How Are We Funded? The Visiting Chaplains Association does not now, nor ever will solicit funds from anyone who seeks our assistance. A chaplain may accept a voluntary contribution if offered but it is not required nor will a contribution ever be asked for by any of our members. So, how do we receive our funding? Simple. There is no funding. It costs nothing to visit a sick or terminally ill person. There is no expense involved in holding a person's hand as they pass away. There is no cost to comfort the distressed and downtrodden. The Gospel is free to all. We received freely, we give freely. All chaplains and lay persons who visit on behalf of the Visiting Chaplains Association cover the few dollars it costs to visit someone themselves, without expectation of a reward, at least not here on earth, that is.Brochures, business cards, and miscellaneous office and advertising liturature is provided by our National Headquarters to each chapter at no or little cost to the chapter.
Below, The Visiting Chaplains and Crusaders For a Cause entertaining at nursing home for Christmas
We do, however, receive a small amount of cash to cover basic printing and advertising, such as business cards and letterhead, as well as postage in a very unique way. Several of the chaplains are quite talented musicians and have in the past been in various different bands, (some quite popular). A group of them got together to perform at different functions and special shows and use all the proceeds from the shows they perform to help offset the expenses of The VCA. Generally the group is hired to entertain for institutions such as nursing homes, Christmas parties or awards banquets and they receive a small stipend, usually $150.00 per show, oftentimes less. These chaplains donate the funds for use to cover VCA expenses. This arrangement has been sufficient to cover all VCA expenses for many years, and in no way detracts from our main purpose, that being pastoral care. It also does not conflict with our belief of not charging for pastoral care, since the band is hired to do a particular job (entertaining) not related to the ministry. This is only one of the creative ways we meet expenses without ever charging a fee to those we serve as chaplains. Each chapter may have a similar or more creative way of raising cash to cover basic expenses, but the VCA will never solicit funds or charge a fee for anything related directly to pastoral care.
Certification and Training
The Visiting Chaplains Association maintains the highest standard in training and continuing education for all members. Our training rivals the finest CPE courses offered anywhere. Each member is dedicated fully to the mission of, and success of The Visiting Chaplains Association. This includes meeting often together in peer groups to discuss our ministries and make suggestions on improving and bettering our pastoral charge. We share our successes and our failures and recommendations are made to improve us, and make our ministries as successful as possible. The Visiting Chaplains Association is a Transdenominational Ministry. which means we cross denominational boundries in membership and clients served. However, the Visiting Chaplains Association submits itself to accredidation and certification from outside agencies and bodies to assure those we serve that we meet the highest of standards. We are currently accredited and certified as a chaplaincy and received the endorsement of The Lutheran Orthodox Church Office Of Chaplaincy Services which sets the highest standards for chaplains in that denomination. The Visiting Chaplains Association submits itself to the same scrutiny and certification process as members of that denomination.
The Visiting Chaplains Association began in a most unlikely way. In the early 1990's one chaplain, Pastor Sam Guido was making rounds in a nursing home visiting some friends he had made there. The care in the nursing facility was, shall we say, not up to par, to be polite. One resident was in obvious need of immediate care, and no one on the staff seemed to care. So he assisted the man himself. He cleaned the man up and said a few gentle words to him and the man was quite thankful for the care. Pastor Sam, however, was told in no uncertain terms that he was not to ever help any resident, even though the man was sitting in his own waste for at least 6 hours with no one helping him. A heated (to say the least) discussion followed culminating in his being banned from the facility, all because he spoke out on behalf of someone who could not speak for himself. Anyway, a young but angry chaplain left the facility and went to a local coffee shop for a coffee, a donut and to settle down. There he saw a familiar face, another pastor who he did not know but ran into from time to time sitting at the counter as well. To make a long story short, the two pastors shared a booth and swapped 'war stories' about the ministry and agreed to meet every week at the same place to chat and encourage each other. This went on for some time and they jokingly called themselves the Visiting Chaplains Association. Eventually other local clergy also began to join in the meetings and they moved the meetings to a local Pizza Hut on Thursday evenings. The Pizza Hut always held the restaurant opened beyond normal hours to accommodate the growing group. These impromptu meetings went on for several years until they eventually each went their own ways, with some pastors moving away, some retiring and one of the original passing away. But the fellowship and the ideas shared continued to bless Pastor Sam with wonderful memories and the name, The Visiting Chaplains Association stayed with him all these years. In 1999 he began using the name The Visiting Chaplains Association to describe a loose knit group of chaplains he led in the nursing home and hospice ministry. It has now, ten years later, developed into a formal organization with chapters planted all over the United States and Beyond.
What We Believe
The Visiting Chaplains Association is first and foremost a Christian Ministry. We believe Jesus Christ is King Of Kings and Lord of Lords. We will share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone. The VisitingChaplains Association uses The Bible alone as our authority and the Bible is the only By Law we need. We follow the example set by Jesus Christ in all things. The chaplains which choose to be members of The Visiting Chaplains Association may come from any Christian denominational background and we all agree that we may have differences in some areas, but in all the essentials we are in agreement. That being that We must worship Almighty God with our whole hearts, minds and souls and love our neighbors as ourselves. We also believe that each person has special gifts that they bring to the ministry and we are less concerned with style and more concerned with the substance of the message preached. We all agree we are imperfect, but must settle differences among ourselves quickly and quietly and in a spirit of brotherly love. We also agree that we are not in any competition with each other but work together to further the Kingdom Of God here on earth, without petty jealousy which so often tears apart well meaning organizations. We also agree that we will minister to everyone and never hold back to anyone who seeks our help.
About Our Logo:
The cross shows we are a Christian organization. The white logo against the black background signifies the light the Gospel brings to a darkened world. The dove represents the Holy Spirit and the shield represents the shield of faith in the entire suit of spiritual armor that the apostle Paul spoke of. The colors black and white also signify that there is no middle ground, no shades of grey. Jesus clearly stated there are only two roads, the wide one leading off into destruction and the narrow leading to life. He also said there are sheep and goats, sheep who hear His voice, and goats who do not follow Him. The Visiting Chaplains Association is a Christian organization, and although we minister to all, we bring The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and do not water down the message or our ministry with political correctness.
How To Identify A Member of The Association
In order to prevent any unauthorized person from fraudulently identifying themselves as a member of The VCA, there is a very specific ID that each member carrries. We are also in the process of aquiring numbered metal ID badges which are identical to the logo found on this page. These will beavailable shortly to all VCA chaplains for positive ID. In the meantime, to verify a member's credentials, call this office at the number on the bottom of this page to positively ID a member or a local chapter representative.
How to Join The Visiting Chaplains Association
There are several chapters around The United States and Canada. One in the Seattle/Tacoma area and one in the northern New Jersey area. Our first chapter and National Headquarters is located in the Allentown, Pa area. We are also pleased to announce a chapter formed in Indiana and another now formed in the Virginia Beach, Va,and the Palm Springs, California area. Other chapters are being formed in other regions as well.
We are always looking for interested people to charter a chapter of The Visiting Chaplains Association in new areas of the country. If you are interested, we would love to hear from you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we would be glad to work with you.
For those seeking the assistance of a pastor, or organizations looking for a chaplain, please contact us at the number listed above, and we will work to establish a pastoral care service for you. Remember, all pastoral care services are free of charge, and no one will ever solicit for funds or donations.
Remember, all pastoral care services are free of charge, and no one will ever solicit for funds or donations. If anyone approaches you soliciting money for this organization, please contact us immediately.