Care and Compassion

I have been thinking about who we are as Chaplains. Sometimes we are perceived as religious people. But it is far more than that. Yes, we are a faith-based chaplaincy, but we only share our faith if we are asked. Our focus is to show care and compassion without pushing religious ideas. We help those who ask for help, provide a shoulder to those who need one, show kindness and compassion when life gets rough. We care deeply and are willing to help others. We also have a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering. Chaplaincy is hard at times but rewarding. It is what we do, and it is through our desire to support and care for our first responders who give their all that we are able to carry that out. First Responders are those who answer the phones at dispatch, those who respond to crisis and those who give medical care when needed. This also includes those who care for us mentally and emotionally.
I had someone ask if being a chaplain is hard. I thought about it for a moment and I said, “yes, it is but, it's what we do.” At times what drives us to care is the result of our own difficult past. What we do comes from within and compassion is what drives us to be there to support our first responders and the community. Often, we are asked to run toward the difficult stuff, and we get hurt as well. This is why it is so important to take care of ourselves. We often forget to care for ourselves. One of the things I am working on is creating a health and wellness program for chaplains. We need to focus on taking care of ourselves. We tell everyone else to do that, but we don’t follow our own advice. I see the importance of our emotional and mental wellbeing.
COPC is in a transition and we are thankful for Chaplain Mike Dismore and all his hard work. We wish him a happy retirement! I am excited for the next year and the future of COPC. As Executive Chaplain, I will continue to to keep COPC’s values a part of our care and improve on what we are doing. We value the support and the prayers from each of you. I am frequently asked, “what can we do for you and the chaplaincy?” The answer is to check on us, pray for us, and continue to support us. We love the relationships we have with you all.
There are many things I am working on and next time you see me, ask and I will be happy to share our vision. As chaplains, we continue to get more training and more tools to help us be more effective. COPC will continue to provide a high level of care to our agencies and first responders. We will continue to be the “calm in the midst of chaos”. These are tough times and it reminds me of a verse in the scriptures that brings us comfort: Psalm 23:4, 6 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ... Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” We love and appreciate you all and may God protect each one of you.
 Chaplain Joel Stutzman

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Central Oregon Public Safety Chaplaincy

PO Box 1898
Redmond, OR   97756
t. 541-213-8303