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Weathering the storms of life with spiritual care

At Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS), the spiritual well-being of those we serve is as important as physical health. In celebration of National Clergy Appreciation month, we honor the 38 pastors devoted to providing spiritual care at PHS. Whether through community church services or one-on-one visits, our pastors meet each individual wherever they are at on their spiritual journey.

Pastor Jen Johnson, a Hospice chaplain with the home and community services arm of PHS, Optage, finds opportunities to cultivate spiritual growth. She walks alongside many residents on their spiritual journeys from those who regularly attend church services to those who haven’t prayed in years. 

Pastor Jen recounted a one-to-one spiritual care visit with a Marine veteran and PHS resident, which left a lasting impression on her. The man told her firmly, “I don’t pray.” In a respectful and dignified manner, she asked him if he had ever prayed before to which he admitted he had. 

Slowly, Pastor Jen was able to peel back the layers of his incredible story. The Marine and his crew were stranded at sea in the midst of a terrifying squall. He recounts that the storm should have taken all their lives but he prayed in those moments, drawing on his last remaining spark of faith and they survived. Pastor Jen asked him if they could pray together once again, knowing that his health was declining. The man responded without speaking, using all the strength he could muster to lift both of his hands in prayer. He and Pastor Jen prayed together in that sacred moment, acknowledging the storms of life he was experiencing and anchoring to the saving grace of God. 

Moments like these happen throughout PHS, combining meaningful memories with prayer and reflection to uplift the spirits of those we serve. Please join us in extending sincere appreciation for the important work of all PHS pastors who reflect the love of God in all that they do.

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