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WHAT IS SPIRITUAL CARE?


Spiritual Care is the ministry of human presence, the ministry of being there with that person on a particular part of his or her pilgrimage. It is to hear and understand so that the other person can truly experience a sense of affirmation and support. Care rather than cure ought to be the objective of Spiritual Care. In being a caring presence for others in times of need we address grief, loneliness, fear, anxiety, and guilt. In so doing we truly participate in the healing process. The ministry of presence and listening are two expressions of caring that we believe are important for the achievement and the maintenance of health.

MINISTRY OF PRESENCE

Physical presence, which is sensitive to the needs of the client or resident, encourages the consciousness that one is not alone in the midst of the challenges that are a consequence of change and illness. To be present is to be supportive.

MINISTRY OF LISTENING

Those who are aging and ill sometimes find themselves feeling out of control. They ponder the meaning of life, searching for answers, for peace, for wholeness, and for God. At such times a friend who listens without judgement can be a key factor in the healing process. It is therapeutic to have a listening companion.



WHAT IS SPIRITUALITY?


Spirituality defies a simple and universal definition and understanding. It is unique to every individual. Whereas religion embodies a particular system of beliefs, creeds, rituals, and worship forms, spirituality addresses the individual. It offers the self personal meaning and purpose to both life and death. Both religion and spirituality cooperate together to bring about this end.

All persons experience spiritual needs, whether or not they are part of a formal religious organization. Every individual is a spiritual being. Spiritual Care Services encourages the awareness and development of each personís own spirituality. Although often nurtured and expressed within an external religious framework, spirituality entails personal appropriation and may be expressed in subjective ways such as the love of beauty, music, art, nature, or family.