MHJ Articles


Mennonite Health Journal Article 4 “ 2010

Here am I, Lord!

Then Mary said, Here am I, the servant of the Lord;
Let it be with me according to your word.
(Luke 1:38)

These words of Mary, spoken with perplexity, surprise, wonder; but with utter trust and confidence in God “ with whom nothing is impossible “launched her as a young mother into the midst of Jesus life and later ministry.

I am always impressed with Marys innocent willingness to simply say, œHere am I. You see, I have said to God, œHere am I “ send me. After having been licensed toward ordination for three years, I plan to be ordained Nov. 21 as a minister in the Mennonite Church. I take this step of faith in humble gratitude for Gods call to ministry that has come to fruition in the second half of my life. Although Glencroft, an MHS Alliance member, has not required the chaplain to have Mennonite Church credentials, it is important for me to take this step beyond licensing.

My home congregation, Trinity Mennonite Church (Glendale, Ariz.), Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference, and Glencroft Senior Living have affirmed my call and will bless and confirm my role and lifelong vocational ministry as chaplain. The service will be held in Skinner Memorial Chapel in the Glencroft Care Center, where Trinity members, Conference Minister and Lead Elder, Glencroft residents, friends and family can join with me in this time of celebration, consecration and commitment.

As chaplains, we often minister in settings other than the congregation. When that is the case, how exactly do we fit within Mennonite polity? What is the significance of denominational credentialing? Is it important for chaplains in MHS Alliance facilities to hold denominational affirmation? What defines the lines of accountability?

Mennonite Chaplains Association looks forward to open discussion on this topic, facilitated by Mim Shirk, in our annual business meeting at the upcoming Mennonite Health Assembly. We hope youre planning to join us!

May Jesus be born anew into our lives each day as we anticipate, with wonder, what the Lord is about to do.

œMy soul proclaims with wonder the greatness of the Lord, Rejoicing in Gods greatness my spirit is restored. (Hymnal: A Worship Book, p. 181)

Cheryl Paulovich MCA President