Spiritual Life Ministry
The Spiritual Life Ministry at Bethesda Children’s Home seeks to serve the spiritual needs of residential clients who come to us from a variety of religious backgrounds and sometimes with no previous history with organized religion. Participation in spiritual life programs is always welcome, but never mandatory.
Bethesda employs a full-time Lutheran pastor as its chaplain, who greets all residents upon arrival and continues to be available to them across their stay for spiritual support as needed. The chaplain leads ecumenical Christian worship services in the chapel on a weekly basis and on significant Christian holidays. Bibles are distributed to all who request them, and small group Bible Study is offered every Wednesday. The chaplain also oversees ongoing grief and loss groups, weekly community service opportunities, and monthly fellowship events, and regularly meets with residents for one-on-one conversation and encouragement. Summer study programs on subjects such as world hunger, health and healing, and comparative religions help residents of differing religious backgrounds to learn together around values held in common. Seasonal service projects have included crocheting hats and scarves for neighborhood children, making quilts for AIDS patients, and packing health kits for disaster victims.
Bethesda, as an agency of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), is pleased to be one of the 296 social ministry organizations supported by the Lutheran congregations in the United States. Together, these Social Ministry Organizations form the single largest network of non-profit and health care service providers on the North American continent.