Hospital Chaplain’s Work Can Change in Instant

SALEM, OR (September 9, 2014) — The work of the hospital chaplain may involve mundane tasks one minute and helping a family with a life-and-death situation the next, says Covenant minister Ken Morse who was featured in a recent article published by the Statesman Journal. The article focused on pastoral care at Salem Hospital, where Morse is the lead chaplain.

Morse told the newspaper that people often view his work as simply visiting people on their death bed, but that it is far more involved. It comes with unique rewards and sorrows.

According to the article, there have been “so many pediatric deaths that Morse has lost count.” Morse told the paper, “It’s heart-wrenching.”

But the article also highlighted joyful moments such as when he visited a woman in her eighties who told him she had one regret in her life: she had never been baptized.

“Well, we can do something about that,” Morse told her. Because the woman’s condition made a full submersion impossible, Morse put a towel around her head and baptized her in her bed.

The parents of a woman who spent three weeks in ICU praised Morse for the daily care he provided.

“He has a genuine concern, and his caring came through,” the father said. “People can talk until they are blue in the face, but his genuine concern was really comforting.”

According to Ordered Ministry, the Covenant has 17 hospice chaplains, 55 hospital chaplains, and 5 Veteran’s Administration chaplains.

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