All posts tagged: chaplaincy

Animal chaplains offer spiritual care for every species

Animal chaplains offer spiritual care for every species

(RNS) — Sarah Bowen says she’s been doing the work of an animal chaplain since she was 6 years old.  Raised in the Midwest as a Presbyterian preacher’s kid, she was often hauled to hospice facilities and funeral homes but noticed that the chipmunks and other animals crumpled by the side of the road weren’t treated with the same compassion shown to people.  “At a very young age, I began picking up those little animals, putting them in my lunchbox, and giving them burials in the way my father did when he was working with humans,” said Bowen, who recalls saying “May the force be with you!” after the burials. Today, Bowen is an interfaith animal chaplain with credentials from Chicago Theological Seminary, One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and Emerson Theological Institute, and she continues to create rituals that both dignify the death of animals and empower those grieving that death, whether it’s the loss of a loyal golden retriever or the untimely death of a “feisty, beloved goat.” Animal chaplain Sarah Bowen. (Courtesy photo) “That’s one …

Humanists UK’s Clare Elcombe Webber elected chair of UK body for hospital chaplaincy and pastoral support

Humanists UK’s Clare Elcombe Webber elected chair of UK body for hospital chaplaincy and pastoral support

Pictured: Director of Humanist Care for Humanists UK, Clare Elcombe Webber A humanist expert in non-religious pastoral care has been elected chair of an important network supporting chaplaincy and pastoral care in UK hospitals. Clare Elcombe Webber, Director of Humanist Care for Humanists UK, was elected Chair of the Network for Pastoral, Spiritual, and Religious Care in Health, having previously served as its Vice Chair. The Network’s main purpose is to promote evidence-based best practice in healthcare. It sets out to include the voices of minority religions and beliefs, and to promote workforce diversity across the sector. As Director of Humanist Care, Clare oversees two important care programmes for Humanists UK. The first is the Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network (NRPSN), which trains and provides accredited non-religious pastoral carers in institutions like hospitals, prisons, universities and the armed forces. The second is Faith to Faithless, Humanists UK’s dedicated programme providing peer support, social connections, and asylum expertise to people who have left high-control religions. Growth in humanist pastoral care In recent years, non-religious pastoral care has …