Meet our Chaplain, Magi Wehner
June 30, 2014
I work as an on-call hospital chaplain for ten years. I completed my Clinical Pastoral Education Residency some years ago and realized it was time to return to seminary and complete my education. I recently graduated from Wartburg Lutheran Seminary with a Master of Arts in Diaconal Ministry.
Focus at Hillcrest:
As chaplain for the adult residential services I provided spiritual support to clients at our long term residence, two group homes and Wellness Center. Spirituality discussion groups and bible studies are open to those who wish to participate. I lead Sunday services at the long term residence. My focus is to support clients in their spiritual development. The discussion groups frequently address questions brought up by clients.
What excites you about working with the clients?
I am excited about the sincere desire clients have about developing their spirituality. I am humbled to hear their personal stories and offer support. Using the spiritual connections survey I provided group discussion to encourage clients to develop their spirituality. Clients opening share new insights and understanding of how God is present with them.
What have been some challenges?
The challenges are endless. One client currently is busy judging me and others as not being “Christian enough.” Another client only wants to hear the King James version of the bible read. Clients are encouraged to be respectful of the differences among each other and look for common ground. This is very challenging to address.
Tell me a story about your experience with one or two clients:
There is a client who has family concerns going on. His mother is going through chemo treatment. This client initially kept his concerns to himself while his behaviors were beginning to change. One day he approached me and asked me to pray for his mother not saying why. When I asked him what should I pray for he asked, “why does God hate my mother?” He was then able to say a little about his concern for her. As the months have gone by this client continues to approach me and discuss his concerns and asks for prayers for her and the family. He said recently said he sees God as walking with him and his family as the chemo treatment continues. He is able to see that God doesn’t hate his mother.
Where do you see the Chaplaincy program going in the future?
I see the program being able to provide outings to visit some local church events, like walk the labyrinth at the Hadley Chapel and New Mellerary Abby. Perhaps have a half-day retreat time, around Christmas or Easter and have a budget that allows for more pastoral care visits.