Originally printed in the March 8 edition of the Courier-Herald
As we move into Lent, I am especially mindful of all that I have to be thankful for and to be part of the community of Enumclaw as a chaplain at St. Elizabeth Hospital; in this small way, it is a big part of my own thanksgiving!
Recently, I had the opportunity of listening to some staff members talk about the sense of family and community they have found as employees at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Some have been local Enumclaw residents and hospital employees for a long time and have worked at the hospital since it was Enumclaw Regional Hospital. For others, like me, discovering the sense of family and community while working at St. Elizabeth has been a special gift! More than one person mentioned that it was worth a long drive just to have the opportunity to work with patients and their families here because there’s time to really connect in a deep way and sense that they are a healing presence to those who come our way.
It is my hope that the whole Plateau community feels the healing love of our staff and knows that every patient and family is held in our hearts.
Since this article is about community and care, I’d like to take a moment to thank the local pastors who have come forward and gone through CHI-Franciscan Volunteer Training and share their gifts at St. Elizabeth on an emergent basis, when spiritual care is needed NOW and we are more than an hour away. In this way, community ministry still continues and we are so thankful for it!
On my part, thank you for welcoming me to be part of the community. It is a gift I treasure.
As we travel through the season of Lent together let us take time to remember and honor the good in each other, recalling the words from John’s Gospel (13:34): “Love one another as I have loved you.” Love encapsulates healing care at its core and it is the center of community being in Enumclaw.
Every day I am thankful for you!
Jennifer Tapley writes as the St. Elizabeth Hospital’s chaplain.