Archives: Homeland Chaplains

Posts

Chaplain Dann Caldwell Appointed Board President of Christian Churches United of the Tri-County Area

test

Homeland Chaplain Dann CaldwellIt has been said that life comes full circle. For Dann Caldwell, chaplain for Homeland Center and Homeland Hospice, the loop he began as an intern with Christian Churches United of the Tri-County Area (CCU) has closed with his recent appointment to serve as president of the organization’s board of directors.

During a yearlong sabbatical from Princeton Seminary, Dann worked as an intern at CCU, which is a partnership of more 100 Christian congregations in Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry counties. CCU provides housing assistance for our most vulnerable neighbors in need. Now, as board president, Dann is helping to lead CCU during one of the most difficult times in housing in recent years.

“Our greatest challenge is helping our community respond to the impact of COVID-19,” remarks Darrel Reinford, executive director for CCU. “We are working diligently to avoid a spike in homelessness.”

CCU’s spectrum of services includes helping individuals and families with rental assistance to prevent eviction; managing most of the emergency shelters in Dauphin County; helping families find permanent housing; operating overnight shelters during the winter months; managing Susquehanna Harbor Safe Haven, a long-term residential facility for chronically homeless men with a mental health diagnosis; and spiritual outreach efforts throughout the region.

“It is a privilege and honor to serve as the President of CCU,” Dann says. “I am blessed to serve the often forgotten members of our community.”

Dann’s commitment to the service of others is rooted in his role with Homeland. For more than eight years, Dann has served as a chaplain for patients and their families receiving services through Homeland Hospic as well as ministering to the residents of Homeland Center.

The team at Homeland considers not only the patient’s physical well-being, but mental and spiritual aspects, as well. Chaplains help patients and family members deal with spiritual issues, answer questions and find meaning and hope. They provide continued support to ensure no one ever feels alone.

“I’m humbled to share my faith with the residents and patients of Homeland,” Dann says. “It’s a pleasure to connect my spirituality through my work and volunteer efforts.”

Homeland Center is a private, not for profit, continuing care retirement community providing skilled nursing, personal care, Alzheimer’s/dementia and short-term rehabilitation services.

Homeland Hospice is a hospice program that serves 14 communities throughout Central Pennsylvania by providing end-of-life care either in a person’s home or wherever they reside, including nursing facilities. Homeland also provides bereavement support to families for a full 13 months following the death of their loved one. This service is available to anyone in the community who is experiencing grief.

To learn more about Homeland Center, please contact (717) 221-7900. For information about Homeland Hospice, call (717) 221-7890.

 

A Life of Serving Others Employee Spotlight: Reynaldo Villarreal

test

 

Having grown up in the dry climate of Mexico, Reynaldo (Rey) Villarreal, chaplain for Homeland Hospice, reveres the rolling hills and green trees of Central Pennsylvania. For Rey, life with Homeland Hospice is another chapter in his story of serving others in their time of need. Homeland Hospice is a hospice program that serves communities throughout Central Pennsylvania.

Rey joined Homeland Hospice in January after working as a pastor for churches in El Salvador, California and Las Vegas. Rey’s wife, who is also a pastor, was raised in Pennsylvania. The couple relocated to the area to be closer to their family as they raise their children.

Rey was raised in Mexico where is father is a pastor and his mother leads programs for women and children run by the church. As one of five children, Rey worked beside his parents and siblings to help individuals and families in need of spiritual guidance and basic needs support, like food and shelter. Through their work, Rey and his family often encountered people associated with local drug cartels who stood in opposition of the church’s mission.

“We grew up learning how to stay safe from the cartels,” Rey says. “Receiving threats on our lives, having our cars stolen and being accosted in the streets was a way of life.”

Despite these challenging circumstances, Rey’s family remained in Mexico because of the significant need for their help and the small miracles they witnessed daily.

“It was an incredible experience to see someone leave the cartels for a life with purpose,” Rey adds. “It was affirmation of the power of faith.”

While working as a pastor, Rey loved his time with the elderly members of his congregation. He looked forward to learning about their families and life story. Rey often shared his love of music during his visits. He is an avid guitar player and singer. He knew if he ever had the chance to work with patients in hospice care, he would jump at the opportunity. For Homeland Hospice and Rey, the match of mission to talent and passion has been ideal.

A few months after Rey joined Homeland, the COVID-19 pandemic hit our region, limiting access to hospice patients in many nursing homes. Rey sees the grief and loss of families as they mourn the death of their loved ones during a time of social distancing.

As some restrictions have lifted this summer, Rey has returned to several nursing homes to spend time with patients during their end-of-life journey. He strives to go the extra mile in supporting staff and caregivers during this challenging time.

“I try to let everyone see the smile in my eyes since they can’t see it through my mask,” Rey says. “Now, more than ever, we need to connect with one another any way we can.”

Rey looks forward to the days when he can bring his guitar and sing to patients once again.

“Music has the power to brighten everyone’s soul,” Rey adds. “I can’t wait to give that gift to patients.”

Spiritual counseling is a component of Homeland’s holistic approach to health care. Counselors and chaplains respect each individual’s beliefs and offer support and encouragement. In addition, Homeland offers bereavement support to families for a full 13 months following the death of a loved one.

To learn more, please contact Homeland Hospice at (717) 221-7890.

Divine Presence, Purpose and Promise

test

 

Homeland Hospice Chaplain Dann Caldwell, M. Div., Th. M.By Homeland Hospice Chaplain Dann Caldwell, M. Div., Th. M.

In early April we are invited to celebrate two significant religious traditions and spiritual experiences: the Jewish Passover, a celebration of God’s freedom and liberation for the Hebrew Slaves from the Egyptian Pharaoh’s bondage; and the Christian Holy Week, which includes several opportunities to remember the last days of Jesus and His resurrection and triumph over death on Easter Sunday. The Exodus and Passover are dated by some scholars to have taken place in the 1400s or 1300s BCE (3,400 or 3,300 years ago), while the first Holy Week and Easter is now 20 centuries old or 2,000 years ago. The Exodus and Passover story can be found primarily in Exodus and Deuteronomy from the Hebrew Scriptures, and the story of Jesus and the last week of his life and the beginning of the Resurrection can be found in the latter chapters of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark and Luke and John from the Christian New Testament.

Both these celebrations invite us to consider the Divine Presence and Purpose and Promise in our lives, any day, any time and any moment when one feels threatened by overwhelming powers.

Our Jewish friends remind us that we should ask, “What enslaves us and what holds us captive, and to whom can we turn who will provide us deliverance and sanctuary?”

Our Christian friends remind us that we should ask, “What will we do in the face of death, and can we live boldly as those who are prepared to die, so that in living or dying our Hope is found in God?”

Many traditions and other texts raise similar questions as these traditions. I find great comfort in the Hope provided from these two religious traditions and invite you to share your personal Hope with each other and me.

I share with you a couple of my personal favorites, some selections from Psalm 27 in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Gospel of Mark Chapter 6 from the Christian New Testament. Each one speaks to our need for courage and strength and hope in uncertain and hard times.

Psalm 27:

The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? (Verse 1)

The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid. (Verse 1)

One thing I ask of the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. (Verse 4)

In the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will keep me in the shelter of his sacred tent; set me high upon a rock. (Verse 5)

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord: be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Verses 13 and 14)

Mark 6 (When a great wind, storm, threatened the disciples of Jesus…they were in a boat on a lake without him and felt threatened by the storm):

When the disciples saw Him (Jesus) walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they saw him and were terrified. Immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Verses 49-50)

Blessings to you and yours in these days!

Chaplain Dann Caldwell