A Message from APC President…
APC President Rev. Jon Overvold MDiv BCC
APCForum, October 2021, Vol. 23 No. 5
Happy National Spiritual/Pastoral Care Week to you, our members of the Association of Professional Chaplains. This year we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of APC going back to our roots in 1946 and the formation of the Association of Protestant Hospital Chaplains. From its beginning APC sought to forge an identity as a “professional organization” for pastoral care and today we are a mature organization of more than 5700 members leading the way in professional chaplaincy.
APC is such a strong organization because of its members; professional chaplains who are on the front lines of health care, military, work place, community and educational settings. You are there in the places where the human spirit needs care. You are there, creatively finding ways to reach people who need and want our services. Also, you are there for those who don’t yet know what spiritual care is but once they are offered this care, know and speak to its benefit in their lives. In all of these ways, APC members can be proud of our legacy and of the meaningful work we can do together.
The next chapter in APC’s history is before us. We continue to grow and change for the sake of our members and to serve the next generation of professional chaplains. We are envisioning the creation of a new organization to bring together chaplains, certified educators, and pastoral psycho-therapists. Excitement is palpable as we discuss and consider a structure and culture that will carry us forward in the years to come. One of the truths that the global pandemic has revealed is that spiritual care is essential for rebuilding our lives and communities. So that whatever we might build together in terms of a new organization – will need to be able to meet this challenge of supporting and developing our members for the essential work of providing quality spiritual care in our traditional settings and in settings yet to be discovered. Further, we seek to build an organization that is just, diverse, equitable, and inclusive of members and those who seek to belong. Together we can make a big impact for many years to come.
I have been so proud to be a member of APC. Being involved in APC over the years has enriched my professional practice by learning from the finest chaplains in the field. Furthermore, my personal life has been enriched by true friendships that have grown over the years and have blessed my life in so many ways. Serving as APC President has been a wonderful privilege and honor and fills me with deep gratitude to each of you. Finally, working with President-elect Jeffery Garland has been a gift. I have treasured his wise counsel. With Jeffery, the APC board of directors and national staff we have a terrific team of leaders. They leave me confident and looking forward to more good things from APC in the coming years.
Happy National Pastoral Care Week! Many thanks for the spiritual care you continue to provide in challenging and meaning-filled times.
Rev. Jon Overvold MDiv BCC is the Manager of Pastoral Care and Education at New York Presbyterian – Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. He serves as President of the APC Board and may be contacted at email@example.com.