Chaplain Creativity Inspires Hope in Hospitals

Hospital Chaplain Michelle Alvarez, a clinical chaplain with the Church of God Chaplains Commission, is making the most of her creativity to serve the staff of Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center.

At this Trauma Level 2 Center, she and her team designed ways to encourage the medical team with less direct contact, creating “Care Stations” to reach their 1,800 nurses on the job. Each station has an exercise inviting nurses and medical staff to take a moment to reflect on what’s going on around them. In the first phase of the station, they’re encouraged to share “hopes and fears”. After posting their own, they continue to read each other’s, noting the common hopes and fears that unite them. Fear can be isolating in the hospital, but the staff has seen that they are not alone, and their “hopes” vastly outweigh the “fears.” The team then built a rainbow with the notes, and this has helped foster unity and highlighted that hope is much stronger than fear.

All have shared concern for their families and the risk that they might present to others, but as safety measures and organization have improved, there is increased calmness. Doctors and nurses are greeted with chalk art expressing encouragement and appreciation, and Chaplain Alvarez has taken in her guitar to bring music to hospital halls. Team members have expressed their gratitude for these acts of kindness and reassurance. The care stations are transitioning to their next phase focused on resiliency, and as God marked His promise to humanity with a rainbow, it remains a symbol of hope for their hospital.

During this challenging time, especially for those serving in hospitals on the front lines of the battle with Covid-19, Church of God Clinical Chaplains are bringing a message of care and hope. Chaplain Alvarez is using the gifts of her calling to present this message with clarity and effectiveness. Please continue to pray for God’s anointing and protection on Chaplain Alvarez and all of the Clinical Chaplains ministering today in high-risk settings.

To learn more about the Church of God Chaplains Commission, visit

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