The Prayer Chaplain Program was first created with the intention of extending the hands and feet of one minister, in one ministry. Reverend Lei Lanni knew that the pastoral care needs in her ministry in Santa Rosa, Calif., far exceeded her capacity. A Prayer Chaplain Program (PCP) was created. What once started small has grown into a worldwide program with trainers across the country, Santa Domingo, and Africa leading Prayer Chaplain Programs and engaging their congregants in sacred service.
Volunteer engagement in the program is unique, requiring a commitment of 37½ hours of foundational training, attendance at monthly meetings, and at least a year of service: praying with congregants after services, wellness calling, and home and hospital visits. The program engages congregants through an invitation into a deeper experience of prayer. Prayer chaplains pray with congregants and hold everything in the strictest confidence. Receiving a monthly prayer call reminds congregants that the presence of God has no boundaries.
PCPs are as diverse as our ministries. Unity in New York meets in Symphony Hall. Prayer chaplains line up in the back of the hall and congregants line up by the hundreds for prayer. New York PC Trainers started the program in 2004 and through great succession planning, their program has been going strong ever since. Unity of the Rockies in Colorado started with their first trainer in 2009. They too are going strong with nine prayer chaplains serving a ministry of approximately 100 members. These two examples illustrate that the Prayer Chaplain Program can be successful in any size ministry with a little creativity and “MacGyver ingenuity.”
Light & Love Ministries continues to conduct Trainer’s Workshops so that ministries may establish new programs or train a new leader to succeed a leader in an already established program. We also support the Prayer Chaplain Programs in the field to insure that they are vibrant and healthy. Our newest effort will be the launch of a Regional Trainer Team. Our first class of 15 trained in October, and another class will be trained in February. Regional Trainers will work with ministries regionally to start programs, serve as interim leadership, and support/mentor trainers in program leadership. Just as in the beginning, our Regional Trainer Team will extend our hands and feet to help us continue to grow and serve others.