There are so many possibilities for what a full-time community chaplain could do for South Walton if local churches, businesses, and individuals provided annual sustainable funding through Caring and Sharing of South Walton. Here are a few ideas (some of which have already been tried!):
The SoWal Community Chaplain could screen clients seeking assistance at Caring and Sharing and offer them face-to-face spiritual support as well as connection to other community and faith-based resources.
The chaplain could make rounds at local community groups and service providers such as: the Point Washington Free Medical Clinic, the John Horton Senior Center, the Somerby Empowerment Group, the Learning Through Loss Grief Group at Community Church, the Cold Night Shelter.
The chaplain could have open “office hours” at Caring & Sharing or another neutral location, such as a coffee shop or the public library.
The chaplain could provide more follow-up spiritual care to discharged patients/survivors through partnerships with Sacred Heart Hospital, Emerald Coast Hospice, and the South Walton Fire District.
The chaplain could host community events designed to increase access to community and faith-based resources, such as an annual non-profit expo, a quarterly lunch-and-learn on mental-health/spiritual care topics, a poverty simulation workshop and panel on addressing poverty, etc.
The chaplain could help organize a joint effort by local churches and community stakeholders to provide low-income individuals and families with an ongoing skill-building and support program, such as Communities of Transformation or Open Table.
Represent South Walton and provide a faith-based perspective at community meetings and collaborative efforts to solve systemic problems, such as the Walton County Health Improvement Partnership, The Department of Children and Families’ Autism Taskforce, the Homeless and Housing Alliance, Community Organizations Active in Disasters, Walton County Prevention Coalition, and Walton County’s National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children initiative.
Obtain training for providing spiritual care following disasters, and work with the Walton County Emergency Management to be an on-call chaplain and resource for organizing the South Walton faith community before, during, and after hurricanes and other disaster response.
Provide workshops, training, and materials to local business owners and managers about the community and faith-based resources available to their employees.
Provide small-scale interpersonal conflict mediation for the staff of local businesses and churches.
What are your dreams for what the SoWal Community Chaplain could do in partnership with Caring and Sharing of South Walton and other community organizations?
Note: SoWal Community Chaplain, Inc. was officially dissolved in December 2019, and all its assets transferred to Caring and Sharing of South Walton, whose mission was consistent with that of the SoWal Community Chaplain. The mission and work of the SoWal Community Chaplain now continues in the newly created position of “Director of Outreach” at Caring and Sharing of South Walton. All the resources on this website will soon be transferred to the website of Caring and Sharing of South Walton.