New Family at The Crossings through Faith in Him
We asked our Chaplain, Sheila Castellano, previously with Clear Lake United Methodist Church to share with us what it means to her to be a part of our community. It is clear in her words that she is dedicated to her calling as our Chaplain and The Crossings is certainly blessed to have her. In honor of Pastor Appreciation Month, we want to thank her for her dedication, compassion and heart for bringing spiritual wellness to our residents.
As an Associate Pastor for Clear Lake UMC, I loved getting to be involved in many different ministries. When I received the invitation to serve Sunday Chapel service at MRC The Crossings Healthy Living Community, I was extremely excited to share with a new group of believers. Now that I look back, I think perhaps God was trying to show me where he would be sending me next. I began visiting every month, until one day I received the opportunity to serve as the Chaplain for The Crossings community. At first, I was a little nervous. My previous experience had strictly been at the local church. But, after much prayer and consideration, I trusted that God was opening this door to create an opportunity to step out in my faith, and grow in my life of service. Several months later, I was asked how my new role as Chaplain was going. I think the question was "How do you like it? Is it very different?" With a smile I shared the following:
I have found that in many instances being a Chaplain is more rewarding than being a Pastor at a church. As a Pastor, you have an office at the church. When your congregation is in need of counsel or help, they leave their homes and come to you. For the most part, you see members once a week- maybe for service, perhaps for Sunday school or Bible study. At best, you have about 1–3 hours of contact with the congregation one on one.
I, however, am blessed to see my community every day. My office is in their home, and my door is always open. I am privileged to get to walk though this stage of life with them, not just on Sunday, but every day. Whatever the need, there is someone here to feed their spirit and nurture their soul.
What’s more, I love the ecumenical nature of the community. At the church, we had shared beliefs and doctrine because we were all United Methodists. But, as a Chaplain, there is a wealth of backgrounds and doctrines, yet we ignore the denominational lines we might draw on a typical Sunday morning.
Recently we began a Women’s Bible Study in the community; everyone brought their Bible, ready to share. There were several different denominations represented at the table. We read, discussed, and agreed on many of the subjects brought up. As I looked around at the different faith backgrounds represented, I felt it was like getting a glimpse of heaven when we will all gather at the seat of our Creator as his children.
How do I like being a Chaplain? I love it. Every day I thank God for leading me to this community where I have found new family through faith in Him.
By: Pastor Sheila Castellano MRC The Crossings Chaplain