Black Chaplains Association


Black Chaplains Association

A network for Black Pastoral Care Professionals to share ideas and thoughts, also learn new training info about Pastoral Care.

Location: Room 104 1 Cooper Plaza Camden, NJ 08103
Members: 73
Latest Activity: Sep 5, 2015

His Hands are on YOU

Discussion Forum

Christian Bible Institute and Seminary 2012-2013 Registration

Started by Michele Quick. Last reply by Michele Quick Jun 22, 2012. 1 Reply

The Prison Industrial Complex In The Evolution of Slavery

Started by Chaplain Bernell Wesley Mar 14, 2015. 0 Replies

Join the Prison Ministry Blog.

Started by Michele Quick Jun 22, 2012. 0 Replies

The Family Altar

Started by Evangelist Cookie Hunter Apr 10, 2011. 0 Replies

Beyond the Wall - South Conference

Started by Michele Quick Mar 23, 2011. 0 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Black Chaplains Association to add comments!

Comment by Mark H. Stevens, Th.D on February 8, 2009 at 9:47pm
Johannesburg & capetown, Africa
Short-Term Missions Trip

This summer the National C.O.G.I.C. Youth On A Mission (Y.O.A.M.), short-term missions team, have a group scheduled to minister in AFRICA. YOAM is an auxiliary of the Department of Missions for the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. under Bishop Carlis Moody. Missionary Stephanie R. Stevens, a YOAM team member since 2002, will travel with them to Johannesburg & Capetown this July.

During the 2 weeks of ministry, the team’s activities include Vacation Bible School (VBS), puppet & clown ministry, street outreach, evangelistic services, feeding ministry, workshops, construction projects, medical ministry / health clinics, visits to schools, orphanages, nursing homes or prisons and more!

Please consider being a part of this mission ministry with your prayer support and a financial donation.

Please send donations by April 1st or sooner
(Make Checks or MOs Payable to)
Stephanie R. Stevens
PO Box 1497
Browns Mills, NJ 08015
Phone: 609-321-6043

Donations also needed: Tracts & Bibles, travel-size toiletry items, school supplies, hard candies, toddler items, and medical supplies.

Please pray for the global work of missions and all the teams the Lord is sending abroad! Thank you for your gifts and prayers!

(For tax deductible donations, please make checks payable to: COGIC)
Comment by Pastor Maurice Johnson on January 25, 2009 at 7:10pm

1084 Brentnell Ave.
Columbus, OH. 43219

Pastor Maurice L. Johnson

Visit us online at

You don't have to be struggling with addictions to be a part of One Step Ministry. We need believers to join us and be that strong support for those who are struggling. We need prayers warriors to stay in prayer for those who are struggling.
Comment by Mark H. Stevens, Th.D on January 19, 2009 at 6:59pm
If you are a Pastor of a church and your membership is decreasing through the years of ministering, then look back and ask, “What have I been preaching?” Well I am not a prophet or a gambler, but I’ll bet you haven’t been teaching soul winning! If you have ministers in your charge and care, make those lazy rascals go on the street and preach and stop giving them a designated Sunday! I believe a TRUE preacher called of God will preach ANYWHERE! I have never in all my life seen so many sorry excuses for preachers as I have recently. Everyone wants to go full-time ministry! That means live off of the saints! I was full-time in the Air Force overseas! What the church really needs is ministry minded saints that take every opportunity to win a lost soul to Christ. You can do that at work, in the laundry mat, at the golf course, or on a street corner. Jesus was full-time! He preached to the woman at the well, In the wilderness, in the Temple, and even on a boat. Of course I realize very large ministries may need a paid staff. The storefront church on Martin Luther King Blvd. however does not. Jesus told the disciples “freely you received, freely you give.” That means the things of God are not for sale! Sure it is nice when someone blesses you, but we don't do it for the blessing!

Jesus set the example for ALL ministers to follow, and that is preach the Gospel for FREE. The gift of salvation was NEVER meant to be earned of purchased. Salvation is the most important message we can preach, yet it has been replaced with prosperity and happy syrupy sermonettes that won't get anyone SAVED. If the last words Jesus said centered around winning souls then THAT must be the most important thing Jesus had to say. Paul further emphasized it by saying, "Woe unto ME if I preach NOT The Gospel". Paul knew his calling to win the lost was the prime directive of Jesus to His ministers. Preachers today are more concerned about receiving honor and honorariums than seeing souls saved. Oh how it must break God's heart to see his representatives MISREPRESENT HIM! Jesus was a humble servant that came and ministered to the poor, the sick, and the lost. We MUST follow Jesus example and be soul-winners in a lost and dying world.
Comment by Mark H. Stevens, Th.D on January 19, 2009 at 1:36am
Preachers need REAL classroom training as well as OJT (On the Job Training) in order to be effective ministers. Unqualified preachers are killing churches!

In too many of our churches (I am talking to Black folks) we have the ancient slave mentality that says, “I don’t need to go to school to be a preacher, I got the anointing!” Well during the days of slavery and Jim Crow we didn’t have an opportunity to go to Seminary or Bible Colleges. My grandfather was a deacon and his brother was a pastor back in the days when folks only got a grade school education and had to quit because they had to help pick tobacco. My forefathers made due the best they could under harsh circumstances. Now there is NO excuse for a preacher not getting formal training! You may not be able to afford Harvard or Princeton Theological Seminary, but every denomination should have a local Bible school. Most churches today have their own Bible Institutes or Schools. When you accepted the call to preach you also accepted the call to discipleship (training). Jesus spent 3 years training His disciples for ministry. He taught them how to pray, how to cast out devils, how to lay hands on the sick, how to carry themselves, and how to make more disciples. I am disgusted at how easy it is to be ordained in our churches. Just because a brother or sister can testify loud or run their mouth doesn’t mean they are called to preach! If they are called they will be willing to be trained BEFORE being given a piece of paper ordaining them. Remember this, if the preacher is ignorant and unlearned, then the people will be too! The gospel preacher must devote his (or her) life to purity of doctrine. Paul warned Timothy to avoid fables and old wives tales. It’s very easy for preachers to get involved in the “flavor of the month” teachings.
Comment by Mark H. Stevens, Th.D on January 13, 2009 at 11:29pm
Rituals To Commemorate

Rituals are effective and meaningful when they have significance to the deceased and to the survivor. The following are merely suggestions and might be altered and enhanced to appropriately accommodate the relationship involved.
Prepare a favorite meal of the loved one and enjoy it as he/she did.
Prepare a favorite dessert – share with family or friends.
Watch a movie(s) enjoyed by your loved one.
Plant flowers, a tree or a flowering bush in memory of your loved one.
Enjoy a toast to your loved one on a birthday, anniversary or holiday.
Light a candle and recall the comfort or guiding light he/she was for you.
Read book(s) or article(s) on a favorite topic(s) he/she enjoyed.
Play music appreciated by your loved one and see if you can enjoy it now.
Attend a concert/performance that would be pleasurable to you both.
Look through photo albums and focus on shared times and memories.
Wear a piece of jewelry that was a favorite of the person.
Wear cologne or perfume he/she liked on you.
Wear an item of clothing given to you by him/her.
Buy something for yourself he/she would like you to have.
Enjoy lunch or dinner at a favorite cafe/restaurant.
Visit the burial place – bring a balloon or symbolic item to leave.
Journal some favorite stories.
Travel to a place he/she enjoyed or always desired to visit.
Review how your life is better because he/she was a part of it.
Focus on the gift he/she was to you.
Purchase flowers on the anniversary. Bring for display at church or home gathering. When people leave, have them take a flower.
Send flowers to a close family member on the anniversary.
Read a favorite poem(s) or book enjoyed by your loved one.
Watch home videos and remember.
Volunteer for an organization in memory of your loved one.
Become an activist in the cause of death issue – by participating in a walk-a-thon, phone-a-thon, etc.
If you kept greeting cards given to you by your loved one, take time to read them again.
Enjoy a leisurely walk taking time to recall shared events in life together.
Section 7, Gender Issues in Bereavement

There is literature on the market focusing on gender differences in processing a loss event. These may be helpful, but often give a stereotyped view of gender in the grief process. We must recognize the uniqueness of each individual and therefore his/her personal style may be a blend of often stated gender patterns. Some of the items listed may be more “feminine” in style; others may seem more “masculine” in style. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is the individual’s way; whatever works for him or her is what is important. Helping individuals find successful methods can be part of the companioning model previously explained.

Women talk about feelings with little effort. Men are more stoic and appear to lack feelings.
Women tell and retell their story and the events to make sense of it. Men know the story is etched in their mind—no need to be reminded.
Women seem to FEEL their way through grief—EMOTIONS are the pilot. Men tend to THINK their way through grief—INTELLECT is the guide.
Feminine language is often described as intuitive, earthy, fluid or elusive. Masculine language is thought to be orderly, concise, controlled and goal-oriented.
Women largely focus on CONNECTIONS and interdependence; they explore emotions. Men’s language focuses on independence, self-reliance with the external world as a priority for maintaining control.
Women are encouraged to focus on affiliation, connectedness, and intimacy. Men are taught to be less self-disclosing, less expressive, less interdependent.
Women seek companionship to support feelings and meet intimacy needs. They find help in groups. Men grieve on the inside and their work is more cognitive. They appreciate time alone to think it through.
Because some individuals choose not to talk about their feelings does not mean they do not feel; but rather they don’t have the words to express their feeling in the face of the tragedy or don’t have the need to do so. For some the event is beyond words or expression and is felt deeply. This must not be misconstrued as cold or unfeeling. The person may not be ready to live with the reality once it is expressed openly. In their recent work Kenneth Doka and Terry Martin talk of “transcending gender stereotypes” and describe two main styles of grieving—the “intuitive griever” and the “instrumental griever.” They present a third, the “blended style griever.” Below represents the two components that comprise the “blended” style:

Intuitive Griever:
FEELINGS are intensely experienced.
Expressions such as crying and lamenting mirror the inner experience.
Successful adaptive strategies facilitate the experience and expression of feelings.
There are prolonged periods of confusion, inability to concentrate, disorganization, and disorientation.
Physical exhaustion and/or anxiety may result.
Instrumental Griever:
THINKING is predominant to feeling as an experience; feelings are less intense.
There is a general reluctance to talk specifically about feelings.
Mastery of oneself and the environment are most important.
Problem-solving as a strategy enables mastery of feelings and control of the environment in creating the new normal.
Comment by Mark H. Stevens, Th.D on January 13, 2009 at 11:27pm
Secondary Loss Issues/ Adaptation Strategies

During the mourning period, the grieving individual not only focuses energy toward the deceased, but must adapt the self to changes and continue life incorporating the loss —the good and bad—of the relationship. What is truly lost is examined; what roles, expectations, opportunities and hopes must be given up; and what personal adjustments must be made all comprise the transitional aspects of the grieving process.

The personal experience of grief must be processed through the eyes of the grieving individual as he/she sees his/her loss and its ramifications. Each secondary loss perceived requires its own grief response.

The following is a list of some identified aspects of the loss that may be perceived as part of the unique process.
Part of the Self: That which was given to the other in love, care, concern, is immediately altered in sudden death. Where does that energy go? to whom? The unique relationship has changed; the energy from one to the other is now severed. The individual does not feel whole. Rediscovering roles and sense of purpose and how he/she is needed by others helps an individual process the change knowing the specialness can never be replaced. Wholeness can be restored over a period of time.
Loss of Self-Confidence: Because the individual has difficulty seeing him/herself as a whole person he/she experiences feelings of inadequacy, which may lead to much indecision. Those who struggle with a poor sense of self will struggle more in this grief situation. Assisting the individual by reinforcing simple decisionmaking and helping him/her identify areas of success in daily activities helps rebuild personal confidence which can then be extended to the work-world and community/social interactions.
Family Structure: The family unit undergoes forced change due to the loss of a member. The role(s) lost here must be addressed on a daily basis. Not only do we grieve the personality lost but all the roles and expected behaviors that became so much a part of daily living. Loss of a mom presents certain issues; loss of a dad presents others; loss of a child of any age will affect the dynamic of what is vs. what is desired and expected for the present and the future.
Desired Lifestyle: Sudden death forces a change in marital status. Many individuals have not chosen to be “single” again; to be a single parent with all the responsibilities and sole decision making. The emotional pain, and day-to-day struggle with the issue needs to be part of the process, respected and not minimized by being “strong.”
Loss of the Future and Dreams: Survivors and the deceased had seen and planned a particular future. That is now gone and the survivor is often directionless for a time. The future is now uncertain and viewed as an obstacle; dreams are dashed regarding spending time with that individual and/or watching him/her grow and succeed. Again, role plays an important part here—who was the deceased? a spouse? an adult child? a parent? a grandparent? a sibling? a fiancé? a coworker? Loss of hope and anticipation for that lost individual are part of the grieving process.
Social Changes: Often survivors now relate differently to friends, acquaintances, even family members—including in-laws. Because many individuals are unsure of how to relate to the survivor, they step back and often avoid the individual. They do not know the survivor in this changed situation; the survivor may be less confident, more emotional, not as cheery or uplifting, more temperamental, indecisive, more withdrawn. In-laws may be reminded too emotionally of who was lost and struggle with confronting that issue when the survivor is seen. Friends may have been connections through a work setting or school or religious place of worship. Some individuals are forced to relocate creating another loss of support and forcing more change. Financial situations may force a change in school for children, creating a loss of friends and teachers who knew them before and who try to journey with them through the loss.
One can see there are many issues that may be part of any loss, but are often an immediate aspect of sudden death loss. The world in all its day-to-day intricacies is impacted. Awareness of the perceptions of the one in grief is important in providing emotional support and in companioning this individual through the intense response to a reconciliation of the loss. There is often intense yearning for what was as well as much frustration and anger for the way life IS. Those counseling or assisting in any way must be aware of the normalcy of the protest. This is part of the struggle; this is part of the emotional pain of letting go of a way of life as they simultaneously are forced to create something new that they really don’t want. It is often during this change into the new normal that survivors feel they will forget the loved one. They need reassurance that forgetting need not happen as they continue on their life journey. Developing a balanced view of the individual—their strengths and weaknesses—is important. Good memories can be surfaced and become a part of the survivor’s journey never to be forgotten. We are a product of our experiences and these need not die when a participant in that event dies. Grieving individuals may need to be encouraged to:
Recall humorous events
List qualities of the deceased person that impacted them
Review the time/events important to both
Review the struggles in the relationship
Identify change in self due to that other individual in their did I change for the good.
Identify how the deceased changed because I was part of their life.
List favorite foods, scents, events, teams, holidays of the deceased, so you never forget, and to share the history of that person with others (possibly children
and/or grandchildren).
All of the above are intended to reinforce that the loved one has become a part of us due to the relationship experienced. It is this that is grieved—the connection—the need for the individual and the need by him/her for us. This is intensified in sudden death because there was no time to plan for this change; the individual is forced into many adaptive processes at once causing an “overwhelming” aspect to the grief reaction.

Section 6, Rituals

Rituals provide us with acts to engage in for the purpose of meaning-making (Neimeyer). Dr. Kenneth Doka discusses ritual as giving extraordinary meaning to the commonplace. Ritual provides symbolic connection to the lost persons. For example, on Thanksgiving a woman makes her deceased mother’s recipe for cranberry relish. Only a few people in the family enjoy this dish but she continues to prepare it because during the preparation she feels connected to her mother and feels her mother is within her and thus, present at the holiday.

Dr. Kenneth Doka has identified four functions of ritual that may help in a variety of situations:
Rituals of Continuity – This type of ritual implies that the person is still part of my life and there exists a continuing bond. The Thanksgiving ritual described above is an example of this.
Rituals of Transition – This marks that a change has taken place in the grief response. For example, parents who have lost a child marked a transition in their mourning by cleaning out their deceased child’s room after a period of time acceptable to them.
Rituals of Affirmation – This is a ritual act whereby one writes a letter or poem to the deceased thanking the person for the caring, love, help and support. This is especially useful for those who never said “thank you.”
Rituals of Intensification – This type of ritual intensifies connection among group members and reinforces their common identity. For example, the AIDS Quilt, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Oklahoma City Memorial Park.
Comment by Mark H. Stevens, Th.D on January 13, 2009 at 11:25pm
Bereavement Counseling – A Framework

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross has taught us that we must see the bereaved people we serve and counsel as our teachers. We need to allow them to teach us what their experience is, rather than constructing some set of goals and expectations that we expect them to meet and achieve. In Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki wrote, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few.” We are not the experts on anyone’s grief. As bereavement workers we must meet the grieving without expectations about what should happen or what they should be feeling. There are no experts in this work.

John Welshons, in his fine book entitled Awakening from Grief, states:
“So there is no way to apply systems, rules or emotional road maps. Our job is to be a presence, rather than a savior. A companion, rather than a leader. A friend, rather than a teacher.” (p 159)
The Companioning Model of Bereavement caregiving developed by Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt is one in which we as bereavement caregivers help people to integrate life’s losses by being present to them and observing them—companioning. He tells us that observance comes to us from ritual. It means not only “to watch out for,” but “to keep and honor, to bear witness.” Wolfelt elaborates on the companioning idea:
Companioning is about honoring the spirit; it is not about focusing on the intellect.
Companioning is about curiosity; it is not about expertise.
Companioning is about learning from others; it is not about teaching them.
Companioning is about walking alongside; it is not about leading.
Companioning is about being still; it is not about frantic movement forward.
Companioning is about discovering the gifts of sacred silence; it is not about filling every painful moment with words.
Companioning is about listening with the heart; it is not about analyzing with the head.
Companioning is about bearing witness to the struggles of others; it is not about directing those struggles.
Companioning is about being present to another person’s pain; it is not about taking away the pain
Companioning is about respecting disorder and confusion; it is not about imposing order and logic.
Companioning is about going to the wilderness of the soul with another human being; it is not about thinking you are responsible for finding the way out. Utilizing this model of bereavement caregiving, the helper:
Listens in a supportive manner to individuals’ concerns.
Helps disaster survivors recognize that, in most cases, their emotional reactions are natural, normal, and to be expected.
Assists survivors to reduce additional stress by organizing and prioritizing day-today and recovery-related tasks.
Helps individuals to understand and recognize the wide range of reactions to trauma, such as numbness, frustration, confusion, anger, anxiety, sadness, and feelings of helplessness.
Assists individuals to draw on their own strengths and develop healthy coping mechanisms that permit them to gradually resume their pre-disaster level of functioning.
Sensitively and caringly helps individuals to grieve their losses in their own unique ways.
Systematically draws upon an array of recovery resources for appropriate referrals.
The heart of grief counseling, according to Dr. Ken Doka, writer and lecturer in grief and loss, is validation. Grieving individuals need reassurance that what they are experiencing is normal. Counselors can help people understand and identify the ways they are reacting. Some people grieve through their expression of feelings. Others grieve through problem-solving, thinking, and activities. Doka, in a recent presentation (2002), maintains that there are many different ways in which individuals experience, express and adapt to loss.

Section 2, Helping Skills for the Outreach Worker

These skills are ways to show people that you are paying close attention, that you care, and that you are actively listening. The better the helper listens, the more the individual may share. This is a caring relationship and develops through mutual respect.

Eye Contact and Facial Expression:
Make eye contact and vary your eye contact.
Allow your face to reflect caring.
Avoid any gestures that hide your face from view.
Body Language:
Be attentive and relaxed, and use positive gestures.
Orient one’s body toward the person who is speaking
Sit on the same level.
Create an “open” body posture: legs and arms uncrossed, body upright and centered.
Vocal Style:
Use a natural vocal style. Your voice communicates emotions.
Speak in a relaxed, warm manner.
Verbal Following:
Stay on the topic. Don’t topic jump or interrupt. Take your cues from the grieving individual.
Give the time he/she needs. Don’t rush to respond.
It is ok to have a pause/moments of silence to reflect.
Comment by Mark H. Stevens, Th.D on January 4, 2009 at 4:23pm
Biblical Counseling 101

NJ Institute of Theological Studies is conducting a 5 week study of Biblical Counseling from January 16th to January 30th 2009.

Friday Jan 16th, 2009 – The Root of All Problems
Friday Jan 23st 2009 – Biblical Application
Friday Jan 30th, 2009 – A Spiritual Look at Depression

About The Instructor

Mark Stevens graduated from the Institute of Jewish Studies, a school of the Philadelphia Bible University. He is an ETA (Evangelical Training Association) certified Bible Teacher. He holds a BA in Theology and an MA in Ministry from Freedom Bible College and Seminary, and is the final stages of receiving his Doctorate in Ministry from Freedom. He has completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Cooper Trauma Center. He is a Staff Chaplain at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital and at Cooper Trauma Center.

The Place: 3 Cooper Plaza
Cooper Trauma Hospital
Camden, NJ 08013
Pastoral Care Office - Room 506

The Time: 6PM
The Cost $50.00 (Books Included)
For more info….
Phone Number – 609-346-8343
E-mail –

Members (72)


© 2023   Created by Raliegh Jones Jr..   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service