Report to the ND District LCMS Convention 2012
by the Chaplain – State Developmental Center – All Faiths Chapel Rev. Bernhard Seter
The chaplaincy program at the State Developmental Center in Grafton North Dakota continues a ministry that began a half decade ago. In the early 50′s Rev. Al Theim began the visitation ministry at the center that developed into a full-blown chaplaincy teaching program over the years. The ministry now consists of a chaplain and a religion teacher.
The ministry still consists of a preaching service every Sunday, funerals, hospital visitations ministry to the sick and dying, grief counseling and grieving family visitation, staff consultations and counseling, bioethics and special Bible studies.
A pastoral care and teaching ministry has also developed among group homes within driving distance of Grafton State developmental Center. Many residents from around the Grafton neighborhood as well as Park River and other communities come to the All Faith’s Chapel worship and special events. A few years ago an offering was instituted and the residents and staff voted to send their offering to Project 24. To date about $1,200 has been forwarded on to LCMS World Relief and Human Care for Project 24 and a special offering for Minot flooding was received amounting to $20.12.
An interesting new twist is taking off in terms of Bible study and learning opportunities and what we hope to develop into a an event called “what does this really mean.” Two of these events of already taken place, one last year at Halloween in which a Biblical discussion of all Saints Day, All Hallows’ Eve and Halloween was discussed. The second one took place at Easter time in which discussion about Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, butterflies and all the different symbols involved around the celebration of the resurrection of Christ were discussed with an emphasis on the Gospel of reconciliation being brought about by the suffering death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This year we are hoping to do a presentation on Thanksgiving and Christmas.