Peace, healing and comfort: Local clergy offer blessings for our new chapel

By Kristy Bleizeffer Dec 22, 2014

Oh mighty and gracious god, may this chapel be for people of faith and for people of no faith. May it be a place of peace and healing, a place where they may know your presence where they may find healing and rest. May every patient, family member, staff member or visitor know that this is a place of welcome, healing and peace.
The Rev. Dr. Lynn Williamson, Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church 

Chapel prayers

Pastor Elias Montalvo, Principe de Paz Iglesia Bautista (Wyoming Southern Baptist Convention) delivers his dedication prayer in Spanish at the chapel dedication ceremony Thursday at Wyoming Medical Center. Standing to the right of him are members of the local faith community including Pastor Brenda Frelsi, Grace Lutheran Church; the Rev. Dr. Lynn Williamson, Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Keith Evans, staff chaplain, WMC; and The Rev. Canon Joel Dingman, Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming.

Chapel dedicatio Solie

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Carol Solie welcomes the crowd to the dedication ceremony on Thursday while Fr. Robert Fox of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church (seated at left) and Fr. Lucas Simango of St. Anthony's Catholic Church look on.

Wyoming Medical Center dedicated its new chapel on Thursday before a crowd of hospital supporters and staff, local clergy, and staffers from the offices of Sen. John Barrasso and Rep. Cynthia Lummis. It had been more than 20 years since the hospital had dedicated another chapel space, said Dr. Carol Solie, chief medical officer at Wyoming Medical Center.

"I feel delighted to be part of this dedication at Wyoming Medical Center," Dr. Solie told the crowd of more than 30. "We look at our patients as whole persons, and the spiritual health of our patients is an aspect of their care that our chaplains and our community spiritual leaders are so helpful in providing."

The new chapel, with more than 1,000 square feet in the McMurry West Tower's Sky Lobby, nearly triples the space of our previous chapel. It provides a quiet place for patients and visitors, offices for our three staff chaplains and private areas for family conferences. It is open to people of all faiths and beliefs.

"As someone who has practiced medicine here for 25 years, I wanted to be here for the dedication of the chapel," said Sen. John Barrasso, who is also an orthopedic surgeon. "Sometimes families, and I saw this as a doctor, don’t know what to pray for. People are trying to make tough decisions, and they are looking to a higher power for that guidance. I've seen patients in the chapel. I’ve seen family members in the chapel, and I’ve seen providers in the chapel. And they are all trying to do the best they can," he said.

The story of the new chapel, and what it means to the healing process, is best told by the blessings offered by local clergy, some of which are excerpted below.

Chapel dedication Montalvo

Pastor Elias Montalvo prays with other audience members at the dedication ceremony.

The Rev. Keith Evans, WMC chaplain
What is a chapel? Is it a church? A small synagogue? A temple? Is it a cathedral? … In our case, the chapel will be here for our community. Our community possesses a diverse faith tradition, concepts of spirituality ranging from the Shoshone and Arapahoe to evangelicals, from Catholics to Charismatics, from Mormons to Protestants. This interfaith chapel is for all of us.

Pastor Cynthia McBride, First Christian Church
Together in this place, on this day, we unite our hearts, calling out to the spirit who gives life. For people of all faiths, for people who are seeking, for people who are struggling and questioning, we pray that this sacred place might be a sanctuary, a home away from home, in the midst of the darkest night. When a patient lies struggling for breath, and a loved one needs a place to breathe, may they come here and find you.

Inside the chapel, local clergy and volunteer chaplains offer individual blessings. Pictured here are

Trauma coordinator Heidi Markus listens as clergy offer individual blessings inside the chapel. Clergy include Very Rev. Fr. Lucas Simango of St. Anthony's Catholic Church, Rev. Bob McNamara of Our Savior's Lutheran Church, and The Rev. Leigh Earle, WMC chaplain.

The Rev. Zac Buhuro, WMC chaplain
Dear God or Creator, the god of Abraham and Sarah, and the god of our ancestors in faith … we thank you for the gift of life, for the gift of this community and for the gift of one another. May this place be the holy and healing ground. May this hospital and this chapel be a place where your people find peace, healing and comfort. And may we, the staff and volunteers, be guided by you in caring for our patients and families.

Pastor William D. "Mac" McGrew, Christ United Methodist Church
God of grace, god of glory, god of life, we ask that you come and be in this space. That you enable this space to be one of those thin places between us and you.  … May this space be open and available at all times to all people of all nations, all races, all religions and creeds. Open this space that it may be a space where people can find peace and tranquility.

Sen. John Barrasso talks with Dr. Carol Solie after the dedication ceremony on Thursday.

Sen. John Barrasso talks with Dr. Carol Solie after the dedication ceremony on Thursday. 'The chapel provides a place for patients, for their families and for the hospital staff – doctors nurses and others – to come for comfort, for quiet, for an opportunity to pray and to think. It's really a special place, and it always has been, at the hospital,' he said.

Very Rev. Fr. Lucas Simango, St. Anthony's Catholic Church
Lord our God, through the power of the holy spirit, your son healed our infirmities and our diseases. When he sent for his disciples to preach the gospel, he commanded them to visit and heal the sick. From that, in this hospital, the physicians and staff will receive with kindness all the patients who are and who will be confined here and will take them with skill and care, so that those who come here will leave restored in spirit and in body. And forever praise your mercy. We ask this from Christ, our lord.

The Rev. Leigh Earle, WMC chaplain
Gracious God, Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of Wyoming Medical Center and all who serve here. Continue to give to us all your strength, encouragement and peace. And help us feel you’re inspiring everything we do, so that we know we are guided and upheld by your faithful presence, and throughout your work, the health of this community is advanced.

Community members bow their heads during prayers at the dedication of Wyoming Medical Center's new chapel Thursday on the Second Floor of the McMurry West Tower.

Community members bow their heads during prayers at the dedication of Wyoming Medical Center's new chapel Thursday on the Second Floor of the McMurry West Tower.

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