My Journey to Become a Chaplain
After helping a dear friend through the dying process, I realized that helping others in this way was my calling. I knew I needed to learn many more skills to be able to provide ministry to those I didn’t know. By the Grace of God and Guru, in January 2014, I completed my candidacy to become an ordained Sikh Dharma Minister, (a requirement of acceptance into CPE/Clinical Pastoral Education).
I was accepted into a chaplaincy program at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, CA, where I was welcomed with open arms and began my year-long journey of becoming a chaplain, with the goal of providing spiritual and emotional care for people of all faiths and backgrounds. I was even supported in teaching Kundalini Yoga on the adolescent psychiatric ward. The job of a chaplain is to see God in all—as Siri Singh Sahib endlessly reminded us.
The chaplaincy program involved intense reflection and humility and was very self-empowering. I proudly graduated in September 2015 and am currently in the process of applying for a position as a chaplain at Espanola Presbyterian Hospital. Guru has propelled me along this path, and if it is His Will, I will be part of pioneering a Spiritual Care Program here in the land where God took a rest and sat down after creating the Creation.
SS Sarb Sarang Kaur Khalsa
A Heart’s Calling to Service
I’m very pleased to announce that my year-long training in Chaplaincy comes to an end in December 2015. In my journey towards completion, I have secured a full-time position as Staff Chaplain at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix (formerly Banner Good Samaritan Hospital). This 650+ bed, inner-city hospital and Trauma-1 location serves patients and families amidst the hardest times of life.
I can’t say enough about the impact this has on our Sikh community. Education is the number one form of Sikh outreach. Serving as a chaplain in a major city’s busy hospital allows me to represent the values, heritage, and spirituality of Sikhi. From my professional career as a Licensed Acupuncturist with a Bachelor’s degree in Transpersonal Studies, I have been guided towards my heart’s calling of seva in ministry and counseling.
I will have two focuses as a Staff Chaplain. The first will be in Palliative Care, offering support to those with terminal illness and end-of-life situations; the second will be in the Behavioral Health Unit, where I have the opportunity to offer meditation and breathing exercises as a way of coping with the hardships of life.
I am excited that I will be completing my training and starting my first full-time position in the location where SS Sat Kartar Kaur Khalsa-Ramey completed her chaplaincy training.
SS Amar Atma Singh Khalsa