Caring for people has always come naturally to Grace Wullf. As a family member, friend and church member, she was there for those who needed her.
As Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s new resident chaplain, she reaches out to patients and their families who ask for her support or connects them with the faith communities of their choice.
Wulff started as chaplain last fall after she had started her studies at Carey Theological College in Vancouver. She was a founder of New Hope, a support group for widows and widowers.
“I needed some volunteer experience and since I had done some hospital visiting for the church, this seemed like a good way to continue,” she said.
“I knew that I loved helping people, that I had a heart for helping and this was the direction God put me in. I had not planned on going back to school but that also came about in a way that I knew I had to do it.”
She visits with patients and their families, at their request, in the hospital and at Polson Extended Care. She holds a memorial service at Polson Extended Care once a month to support the residents on the deaths of other residents. She also helps with orientation of volunteer visitors from all faith communities.
“People respond very well. Part of my job is listening to where they are and caring about them in their spiritual life. I have had some wonderful conversations with people,” she said.
The hospital chaplaincy is a volunteer position under a chaplaincy committee made up of members of the clergy, a doctor and a social worker.
The chapel, located in the old part of the hospital, is dedicated to the memory of Thea Spiridoula and Len Tsintilos. It contains a stained glass window made by Shirley Mezinski of Vernon.
Wulff hopes that the chapel will be able to move to the new part of the hospital to make it more accessible.
“To me, being able to do this is life giving. Spirituality is such a vital part of life and I think that people who receive the comfort of spiritual care as part of their overall care can do better. I’m grateful to be here and to work with the wonderful community of clergy and volunteers,” she said.