One spring day in 1994, a layman, Dan Cobb, walked into the Pastoral Care office at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, one of the major institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. He said simply, I would like to be trained as a volunteer lay chaplain so that I can give back for all that has been given me.
His was a prophetic voice, a timely call to begin a "new thing." The Director of Pastoral Care, The Rev. Jim Alcorn, assigned the task of establishing such a program to The Rev. Dr. Helen W. Appelberg and The Rev.Scott Blick. Blessed by God's grace and wisdom, a spiritual community took root in the form of The Community of Hope.
Community of Hope Centers offering spiritual formation and involvement in pastoral care ministries by trained volunteers has now evolved in churches and institutions across 57 counties of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, as well as in other Episcopal dioceses in this country. Several non-Episcopal churches and institutions have created a Community of Hope.