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. Blessed by God's
grace and wisdom, a spiritual community took root in the form of
the Community of Hope.
A school for
spiritual formation and pastoral care training has now evolved with
training centers in churches and institutions across the 57 counties
of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas - as well as in other Episcopal
Dioceses in this country and beyond.