Forging Connections in Crisis: A Hospital Chaplain Confides About Her Calling

Portia Saint-Jacques is the newest chaplain serving at Loma Linda University Health in Loma Linda, California. Here she talks about what it is like to work in a hospital setting, when she felt God’s calling, and why she remains an Adventist despite her disappointment in the San Antonio vote.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The is one thing positions in the article’ she does not doubt the fact that Gog called hers her. Nothing will stop God from calling women for his work.

I wanted to say one thing positive.

A few months ago SPECTRUM published Women’s Ordination Lost Again Today 11 October 2017, Pastor Trevon Howard, Associate Pastor at the Azure Hills Church in Grand Terrace, California, summed it all up for me in these simple words:

I was streaming the proceedings on my computer when my six-year-old son came over and asked me what I was watching. What was I supposed to say? I just told him that some people from the church were making some decisions, then encouraged him to play with his toys in an attempt to distract him. It’s an embarrassment. There is no good explanation to give a child, so I tried to shield him from it. Yet, I know there is only so much shielding that can be done. He will find out. He will ask me to give an account of my role in what’s happening. I’m not sure how I’ll answer.

__Forgive me if I’m not celebrating. Perhaps the old saying puts it best: we won this battle but are losing the war.

While I am glad that the author has found employment that she is happy with, I hope that like Pastor Howard will soon be ordained, respected, and fully accepted by the denomination she identifies with. We should not have to shield our children from the reality and “embarrassment” that gender inequality in our church brings.

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Great interview. But once again the question of ordination is subliminal, I recall my years as a member of the LLU Board. A new. Member would approach me at break and ask me if I was a worker. No, Iwould reply, some think I am a drone. I consider myself as the queen bee. The hive would not survive without us outsiders.

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Portia is new at Loma Linda, but as the article points out, is both experienced and is Board Certified through the Association for Professional Chaplains, which is the gold standard for professional chaplains in healthcare. May her example encourage other chaplains to complete it.