14 November 2012
Every sentence I write falls short. I will, therefore, try to be as brief as possible, since all attempted eloquence fails:
The Rev. Dan Chambers was joyfully serving the Lord at this time last year, shepherding the Lambs and Sheep of Christ as the Holy Spirit had set him in place to do. After Christmas, he went to Texas to visit family.
Had he not ended up in the hospital, that would seem like a very ordinary story about a pastor.
Had he, perhaps, broken his leg or had a heart attack and some bypasses, it would seem pretty normal.
Instead, Pr. Chambers ended up in the hospital ALL YEAR. For a good portion of it, he was minimally responsive. TO THIS DAY, he cannot stand on his own or walk AT ALL.
The parish he served no longer waits for him; he was ‘let go’ for being unable to perform his duties. Needless to say, with his inability to walk at this point, neither Calls nor other employment will be immediately forthcoming.
His experience with Concordia Health Plan/Blue Cross—Blue Shield has been less than exemplary: they have threatened to kick him out of rehab several times, since he was not progressing ‘fast enough’. Now, there is a hard and fast date of 17 December 2012 fixed when he will have exceeded all the physical therapy his insurance will cover. Will that be enough time for him to be able to walk and go home? Only our Lord knows. What if he needs another week or two? What if ten more days would make the difference between recovering and not recovering? The doctors fully expect him to regain this ability, but it’s a matter of when?
At the same time, when will he be able to work again? Again, how will his family’s needs be met in the mean time?
The Augustana Ministerium has disbursed well over $100,000 of funds during its short existence to help pastors in need…but we don’t have the sort of resources necessary to make Pr. Chambers any promises. For that reason, we come imploring all of you for help. If you consider it a good thing to help this pastor who will be cast out of his hospital the week before Christmas whether he can walk or not, much less work or not, we wish to provide you the means for doing so. And PLEASE NOTE: none of us from The Augustana Ministerium get a salary, etc., for doing this and there will be NO administrative fees (other than, perhaps, a stamp to send Pr. Chambers a check…and that will come out of our regular account, not out of your gift; if you donate by credit card, of course, the bank will take its fee…but whatever comes into our account goes directly and ONLY to the aiding of pastors).
Here’s how it works:
- If you use PayPal, send a donation to [email protected] and include a memo that it is for Pr. Chambers (or click on Donate below).
- If you want to use a debit or credit card, go to http://augustanaministerium.org and click on a ‘Donate’ button (or below). This will take you to a PayPal page, where they will offer to set up a PayPal account, etc., but you don’t have to do so: just enter your card info on their secure site, make sure a memo is there saying it is for Pr. Chambers, and you’re all set.
- To send a check, put “Pr. Chambers” in the memo line, “TAM” in the pay to line, and send it to:
The Augustana Ministerium
c/o The Rev. Gregory J. Schultz, Bursar
721 Payne Avenue
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
A COUPLE OF THINGS TO CONSIDER
- Now would also be a great time to make a general contribution to the work of the Ministerium and to add it to your congregation’s budget for 2013.
- Pastor Chambers’s expenses for therapy alone are over $200 per day. That being the case, we would like to provide him with at least another month’s worth of rehab and a gift for other expenses by the time his insurance runs out. Even if our Lord were to grant him to walk on 16 December, it would be a gift well-given: a year in the hospital is expensive even if the hospitalization part were paid for in full. If we are blessed to send him a check next month, we will report to you what the next month’s needs look like, as well.
Thank you for your consideration of this request and for your prayers and any other aid you are able to provide this pastor and his family!
[Please distribute this message ‘everywhere’ and *please* do so with the above date intact.]
Rev. Eric J. Stefanski
Dean of Communications, The Augustana Ministerium
Holy Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church (UAC)
P.O. Box 2612
Harrison, Arkansas 72602-2612