Late Boomer Chaplain: When the door finally opens!

2016_02_22_15_54_060001Chaplain Terry & Margaret Sutfin know the meaning of patience and persistence.  Ordained to ministry in 1961 and although qualified and available, Pastor Terry was never able to get into any military branch.  Knowing God wanted them in ministry, they set out to serve in church ministry in New York and Vermont.  When the Vermont church could not support a pastor, wife and three children, they returned to New York where Terry’s family had a Fuel Business.  Active in their home church in Avoca, they served wherever needed.  A volunteer opportunity opened up at the nearby VA Nursing Home Care Unit, where Terry could be found pushing residents in wheelchairs to Chapel on Sunday morning.  With the planned retirement of the facility’s Protestant Chaplain, and budgetary inability for a full-time replacement, the Medical Director recommended the retiring chaplain find someone local who could work as a part-time Contract Chaplain.  Terry was offered the position.  All he needed was an update endorsement.  The initial letter of hire was dated 23 December, 1997.

 Chaplain Sutfin sent out a letter with a recent photo.  In the card he wrote:  

               “FINALLY – by the mid 60’s after College, Grad School, and local experience with CBA in the pastorate, I was qualified for Military Chaplaincy which was my Sincere Desire, but was never able to get into any Military Branch.  HOWEVER – our Omnipotent and Omniscient Lord Jesus already knew that 40 years later I would make it with the very same qualifications.  The place; the VA Medical Center in Bath, NY (one of the very first in existence dating back to the Civil War days).  First as a volunteer pushing wheel chairs to Sunday Services.  NOW, years later my responsibilities have greatly increased to heading up the Community Living Center Chapel program where our average census is 170 permanent residents.  SO – Praise the Lord, I’m happily in His service at age 81, and greatly honored to be the First hired with CBA endorsement for the VA Chaplaincy.” 

               I ran through our VA chaplain files, and Chaplain Sutfin, indeed was CBAmerica’s first endorsed VA chaplain; and I believe is our oldest serving chaplain, not only in the VA, but of all currently endorsed and active CBAmerica chaplains. 

 THEREFORE, by the authority vested in me as the Director of Chaplaincy, CBAmerica, I hereby affirm that Chaplain Terry and Margaret Sutfin are, by virtue, chronological age, and faithfulness, CBAmerica’s 2016 Senior Chaplain and Wife.  Given under my keyboard from my home office in Aurora Colorado, this 22nd Day of February, 2016 in the Year of our Lord.

                   “Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:7)

 

              Signed:
Rev. Andy Meverden
Director of Chaplaincy
Chaplain, Colonel, US Army, Retired

 PS:  Emails congratulating Chaplain Terry and Margaret on this recognition can be sent directly to them at: tsutfin@stny.rr.com

 

 

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