The OHPD Chaplaincy and Community Connections

For four-and-a-half months now, I have been in the process of intentionally and intensively on-boarding with the Oak Harbor Police Department as their new Chaplain. This week, I will have also had my first full staff hang-out time with the OH Fire Department personnel. My meet-and-greet meetings have been spectacular entry-ports to a whole new world I have never known before.

After spending a week at the Police Chaplaincy Training Academy in Burien, I came back and dove into my learning role. There are 37 men and women who make up our police department. I have now been with 29 on three-hour “ride-a-longs” or one-hour “desk-a-longs.” There are three new officers who are not qualified for me to be with yet since they are still on their first-year probation. I have been attempting to schedule about two encounters per week, and will usually walk through the office for door-stop hob-knobbing and check-ins on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to12 noon.

I have been issued police-logo-attire (cap, shirt, long-sleeve, and jacket) that conveys my identity as a chaplain and not a police officer. I have had two emergency callouts for deaths. Each time, I have been asked by the family to conduct the memorial service for their loved one, which I gladly did. These were divine appointments set up by God for me to offer His love and grace in support of these families in crisis.

I had the chance to “MC” the First-Responders Picnic celebration in July and have attended several department gatherings to celebrate people. All of this has been very insightful. Some officers have shared their souls with me and others are polite, professional, and distant (just like the cultural spread in the rest of the world). It is all wonderful for me because I get to meet and learn from people I never would have met.

I hope you know that I count being out of my office, in the community, ministering and connecting, a sacred privilege and trust God has granted me through you and with you. God calls all of us to be out in the community, meeting and connecting; serving and loving; relating and sharing – as followers of Jesus Christ. Becoming known in this way is how Christ followers will seed their communities with favor and blessing from heaven. This is also how we will give
credible witness to this one important truth, that life and joy, hope and eternity, is found solely in Jesus Christ. This is how we are called to make disciples.

Join me, as we embrace our community and our neighbors as our family to love
and our field to witness within!

Pastor David

1 Comment

David G. Lura - August 31st, 2023 at 8:10pm

Chaplain David . . . I commend you for your chaplaincy ministry to the police officers and the department and as a way to extend the ministry of OHFUMC in community. I felt the same about my time in the Navy Reserves as chaplain. Might it lead to a whole new chapter "in your retirement years." [;>] dgl





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