College Contacts:
Audrey Mierau Bechtel kbechtel@sasktel.net
Brian Walton brian.walton@saskatoonhealthregion.ca wk: 306-655-5827

Greetings,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Spiritual Care Development Days Steering Committee who have been working on your behalf since the last Spiritual Care Development day held in Saskatoon on Monday September 25, 2006. At that meeting those present endorsed two priorities. The first priority was the preparation of a Brief to be presented to the provincial government to solicit their support in advancing quality spiritual care within the province. The second priority was to move toward the establishment of an association for professional provincial spiritual care practitioners.

I am happy to report significant progress on both fronts. A committee has prepared a brief and is currently soliciting support from major faith groups within the province. The provincial government is to be contacted and a meeting time arranged for the presentation of this brief. The brief addresses two areas: first, it solicits recognition and endorsement of the need for quality spiritual care within the provinces health care institutions and, second, it requests the government to create a position known as Spiritual Care Coordinator within the Department of Health. It is hoped that this individual would act as an advocate and liaison for quality spiritual care both within the department and with regional health authorities.

We have also made progress in our effort to establish a provincial association to be known as the Saskatchewan Association of Spiritual Care Practitioners in Health Care. You will find with this mailing a copy of a constitution, standards of practice and a code of ethics to be considered at our upcoming inaugural meeting to be held on April 15 & 16, 2007. We invite you to study these documents and come to the meeting prepared to discuss, revise and adopt the structures and principles of this document. In addition we will, at that time, elect an executive for the organization to guide its evolution. You will note in the proposed constitution under ‘Membership’ the proposal of a two-year window in which any interested person who is employed in the practice of spiritual care in a health care institution will be invited to join the association as a founding member. At this critical stage of the association’s development the intention is to be as welcoming as possible of all spiritual care practitioners. The membership criteria and practice standards set out in the enclosed documents are intended to guide the development of the association over time.

Finally, the Steering Committee, found it necessary to establish itself as an interim organization in order to establish a bank account and to receive donations. To this end we held a first meeting of the “Saskatchewan Spiritual Care Coalition” in mid-December and in early January we established a bank account. I am pleased to report that the Catholic Health Association of Saskatchewan, the United Church of Canada, and the Saskatchewan Region of the Canadian Association for Pastoral Practice and Education along with a couple of private businesses have made donations to aid us in accomplishing our goals. Once the association is formed the Saskatchewan Spiritual Care Coalition will dissolve and transfer funds to the association itself. At our inaugural meeting we will need to establish an annual membership fee which will fund the ongoing activity of the organization.

WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU

  • Please read the enclosed documents
  • Communicate with us regarding any substantive changes you would propose to the Constitution, Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
  • Inform us of your desire to attend the inaugural meeting and to become a founding member of the Saskatchewan Association of Spiritual Care Practitioners in Health Care by emailing the coalition c/o brian.walton@saskatoonhealthregion.ca
  • Watch for information for the upcoming inaugural meeting and convention
  • Talk up the benefits and excitement of the association with any other employed spiritual care practitioners and refer their name to the Coalition through the above e-mail

I hope that you feel the growing excitement shared by the Steering Committee/Saskatchewan Spiritual Care Coalition as we move closer to achieving our common goals.

Sincerely,

Brian Walton,
for the Saskatchewan Spiritual Care Coalition