Why does a property management company have a corporate chaplain? It’s about serving our team members and residents in a unique way by helping to meet their spiritual and emotional needs. Chaplaincy is often called the “ministry of presence” and that’s exactly what our chaplain, Rick Chaffin, has embodied for the past seventeen years.
At Newby Management, the chaplain doesn’t work by the hour, but rather by the need. Most years, this means putting nearly 40,000 miles on his car traveling across the state to our communities. He visits team members frequently, establishing close Godly relationships with them, letting them know that counseling is available any time. Our chaplain also visits sick and bereaved team members and their employees, giving them comfort in times of need.
In our communities, the duties of the chaplain sometimes include voluntary bible studies, other times it involves sharing the word of God. Rick Chaffin is a great example of how a consistent, loving presence can help plant seeds and spread the word of God.
“I am 71 years old and Rick brought a new understanding to me of what a Christian is,” said John S.,
a community manager in a Newby Management community. “Rick’s stories of the bible are what makes me think about what I can do for my fellow man. I will be a better Christen now thanks to Pastor Rick”
The chaplaincy program at Newby Management is built around relationships that center on the Lord. This includes visiting residents in their homes for encouragement, problem solving, and witnessing. For many residents in our 55+ communities, this is an important and much-needed relationship, especially if they are living alone.
Newby Management knows that for struggling residents, finding help can sometimes be hard. That’s why we started delivering Christmas food bags for residents in need. It’s a big job that requires the hands of all corporate team members. The corporate chaplain is in charge of coordinating these efforts.
In 2015, the team packed an astounding 1,512 pounds of nonperishable food. It’s the kind of food most people take for granted, like peanut butter and jelly or oatmeal. But for some families, those staple items will go a long way.
The bags are personally delivered by a corporate team member, so the residents aren’t just getting food, they are getting encouragement too. While some residents need food care packages, others just need a bit of holiday cheer. For residents who had a difficult year, the team delivered fresh poinsettias to their homes. It’s just a simple reminder that they are being thought about during the holidays.
In each of our communities, and at our corporate office, the chaplain delivers CareNotes. These booklets cover topics like grief, family care, aging, recovery and forgiveness. For many team members and residents, they are a quiet ministry available to them in hard times.
But being the chaplain at Newby Management also came with lots of fun. In fact, many team members and residents remember a game fondly that involves throwing a chicken into a pot. It was a guaranteed laugh. Rick was a master of games during his many years at Newby Management, coming up with fun times for corporate events and meetings alike.
“It’s been a real pleasure getting to know Rick Chaffin,” said Sandi J. Gajewski, an administrative assistant at Carribbean Isles.”From his jovial, great sense of humor to his serious, sensitive and caring personality, he seems to cover all the bases. At the company picnics he always encourages everyone to participate in the unique and crazy games when sometimes we don’t want to then we’re glad that we did. They were always challenging and most of all fun!”
For Newby Management, the chaplain position is robust. It’s one that has been filled for seventeen years by a man who exudes godliness. It has grown and changed with the company, watching team members come and go, seeing the good times and the bad. It has lifted people up and been there for people in their most desperate times of need. It’s the godly glue that holds the team together and brings everyone closer to God.