Passing the Peace
Jim Hogan has made the lives of others his life’s work. So much so, in fact, that he serves as Mungo Homes’ Chaplain, where his daily routine each Thursday is to check in with his flock. Weekly, he visits the main office, dispensing helpful advice, spiritual guidance, and hugs as needed.
Q&A with Jim Hogan
How would you describe your ministry?
Mine is a ministry of presence. Sometimes I don’t have to do anything, but being there is the most important thing I can do. People appreciate that. When you are there, you can recognize things that need to be done and be helpful. I serve by making lives easier. Sixty percent of those I serve are unchurched and need a source of spiritual comfort and guidance. When they hit a bump in life’s road, I’m there. It’s a privilege for me to be a part of the lives of others.
What is your weekly routine?
I spend three hours a week at Mungo. It’s very important that I maintain that weekly routine. Knowing I’ll be there at the same time each week serves as a touchstone of sorts. I walk through the building, get to know people, and show them I care. That consistency is important in helping build trust and encourages people to open up to me. I’m on call 24-hours a day and always respond. If for some reason I don’t respond immediately, they know it means I’m caring for someone else.
As chaplain, what are some of the unique experiences you have encountered?
My experiences really run the gamut and are all very rewarding to me. Because I get to know people on a personal level, I also get to know their families; but, for example, a 700 employee circle gets really big, very quickly. I’ve officiated at weddings and funerals, celebrated the births of babies, stayed with employees during heart surgery, and assisted with conflict resolution.Obviously my favorites are weddings and babies. One birth that was particularly meaningful was one in which the woman’s husband was stationed in Korea. They were skyping and I was there to help celebrate.
How does having a Chaplain available to employees benefit Mungo Homes?
When companies invest in having someone like me on their team, they are making a commitment to their employees. It’s beneficial to retention, because I provide a grounding factor. If an employee is having life issues, they are typically hesitant to seek out their supervisor. I can provide a level of care that a supervisor can’t. Everything we discuss is very confidential and would not ordinarily be a topic of conversation in the workplace. The services I provide actually result in a cost savings for the business. Companies make a substantial investment in training employees. I can make a difference in helping retain those same employees.
Jim has been successful in turning an avocation into a vocation and positively impacting those whose lives he touches. As he goes about his week passing the peace and filling needs where he finds them, he’s making a difference to Mungo’s greatest asset—its people.