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Optage Hospice Chaplain Louise Britts receives seminary alumni award

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Congratulations and a collective amen for Optage Hospice Chaplain Louise Britts for being awarded the Excellence in Parish Ministry Distinguished Alumni Award by the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). Pastor Louise received her Master of Divinity from LSTC in 2002 and is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

alumni awardPastor Louise received the award in recognition of her teaching, preaching, pastoral care, chaplaincy, community organizing and mentoring, according to the cover article in Epistle, the seminary’s magazine. She said in the article, “Since I was a little girl, I had told my mom, ‘God’s calling me to be a pastor and to lead God’s people and to tell God’s people they are loved, deeply loved.’ So LSTC helped me realize that dream and become a pastor.”

Pastor Louise now serves as a chaplain and supervisor for Optage Hospice, a ministry and service offered by Optage, the home and community services division of Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS).

“Hospice is my heart,” she says. “What I love about hospice is to be able to reaffirm to people that God loves them more than that they can ever know. And to help them grasp that understanding of God’s love, so they can let go and come to that next world that God has promised us,” she explains.

Pastor Louise learned about hospice ministry during her clinical pastoral education, part of her studies at LSTC. “Once I began,” she reflects, “I felt like I had been doing this forever because of older adults in my family and neighborhood. It’s just who I am – a natural caregiver. This is me.”

While serving as pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minn., Pastor Louise began her ministry as a chaplain with HealthPartners Hospice. She said that while at the time bi-vocational ministry was financially necessary, it also helped her fully discern her calling to hospice chaplaincy.

She was introduced to PHS while visiting HealthPartners Hospice clients who lived at PHS communities. “I loved Presbyterian Homes. I loved their mission and what they were doing in hospice care” she explained. Her vocational path led her to Optage Hospice where she has served as a chaplain since 2014. “Now I have my dream job!” she exclaims.

Congratulations, Louise, we are blessed every day by your ministry among us at PHS.

Read more about Pastor Louise’s call to ministry as reported by LSTC.

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