Former Goshen Hospital nurse returns as volunteer chaplain

01.23.2020

For Enid Schloneger, Goshen was a natural choice for her and her husband, Bob, to retire. It's where they met while in school at Goshen College. The young couple started their family in Goshen and Enid began her career as a nurse at Goshen Hospital.

Diane Ringler, Cardiac Device Specialist
Donnie Johnson, Coordinator of Spiritual Care
at Goshen Health, visits with Enid Schloneger
who offers a listening ear to patients in her role
as volunteer chaplain.

The Schlonegers moved to Ohio where Bob later felt a call to pastoral ministry. Eventually, Enid was also ordained and joined Bob as a co-pastor in churches in Ohio and Pennsylvania. That's when she combined her passion for nursing and pastoral care. She also served as chaplain in senior living and hospice facilities.

Now Schloneger is back at Goshen Hospital, this time as a volunteer chaplain. "My chaplain work in the past is very dear to my heart," Schloneger said. "I knew I wanted to continue to help patients and families as they face health crises, whether large or small."

Hospital stays are usually short, which means Schloneger's time with patients is oftentimes brief. Still, she takes time to listen as patients talk about their feelings, even their fears. She prays with patients too, with their permission.

"I ask if they want to pray for something special," Schloneger explained. "So often, they open up, and we have a good, meaningful experience together."

When the Schlonegers decided to retire, they chose Goshen to be near family. Their son Mark, also a pastor, and his family live in the area. Now Schloneger gladly balances her time between connecting with family, enjoying time with grandchildren and volunteering one afternoon a week at the hospital.

"I receive such a feeling of fulfillment as a volunteer," she said. "I feel appreciated, needed and respected as part of the team."

To find out more about volunteering at Goshen Health, contact Karla Beasley, Volunteer Director at KBeasley@GoshenHealth.com or (574) 364-2633.