For nearly 20 years, Greg Spring was a youth pastor. He likes to joke that it was good preparation for being a chaplain in a senior living community. Young adults and seniors aren’t so different after all, he said.
“They all have a sense of humor, and they like to have a good time,” Greg said.
Greg became the new chaplain at Wichita Presbyterian Manor in January. He was excited to return to ministry work after his last position as a hospice chaplain came to an end. But he hasn’t been idle. Even while he was still at the hospice, Greg had a second job — as a part-time UPS driver. He would start loading trucks at 4 a.m., finish around 9, and head off to the hospice. The physical work suited him, Greg said.
But when he went full time at UPS, he would come home exhausted and miss out on family time. (Greg’s wife, Karen, is a fourth grade teacher in Valley Center, and they have two grown sons.)
He kept looking for an organization in need of a chaplain. With a music degree from Arlington Baptist College and a master’s in chaplain ministry from Liberty University, it’s where he felt he belonged. “I told my supervisor at UPS, this is my education and my experience. This is where my talents and gifts are,” Greg said. “I’d just been waiting for opportunity to jump back in.”
Finally, he discovered Presbyterian Manor had a position open. He met with Executive Director Dawn Veh and had a good feeling. “I enjoyed her attitude about the people, and how she makes them a priority,” Greg said.
For his first couple of months, Greg said he was been working to learn a little about everyone here, from residents to staff members. Sometimes he pitches in for transportation, driving residents to doctors’ appointments and chatting as they go. “I just have to talk for a few minutes to make some connection with people. I either knew their pastor or where they worked,” Greg said. He even discovered that one resident used to work in his junior high school office, and he brought a yearbook to share with her.
The chaplain’s service extends to staff members, too. With 180 employees at Wichita Presbyterian Manor, Greg said he wants to be available to them, too. “This ministry is not just with the residents, to be a comfort and encouragement to them. There is a ministry on a whole different level with the employees,” he said.
Please remember to give a warm welcome to Chaplain Greg. We’re happy to have you on the Presbyterian Manor team!