Some call it luck, others call it destiny. Faith Christina Kienstra, staff chaplain at Anne Arundel Medical Center, describes ending up in Annapolis as a “complete fluke.”
“I moved to the East Coast about three and a half years ago. I had decided to make a temporary move to Annapolis and saw there was an opening for a chaplain at AAMC so I eagerly applied, and I am blessed to be here two and a half years later,” she said.
Faith was nervous about working at a hospital that’s not religious-based, saying she was ambivalent by how others would interpret her approach to work as a chaplain. But to her surprise, she was pleasantly welcomed by an integrated team that gave her a platform where she could continue to thrive with her work.
“It’s such a special hospital because people who work here are called to do what they do,” she said. “There is grace, respect and a sense of lifting up others throughout the entire organization, from top executives all the way through to the volunteers.”
This is important for Faith, whose main duty revolves around dealing with situations that can be challenging. Through the years, she has learned that when a crisis happens, it doesn’t only affect the person it happens to, it also happens to everyone around them. She gives credit to her faith, training, family, friends, dogs and AAMC team members for being the support she needs to move forward with resiliency.
“The gift of presence is so powerful and to see how people, both patients and staff, handle difficult situations with such grace is an honor,” she said. “To hold someone’s pain, even if for a short amount of time, and be there with and for others during a difficult time is such a gift.”
Faith attended Aquinas Institute of Theology Catholic seminary, where she received a master’s in pastoral studies. She did her clinical internship and residency at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo. Today, she feels privileged to do what she loves and be a light during some of the darkest times of many people’s lives.
PRO TIP: “It’s the way that we do what we do that is our gift. No matter what your position is, bring your heart to it. Realize your value and know we’re all part of a team. Without each other, we would be nothing. Do what brings you joy.”