VOA Today: A message from our VOA Chaplain Donna Trabue

What do I know of Holy? 2/7/22

May God Bless You with Discomfort 1/31/22

Uprooted 1/24/22

The Bells Still Ring 1/10/22

2021 Holiday Worship Service

Remembering God is For us 12/13/21

Walking Toward Bethlehem, Finding our Rhythm 12/6/21 

Room at the table for everyone 11/29/21

How to Love and BeLoved 11/1/21

Connection Stories 10/25/21

The Lessons of Autumn 10/18/21

Starlighting and the Quest for Justice for Indigenous People 10/11/21

Not Born to Waste 10/4/21

This Year, I won't get lost in the darkness 9/27/21

Casting Away our Sins 9/20/21

Seeking to Understand - the Maintenance of Compassionate Care 8/30/21

Seeing our Strengths 8/16/21

1000 Candles, 1000 Cranes 8/9/21

Speaking up and Speaking Out – “Good Trouble” for the Beloved Community 7/19/21

The 7th Wave 7/12/21

We Do Not Labor in Vain 6/28/21

The Look 6/14/21

Finding and Keeping the burn with love languages 5/24/21

God's Fidelity in all of everything - sorrow, joy and hope 5/17/21

Water from Rocks and Support from Stones 5/3/21

The Abundant Life 4/27/21

Christ is Rising Indeed 4/19/21

Speak Now 4/12/21

Still Rolls the Stone & shaking your graveclothes off 4/5/21

Easter Sermon April 2021

If Jesus Drove a Truck: A Retelling of Jesus' Entry into Jerusalem 3/22/21

Randy Brothers hosts Reflection and Prayer: Who am I and who should I be 3/15/21

Acute Compassion and chronic empathy 3/8/21

Lenten Change 2/22/21

Turning toward ash Wednesday 2/16/21

Stranger Graces 2/8/21

How Marty Wilson Saved My Life 2/1/21

Timely help from the sidelines 1/25/21

Holding on to Hope with Both Hands 1/11/21

Holiday sermon

CPR 11/23/20

Honoring our Veterans 11/16/20

After Election Day 11/9/20

All Saints Day Remembrances and Saintliness 11/2/20

A time for everything under the heavens 10/26/20

Using our power of one 10/19/20

Wonder-Working Wood 10/12/20

The Shape that I'm in 10/5/20

Holding space for multiple truths 9/28/20

Rosh Hashanah: Head of the New Year 9/21/20

The Power of One 8/24/20

Instillation of Hope 8/17/20

Eid al-Adha: Feast of the Sacrifice and Redeeming Souls 8/3/20

A Biblical Perspective on Organ Donation: An Expression of Commitment in Loving a Neighbor 7/20/20

"The Meaning of July Fourth For the Negro" By: Fredrick Douglas


Celebration of Life Service for David McAtee

Randy Brothers' Reflection and Prayer Time 6/8/20

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birmingham Jail Letter

"Graduation Day" 5/18/20

"A Balm for Our Times" 5/11/20

 Reflection and Prayer Time from 4/27/20

Reflection and Prayer Time from 4/20/20

"Rooted in Resurrection and Renewal" 4/13/20

 Reflection and Prayer Time from 4/6/20

Reflection and Prayer Time from 3/3/2

What We Know and What We Don’t Know: A Word from the Chaplain

With what seems like hourly updates on Covid-19/Coronavirus situation, it can be challenging to keep up with the constant flow of information and know what to do and how to respond appropriately. Information is so helpful as it informs us and gives us guidance. I’m very grateful for the expertise of those in the medical profession who are sharing knowledge, yet it can feel pretty overwhelming and unsettling at times and this feels like one of those topsy-turvy times with a high level of uncertainty.

It is very easy to feel off-kilter, worried about the present and the future, and that we have very little control. Our normal routines allow us to function on near auto-pilot the majority of the time and we are never more keenly aware than in times like these that our routines serve us so well and bring us comfort and peace.

It is helpful and productive when routines are being changed or upended to acknowledge the feelings that we are having and name them for what they are as they are entirely understandable. We have normal human reactions to a new situation and that is reasonable. It is also helpful to recognize that individuals respond to information and their perception of it on a feelings level in different ways and all of those responses are valid and to be expected and accepted. Not everyone reacts the same, and all of us are doing our best to process what we are hearing in helpful ways.

I think it is helpful in times of uncertainty to acknowledge that we don’t know everything that we will know, and it is also helpful to remember and focus on what we do know.

Here’s what we do know:

We know that our staff and clients and their needs are important and we are perpetually responsive to that; we are unshakable in our resolve to create positive change with employees and the people we support. We know that our organizational founders, Ballington and Maud Booth, encountered tremendous uncertainties in their work in 1896 and beyond, including times of widespread illness, financial challenges, and events that caused upheaval. Yet in all those years, our founders and the ones who followed succeeded in carrying out our organizational mission - they demonstrated steadiness, calm in the face of fear and uncertainty, and unyielding commitment to their cause.

We know that we as employees can set this tone of steadiness, this commitment to calm and solution –focused problem-solving for our coworkers and the people we serve. We of course respond appropriately to the information we are receiving, as was evident in the policies and protocols communicated this week, and we maintain the calm that is so very important to our clients who crave and need stability. We do not add unnecessary additional drama to the current situation; we have a plan of response based on what we know and now each of us can and will demonstrate leadership as we respond diligently and appropriately to the situation with tenacious calm. This will be our touchstone as our clients look to us for cues on how to respond. Our organizational culture is one of positivity and compassion, and I call upon each of you to lead with these.

If you need some chaplaincy support in the coming days, that is what I am here for and please reach out to me at donnat@voamid.org or 502-636-4641 and I will be glad to listen and support you. In the nearly 32 years of being an employee of Volunteers of America Mid-States I have witnessed firsthand this organization proactively and calmly responding to so many high-stress situations of uncertainty with grace and tenacity; this is in our organizational DNA and we will persevere through this challenging time together. Of this, I know and am certain.