2013 Chaplain of the Year
Pastor Chuck Kish
Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
NSA is pleased to announce that Pastor Chuck Kish of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Chaplain of the Year. The Chaplain of the Year Award was presented at the General Session on Monday, June 24th at NSA’s Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Chaplain Kish lives his life everyday motivated by the word of god. He received his formal training in Pastoral Studies from North Central University in Minnesota. By 1999, he became the lead pastor at Bethel Assemble of God in Carlisle, PA. Since serving in that capacity, he has been relentlessly motivated to spread his message not only to his congregation but also into the community to make a tangible difference.
One of the most difficult things anyone can do is tell a fellow person, likely a complete stranger that a loved one has died. After a decade of doing death notifications, Chaplain Kish would always walk away feeling empty and as if something more needed to be done. Most people are so bereft at the news that any thoughts of asking any questions have escaped them only to appear later after the people best capable of answering those questions have left.
Caring for You is a booklet that Chaplain Kish and his wife Michelle wrote in an effort to answer those questions you may not think to ask after receiving a death notification. The booklet is a subtle step-by-step guide to assist you in handling all responsibilities required after the loss of a loved one. These booklets are provided free of charge and can be personalized with any agency’s logo, badge or patch. Since its inception over 1000 of these booklets have been printed and interest has spread well beyond Cumberland County. Chaplain Kish would tell you that he has reached out to 1000 “points of pain” with the booklets. His long-term goal is to see the service become a 24/7 hotline that would be able to provide assistance at any time.
Chaplain Kish coined the term “Point of Pain Ministry” after he realized that he could better serve his community by being available directly at the “point of pain”. He had this vision for his first responder chaplaincy program 11 years ago. Now, the program has 18 chaplain involved with Chaplain Kish being the lead chaplain. Since its inception, the program has been immersed in the community. They take a boots on the ground approach and are involved with local ambulance crews, local police departments and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. It is a unique approach that Chaplain Kish has developed for specific needs in the community. This is a proactive approach in reaching those in a time of need at the instant they need it.
After the events of the movie theatre shooting in Aurora, Co in 2012, which were described as a premeditated act, Chaplain Kish took the word for his own and began his crusade to make it represent something good. Through various media outlets, he put the community on high alert and informed them that there would be premeditated acts of goodness coming their way. Chaplain Kish raised $3500, without ever contacting a business or corporate sponsor. His goal was to bless random citizens and those who work on the difficult side of premeditated evil; police, EMTs and hospital workers. The money gifts were made up into “packs of goodness” with $50 placed in each and two that contained $1000. On a predetermined day Chaplain Kish rounded up representative from the sheriff’s office, police department and EMS and descended upon a matinee movie in a local theatre. In a premeditated act of kindness, they proceeded to hand out the monetary gift to random people.
Chaplain Kish shows us in every aspect of his efforts, that he epitomizes all that should be in a law enforcement chaplain.
This award recognizes a chaplain who has made outstanding contributions to law enforcement and his/her agency or who had demonstrated conspicuous excellence in the performance of his/her duties.
This year's award was sponsored by GTL.