Sinai appoints Orthodox rabbi as hospital chaplainSinai...


August 12, 1993|By Reported by Frank P.L. Somerville

Sinai appoints Orthodox rabbi as hospital chaplain

Sinai Hospital has appointed a 35-year-old Orthodox rabbi and former Army chaplain to head its pastoral care and chaplaincy services.

Commenting on his transition from the military to a hospital chaplaincy, Rabbi Mitchell S. Ackerson, who served in the Persian Gulf war, said, "There is a correlation between the fears of those at war and those in the hospital. They worry about what will happen to them."

Rabbi Ackerson's background also includes work in prisons and community outreach programs. While on the staff of the Department of Pastoral Care at Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut, he counseled patients in convalescent centers and at home as well as in the hospital. "I have always been interested in the helping-profession aspect of rabbinical work," he said.

Ordained at the Rabbi Elchonon Theological Seminary, an affiliate of New York's Yeshiva University, he holds bachelor's degrees in history and sociology and master's degrees in Jewish education and social work.

Because Sinai is a Jewish hospital, the department Rabbi Ackerson heads is concerned primarily with the religious needs of Jewish patients, but he said that his experience as an Army chaplain has prepared him to address the needs of Sinai's patients of other faiths as well. "In both settings, you work with a diverse population," he said.

Until recently, the captain was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C.

At Sinai, he succeeds Rabbi Emeritus Samuel Vitsick, who retired last summer after 35 years as the hospital's chaplain and now directs its kosher food program.

Part of Rabbi Ackerson's job will be to instruct nurses, physicians and other staff members about pastoral, ethical and religious issues.

Renovations completed:

The Rev. Robert F. Butehorn, rector, and the congregation of St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church at 5610 Dogwood Road in Woodlawn have invited the public to join them in celebrating interior and exterior improvements to the historic building at a 9:30 a.m. service Sunday.

The renovations, which began in 1990 and are the result of contributions and volunteer work by more than 50 members of the congregation, include added basement space for church dinners and the Sunday school, a garden, granite flooring at the entrance, baptismal font and altar, lighting of the altar window and the repair of three bells which had not rung for 20 years.

Built in 1873, the church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Sunday is the Feast of St. Mary the Virgin on the Episcopal Church calendar.

Information: 944-4236.

Outdoor revival:

Brown's Memorial Baptist Church, which is at 3215 W. Belvedere Ave., will conduct a "Come As You Are" revival Sunday, at 11 a.m., on the parking lot of the Park Heights Community Center at 3319 W. Belvedere Ave. The public is invited. Information: 542-5700.

Priests remembered:

Two Sulpician priests who before their deaths contributed much of their time and talents to Bolton Hill's Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church, a parish without a resident clergyman, will be commemorated at the 10:30 Mass Sunday at the church, Mount Royal and Lafayette avenues.

Sister Jane Coyle, administrator of the parish, said the Mass will mark the fourth anniversary of the death of the Rev. Gene Walsh, whom she called "a nationally renowned liturgist" who gave Corpus Christi "the benefit of his study and experience," and the first anniversary of the death of the Rev. Lowell Glendon, who she said was known for his spiritual assistance to the parishioners and "his splendid homilies."

Father Glendon often presided at Corpus Christi's Masses.

Information: 523-4161.

Bible study:

Northern Baltimore County's Hereford Assembly of God issued an open invitation to its Vacation Bible School Monday through Aug. 20, with registration at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the church, 1211 Mount Carmel Road near Parkton.

The theme of the five days of classes and other activities, said the Rev. W. Blaine McVicker, the pastor, is "Discover the Joy of Jesus at Victory Station." Bell ringers will perform Aug. 22 as part of the celebration of completion of the Bible study, he said. Information 357-8913.

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