Last year I trained as an ombudsman volunteer. Problem was I was still going to school and weekly ombudsmaning was hard to do. Assuming that I passed my last course, school is over, and I am out of excuses except for weather. Once a week I have set aside an hour as ombudsman day.
Per the Oxford English Dictionary, “The modern parliamentary office of ombudsman originated in Sweden in 1809, with the first justitieombudsman (justice ombudsman) appointed by Parliament to protect against the abuse of power by government and the civil service…. In extended use: an ombudsman is a person who handles complaints, a mediator; a spokesperson for the rights of a particular individual or group.” In my case, I am an advocate for the residents of a nursing home.
I find this a different role than chaplain. In my chaplain role, I handle concerns. In my ombudsman role, I handle complaints. In my chaplain role, I console. In my ombudsman role, I solve.
In spite of the differences, I think my presence voice changes little. Personally, I like the chaplain role more. It has taught me how to NOT solve and to listen.
I think listening is the key in either role. It is the one of the advantages of being older. I actually hold listening higher in stature than talking. My twenty something self would not have listened to such talk, and didn’t.