top of page

Embracing the Most Compassionate Spirit by Rev. Robin Stallings

I found a church home at First Christian Church North Hollywood (FCCNH) in 1989 and over the years was fortunate enough to be mentored by Rev. Dr. Robert Bock. As my involvement with FCCNH’s ministry grew, in later years I also became involved with the ministry of the Pacific Southwest Region, where I also found amazing mentors and influencers from whom I would learn even more about Christian ministry. However, it was my experience in providing ministry at an assisted living facility in Hollywood, where many of our elder church members resided, which finally placed my feet on the path to chaplaincy. As we recognized a need for a chaplain for our residents and their families, I first met Mark Anderson just as he took over the helm at National Benevolent Association (NBA). NBA then provided us with a chaplain who was already working in the area, and it was through the sharing of that chaplain’s ministry that finally encouraged me to pursue hospital (clinical) chaplaincy. 

One of the most important parts of being a chaplain is the constant required CPE, which keeps a chaplain in continual reflection on all things throughout your entire life. As a result, I continue to reflect upon my life experiences, my faith beliefs, and my convictions, as I work my way through the trauma of my childhood from having an abusive biological father. I can’t say that I feel forgiveness for my father who just passed away last June, but in times of sadness and disappointment, I try to focus on embracing Jesus’ compassionate spirit, which I believe understood my father’s pain and emotional trauma that led him to lead the life he chose. From the time I was a small child, it was the scripture from 1 Corinthians 13 that remained my constant companion in the face of this childhood trauma: “faith, hope, and love” in all things. However, all these many years later, I remain a work in progress in this area of my life.

In deciding to become a chaplain, I often felt God’s spirit creating within me a constant desire to be a vessel filled with the compassionate spirit of Jesus to all of those around me in need. This call to ministry, to be open to such deep compassion, is a unique perspective to take on, and it is a trait that all chaplains in any faith tradition strive to adopt and maintain in their practice of Spiritual Care. It was especially challenging and exhaustive for chaplains as we moved through three constant years of COVID. The pandemic drained our emotional resources and tested our beliefs as chaplains, as we provided support for patients and their families who suffered deep unresolved grief in the loneliest heart-wrenching situations. However, out of these experiences came a whole new perspective on just how deeply loving and committed is the divine compassionate spirit of Jesus. I came to understand that the depths of Christ’s compassion and love for us have no definable measurement. The depths of his compassion for us leads to infinity and beyond, as one by one, I stood at the bedside of so many souls who suffered and died from COVID. You see, it was the presence of the compassionate spirit of Jesus we called upon, and it gifted us all with divine comfort and peace as he called each one of these souls home.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we are always reminded to be a vessel that brings God’s loving Spirit to rest upon all who would receive it. As a chaplain, whether I walk into a hospital room or I am called to the Emergency Room, the Trauma unit, or to the NICU, I strive to emulate Christ’s example of infinite compassionate love. It is Christ’s most compassionate spirit that gifts us with moments of complete acceptance and forgiveness in all things. It is Christ sharing with us the deep meaningful compassion which we all seek and so deeply desire to have present in our lives. It is God’s grand gift to us provided by Christ’s sacrifice of infinite love for every one of us, and it is meant to be shared.

My journey into hospital chaplaincy has revealed much about myself over these past 10 years – most importantly that God’s loving spirit has created within me the nature to be a most compassionate caregiver. Often that compassionate nature can overwhelm me as I will still cry at Hallmark and Budweiser commercials, and stories of inhumane animal treatment just wreck me! And it is that same overwhelming compassionate nature that often nudges me to speak up about injustices in the most unpopular places at not the best times. But thanks to the mentorship of spiritual leaders like Rev. Dr. Jo Ann Bynum, Rev. Dr. Mark Parsons, and others at Disciples Seminary Foundation, and my family at FCCNH, God’s loving spirit finally put my feet down in a ministry where I could make sense of the deep emotional commitment I feel to care for everyone in need, to follow my desire to travel in the same gospel footsteps as Jesus does. I am convinced that Jesus is the one true caregiver for us all, and I continue to strive to walk in those footsteps in my practice as a Disciples’ Chaplain.


Rev. Robin Stallings is currently the Lead Chaplain at Kaiser Permanente’s South Bay Medical Center after she relocated back to California last year after working with PeaceHealth’s St. John Medical Center in Longview WA. Previously, she was a Trauma One Chaplain with Dignity Health for five years, three of which were during the COVID pandemic, and she was recognized for her service with a Special COVID-19 Caregiver Award by Chandler Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in AZ in 2021. Robin was also the pastor at East Mesa Christian Church in Arizona while employed with CRMC during the COVID pandemic.

Robin completed a Certificate of Ministries Studies from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2011 and completed an M.Div. at Claremont School of Theology in 2014. Her CPE training for trauma chaplaincy occurred at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles from 2013-2014 and at Banner University Medical Center in downtown Phoenix from 2015-2016. She was ordained as a DOC minister at First Christian Church in Mesa, AZ, and she has been endorsed by the Disciples Home Missions’ Disciples Chaplain Association since July 2016. Since 2017, Robin has been a certified clinical chaplain of the Board of Clinical Chaplains.


bottom of page