Helping America's Most Vulnerable

What Calls You To Ministry?

a conversation with some of our Ministry Team members


How Does Our Ministry Inform Your Work?


Nancy Ives, Vice President of Operations

"The themes of Social Justice run throughout the history, traditions and writings of the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament.

At Volunteers of America, we are continuing in the Judeo-Christian tradition of working towards Social Justice... especially for folks who, not by choice, have had things happen in their life, or have acquired diseases that have pushed them into poverty, substandard living in housing and health, and have been set aside.

For me, Social Justice underlies every aspect of our work."


Reverend Al Boyce:

"We give so much to people, especially high needs populations, so the option, and often the need, for ministry is everywhere.

Last fall I went to a clergy gathering at Princeton Theological Seminary. We discussed empirical research stating that if people have a spiritual path or a spiritual life, they are much healthier all around.

As chaplain, my emphasis is not to tell anyone what they ought to believe about a higher power or God but to ask them to give time and consideration, to reflect.

Even doing a painting, walking along the river, sitting intentionally to ponder the day, it all impacts our day-to-day life because we are taking time to look at the bigger picture, be it in our own lives or the lives of the people we serve.

It makes us better persons and better employees. For me, it's all about creating opportunities for our staff to keep themselves centered and healthy.

Our goal for the Ministry Team is to have Ministry support available to all sites.

This includes our outreach events like Lunch and Learns and Spiritual Roundtables: we learn from each other and discover more about each other, and that bonds us as a community. We never know what burdens other people are carrying."


Mike Merrill, Veteran's Services:

I came to Volunteers of America in 2007 looking for change in my life personally and on a professional basis.

I started as residential counselor at Brackett Street, became an Intake Referral Coordinator and soon moved to Veterans Services.

My first Volunteers of America Church service was a National Service and I was blown away. It was packed with people of all beliefs just enjoying each others company. Even though it was sweltering hot, they were happy to stay and sing together and worship together. I decided I wanted to be part of that.

I grew up in the Pentecostal Church tradition, I was in church 7 days a week. I left Theology School (was studying to be a missionary) and then joined the Marine Corps. Working at Volunteers of America incorporates everything that is important to me.

Becoming an ordained and commissioned Minister is an honor and a privilege, and being able to be here for Veterans in that capacity is awesome. I started doing Worship Service for seniors at Paul Hazelton as part of my studies and have continued with them. I learn so much from them every week.


David Roderick, IRT North:

I joined the ministry team because I have been discerning my path in life and I felt like God was leading me toward a professional ministry role. I helped with the Clergy Appreciation Breakfast and met with Reverend Al, and I have enjoyed everything I have learned and the people I have met.

I believe in the work I am doing in Behavioral Health. Sometimes my service to our clients is God's work, meaning My service to our Residents is God working through me. The Ministry Team feels like a good place to continue to discover my path.