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January 7, 2015

Faces of Fauquier: Chaplain finds a giving community

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“I love it when I can help people find purpose again,” Chaplain Liz Danielsen says.
What really got me to stay was when I went to the post office in Warrenton to buy stamps. I walked up to the counter and bought the stamps and the clerk said he would put the stamps on my letters for me. That was my first contact with people from Fauquier County, and it was kind.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
She supports people experiencing loss and suffering chronic illness.

Chaplain Liz Danielsen and her husband founded Spiritual Care Support Ministries in Warrenton 10 years ago.

“The Spiritual Care Support Ministries came out of seeing a need and trying to figure out how I could help people with chronic illness,” Mrs. Danielsen says.

Serving clients from age 6 to the elderly, the non-denominational organization provides free counseling and support groups for the chronically ill (arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, mental illness, eating disorders, diabetes and other health problems), caregivers and those experiencing bereavement, divorce, personal loss (unemployment, divorce), pet loss and more.

An ordained minister and health care chaplain, Mrs. Danielsen has many years of experience volunteering with hospice care. She also serves as a chaplain at Fauquier Health and Culpeper Hospital.

“I feel that God has called me to the job, and there is so much defeat because of chronic illness, personal losses . . . I love it when I can help people find purpose again,” she says. “I love to see someone smiling again. It doesn’t mean things are perfect. But, to see people beginning to live again, it satisfies my soul.”

Eighty people volunteer with the non-profit organization, funded through donations and grants.

Headquartered off West Shirley Avenue in Warrenton, Spiritual Care Support Ministries also has satellite offices at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Culpeper and Chapel Springs Church in Bristow.

Mrs. Danielsen and her husband moved to Warrenton from New Jersey 10 years ago to start their non-profit. She chose Fauquier County for its beauty and the kindness of community members.

“What really got me to stay was when I went to the post office in Warrenton to buy stamps. I walked up to the counter and bought the stamps and the clerk said he would put the stamps on my letters for me,” she recalls. “They would never offer to do that in New Jersey. That was my first contact with people from Fauquier County, and it was kind.”

Spiritual Care Support Ministries this month will publish a book, “The Journey from Heartache to Hope,” sharing stories of people the organization has helped.

• Age
66

• Home
Warrenton

• Work
Founder and volunteer at Spiritual Care Support Ministries Inc.

We minister to the terminally ill, visit hospitals, assisted living, and homebound people.

Volunteer chaplain at Fauquier Health and Culpeper Hospital. Former hospital and hospice chaplain at Newton Memorial Hospital in New Jersey for eight years and Karen Ann Quinlan Center of Hope Hospice in New Jersey for 14 years.
Former chaplain with Fauquier Hospice for five years.

• Why do you do the job?
I feel that God has called me to the job, and there is so much defeat because of chronic illness, personal losses . . . . I love it when I can help people find purpose again. It takes patience and you have to be a good listener. I love to see someone smiling again. It doesn’t mean things are perfect. But, to see people beginning to live again, it satisfies my soul.

The Spiritual Care Support Ministries came out of seeing a need and trying to figure out how I could help people with chronic illness. One night, I said a prayer to God asking him how I could help the chronically ill. He showed me in a vivid dream, the building for Spiritual Care Support Ministries.

My husband and I have a passion for this. I have been involved in ministry for over 25 years.

Spiritual Care Support Ministries is nondenominational and is not a church. We work together to support local churches.

Starting this spring, we are building a new headquarters across the street from Chestnut Forks Athletic Club.

• Family
Husband, Arvid; two sons; a daughter, and seven grandchildren.

• Education
Clinical pastoral education training with an emphasis on hospital and hospice ministry from Somerset Medical Center in New Jersey. Theological training at Global University in Springfield, Missouri. Ordained Minister through Assemblies of God. Nationally endorsed health care chaplain through Assemblies of God.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Member of the Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce. Attends Chapel Springs Church in Bristow.

Very involved with pastors and all local clergy. We have a lunch and fellowship for them here (at the headquarters) on the first Tuesday of every month at noon.

Member of the Association of Professional Chaplains, the National Hospice Organization and Virginia Chaplain’s Association

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Fourteen years, since 2000.

• Why do you live here?
We went looking everywhere. What really got me to stay was when I went to the post office in Warrenton to buy stamps. I walked up to the counter and bought the stamps, and the clerk said he would put the stamps on my letters for me. They would never offer to do that in New Jersey. That was my first contact with people from Fauquier County, and it was kind.

• How do you describe this county?
I love the calm here. It is very peaceful to me. It’s full of God’s beautiful creation. I find the people genuine and polite. It is beautiful with the combination of nature and people. When you cross the border into Fauquier County, there is this calm. I hope the calm never leaves here.

I feel like I have a zoo in my own backyard with birds and deer.

There are lots of community efforts to help people here. If you need help, you can find it here.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
There are too many stoplights in Warrenton. In the past two years it has gotten busier. We need more privately-owned businesses and restaurants. I hope we can keep that community feeling.

• What do you do for fun?
I love to watch birds. I love reading, and I was an avid bowler. I enjoy getting together with friends and having tea and talking about daily life.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
I drive up (Route) 211 and just pull off at different stops along the way and enjoy the beauty. It’s my favorite place to go see the mountains.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
It could lose its community feeling if planning isn’t done properly. We want to have the advantages of Gainesville and Manassas, but we don’t want to lose that community feeling.

• Favorite TV show?
I don’t watch much television, but when I do I watch “I Love Lucy” reruns.

• Favorite movie?
“It’s a Wonderful Life”

• Favorite book?
The Bible and my devotionals: “Streams in the Desert” and “Jesus Calling.”

• Favorite vacation spot?
Europe on a Viking Cruise.

• Favorite food?
Lobster

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
My grandmother, Clara, reminded me that there is power in prayer as you face challenges in your life. You have to truly learn how to connect to God in prayer. She taught me how to communicate with God and how to pray.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My stepfather, Frank. After being abandoned by my biological father, he taught me unconditional love marrying my mom with three children. He taught me how to have fun in spite of challenges we face and that families can turn out right even when situations are not perfect.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I wouldn’t be playing the lottery, but I would take the money and put it right back into Spiritual Care Support Ministries and help adults and children find hope.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• 9-1-1 response in Rodney Woodward’s bloodline.

• Fast talk a tool of the trade for auctioneer Kathy Shumate.

• Sam Poles takes care of varmits.


• Diane King mentors student performers at Fresta Valley Christian School.


• Lewis F. Lee Jr. followed his father into taxidermy business.

• Edward Payne returns to Orlean and to photography with passion.

• Janet Metzger’s Old Town Warrenton shop a hub of creativity.

• Pablo Teodoro bakes to build community.

• Community trails have become passion for retired VDOT engineer Bob Moore.


• Teresa Reynolds makes transition from butcher to museum director.

• After working in New York and Italy, Christine Fox moved home to open fashion boutique 25 years ago.

• Steve Lewis develops hunting reality show on Dish Network.

• Julia Trumbo grew up in the family grocery business.

• Tax preparer Renée Turner enjoys owning a business in Old Town Warrenton.

• ICU staff Carol Jones values patients’ trust.


• Wilson Sanabria grew up working in his family’s Warrenton restaurant and learning to box.

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.


• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.


• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.


• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”


• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.


• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.


• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.


• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.


• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.


• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.


• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people


• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.


• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.


• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.


• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.


• Pastor a constant in Calverton.


• She keeps the courthouse spotless.


• He loves working working outdoors at the park.


• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton



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