From Pastor to Chaplain

The very first day of my chaplain residency back in August 2020, one of my brand-new colleagues made the statement, “Every chaplain can be a pastor, but not every pastor can be a chaplain.” Huh? I have spent the past year contemplating that statement, as I made my personal trek from pastor to chaplain. The main difference of course is that a pastor works within … Continue reading From Pastor to Chaplain

Poetry in Motion

Now in my final unit of CPE on this journey through residency, we are studying Poetry. Yeah, I know, I said the same thing – what does poetry have to do with chaplaincy? But honestly, just a few weeks in and it is my favorite unit of study. I am finding the connection between poetry, life, and of course chaplaincy, profound. Let me explain. Life … Continue reading Poetry in Motion

In the Middle of the Night

In the hospital, chaplain services are available 24/7. This means chaplains rotate working the overnight shift. At 5pm when the rest of the chaplains leave for the day, we wish our lone overnight on-call colleague a “blessed night.” This is generally thought to be code for a “quiet” night, meaning they will not get a call. The night shift, after the visitors and other staff … Continue reading In the Middle of the Night

Therapy and Chaplaincy

One of my favorite things about God is that we (humans) are created in the image of God, three in one – body (physical), mind (thoughts, will, emotions), spirit (the life breath of the body, the essence of who we are, and how we interact with God). There is a lot of emphasis on the importance of taking care of our physical body to stay … Continue reading Therapy and Chaplaincy

To Tell the Truth

Every day, during our morning “huddle” (pastoral services department daily briefing) we are reminded of the “behavior of the month.” These behaviors are reflective of the core values of the hospital. Back in February, the behavior of the month was, “We tell the truth with courage and with empathy.” One of my peers asked me what I thought that meant. As I explained to her … Continue reading To Tell the Truth

Where is That Coming From?

The phrase “Where is that coming from?” is one I hear a lot these days. I believe the general understanding is that this is a statement made in judgement of another, as if they are the crazy one and the speaker has no idea what prompted their crazy response. If it is used this way, then it is judgmental – especially if done with an … Continue reading Where is That Coming From?

Chaplain VS Pandemic

I started my first unit of chaplaincy in January 2020. The pandemic had already hit in other parts of the world, but we were still mostly naïve enough to think that such a thing could never hit our shores. By March 2020, the country was in quarantine and my first unit of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) was being done remotely. So, I finished that first … Continue reading Chaplain VS Pandemic