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

My Theological Dilemma

As I finished up my first of three units of study for my chaplain in residence program, I was required to write a “theological position paper.”  This was one of the hardest papers I have written, but one I am most grateful for having suffered through…literally. It made me think about how I think about God. That was the easy part. But more importantly, it … Continue reading My Theological Dilemma

No Offense

Just when you were beginning to think chaplaincy was all sunshine, roses, and holy moments… (or was that just me?) I am about to talk about taking offense. Do we have a right to take offense? Or is it a choice to take offense? Let’s start with a definition of what it means to be offended. says, it means to be resentful, annoyed, or … Continue reading No Offense

“Holding Space”

There is a new buzz-phrase floating around out there, maybe you have heard it, or maybe it is just the new circles I am traveling in these days… the buzz-phrase is holding space. The phrase originates in the therapy realm, but it accurately describes what I do as a chaplain… for those of you who were wondering. Your first question might be, what does it … Continue reading “Holding Space”