Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Among the first elective reading handouts we received in CPE was an article by Granger Westberg, a Lutheran pastor-theologian-chaplain, titled "The First Three Minutes Of The Chaplain's Call".  I'm not familiar with his work, but I'm guessing from the numerous results returned to an online search that Westberg, who died in 1999 of leukemia, is considered a pioneer in the field of Pastoral Care.  

The article speaks to the importance of a chaplain, theological student in clinical training (CPE), or clergy serving as a voluntary on-call chaplain, to laying some groundwork at the start of the call to begin structuring a relationship that might exist between the resident/patient and the chaplain.  By clarifying who they are, why they are there, and the kind of relationship they might offer, assurances may be given the chaplain is "not there to win converts, not preach and pray (them) into the Kingdom, nor prepare (them) for dying, nor tire (them) by staying too long, nor just casually flitting from bed to bed spreading cheer".  

The Rev. Marshall Scott, known in the blogosphere as Episcopal Chaplain at the Bedside, always shares the following with new CPE students: "Don't worry if you don't know what to do.  Be there for them.  Be there for them, loving as best you can.  And never underestimate the power of simple presence to show the love of God."  I understand the ministry of presence.  I can do this, but only through God's Grace. 

Almighty Father, your Seeking Servant prays for guidance.  AMEN.