Skip to content

Category: Chaplaincy

I couldn’t be there when they died.

These days, and all days, people die and family isn’t present. It’s particularly hard when rules keep people away. But sometimes it’s distance, sometimes it’s relationship, sometimes it’s timing. From […]

The people behind the percentages.

I serve at Parkview Regional Medical Center as a chaplain. In that role, all the percentages become people. For example, when a treatment has a 99% success rate, we are […]

Remember your dress pants.

Last month, I released a book about how to lead funerals. The book was barely out and my friend Dan said, “Did you remind people to make sure they have […]

What not to say after someone dies.

“It IS a good morning.”  That’s what the minister said.  A woman died an hour earlier. Her death was both sudden and unexpected. The family was gathered in a hospital […]

A conversation on hope

Dr Dave Johnson and I spent some time talking about the importance and nature of hope. We both work in healthcare, Dave as a nurse educator and an therapist, me […]

What I learned by being in the hospital

A couple weeks ago, I experienced the hospital from the other side of the bed. I wasn’t the chaplain. I wasn’t the patient. I was the patient’s spouse. So while […]

Pain, grief, and forgiveness.

I talk in patient rooms and hallways all the time about pain and grief and forgiveness. For obvious reasons, there are never cameras. However, our team at Parkview invited Dave […]

Hospital hermeneutics

How working as a hospital chaplain shapes the way one writer approaches the Biblical text. (Hermeneutics)

Hospital prayer

As a pastor then, as a chaplain now, I often navigate in a space bounded by positional obligations and patient (and family) expectations, and God’s invitation. So in that space, when it occurs in hospitals (or other places of pastoral care), what does it look like to talk to God on behalf of and in the presence of other people? And, perhaps, to talk to people on behalf of, and in the presence, of God.

Potluck and Pie

What if you and four friends said, “No one is eating alone after a funeral. Churches have meals for members. We’re going to offer meals to families who don’t have churches.” And you became known as the people who were there in the hardest moments of life, not with answers but with presence. What if you provided potluck and pie?

Talking about talking about death: notes on recent reading.

Because I see a lot of death as a hospital chaplain, it makes sense for me to look for ways to help people think about how to make decisions about medical and other interventions near the end of life. How to understand what is going on in the hospital and in the body. How to work within a framework to make decisions. This is a review of books I've been reading.

One way to approach services for a stillborn or infant.

“What do we do?” The dad was holding the baby. About 30 weeks in the womb, the first 28 of those growing, moving. The last two motionless. Now, this couple was thinking about the services that would honor their child who had no list of accomplishment to eulogize. Here's what I told them.