This list was started to support a webinar presentation on providing pastoral care during a time of quarantine. It will be updated regularly. My premises: God is in the room before I am (and when I am not). I'm joining God's work. Our notions of “what counts” are often inaccurate. E.g. spiritual care has to … Continue reading Pastoral care at a distance
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 the ones who talk with the family members of the 1%, who went from being a risk to being a person. And now a person … Continue reading The people behind the percentages.
“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 consult room, waiting for the next steps, waiting for the minister. He walked into the room, aware of the death. “Good morning,” said a family … Continue reading Sometimes the morning isn’t good.
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 Nancy was in the hospital, I was at the hospital. For 48 hours, Nancy was in the hospital, moving from triage to an ER bed … Continue reading What I learned by being in the hospital
If you've sat with a family in an emergency room, you've faced hard questions. And you've struggled to figure out the way to navigate hope and despair. It doesn't matter if you are a chaplain or a pastor or a friend that showed up in a hard time. You get questions and you have to answer. Sometimes, it sounds like this.
How can I get better at pastoral care? I can pay attention to my own practice, my own interactions with husbands and wives, parents and children, moments of excruciating difficulty. In each of those moments (or immediately after) I can ask myself, "What am I learning that will help me with the next one of those moments. What questions can I ask myself and others? What can I learn about attending to bits of information and infusing them back into the care all of us provide?"
Some of us are squeamish about blood, especially in the hospital. So when we need to visit a friend, family member, or someone from church, especially after a trauma, we're afraid that we'll be distracted, that we'll feel faint. Here's a simple tip: look them in the eyes. https://youtu.be/znZ28-76z88