I traveled this past week to Denver, Colorado to attend the annual business convention of my denomination, Centers for Spiritual Living. Before the actual event started, I sat before a panel to answer questions about my ministry, which includes my main work as a hospice chaplain. I was accepted for ordination, which is the next step in my ministry, as an acknowledgment of my commitment to ministry. It was a sacred experience. I was handed a stole to recognize the event, and received congratulations and lots of hugs for the rest of the week. I was on cloud nine, and still am!
I also met with the chair of our chaplain division at the convention, and together we planned my next “step” to complete two more units of chaplain education on my path to obtain ecclesiastical endorsement. I will do this while continuing to be a paid chaplain at my wonderful hospice agency. There will be online classes taught by Paula, our chair, along with interactions with my peers.
Why am I writing about this? Because my goal is to improve my skills as a hospice chaplain, to become the best I can be. It will cost money that I could spend on travel instead, and will take some time to complete. And yet it feels completely right that I continue on this educational path.
I know that I will benefit personally from the lessons I learn, as will my patients, staff and chaplain colleagues. I thank God for the encouragement of our chaplaincy chair and the other chaplains affiliated with Centers for Spiritual Living, along with all of my chaplain colleagues working in the various fields. We do make a difference!