I won’t really be able to blog about any of the specifics of what I will be doing for the next 17 weeks but I am pretty excited about it. The reason I won’t be able to blog about it is because I am a student in the 2013 Spring unite of Clinical Pastoral Education. This means that I am now an intern chaplain at St. Mike’s hospital in Point. Therefore what I will be doing will be confidential both because of ministerial ethics and HIPPA. I will spend 20ish hours a week doing clinical work under the supervision of a full time chaplain and then meeting with a group of other CPE students critiquing the experience and how I responded. I first heard about CPE when I was in seminary back in the 90s and have often thought it would be an enjoyable and challenging experience. It took me long enough but I finally decided to try it. I had my first group meeting yesterday and I have gone through a two-step TB test so the only thing left before I can get started in the hospital is the employee orientation which happens early next week.
While pastoral care is a part of the duties of a chaplain this will be very different from my typical pastoral duties. I think the difference will be quite interesting. I also think that spending so much time with ministers from other Christian denominations will push me in ways that I haven’t experienced before. Through must of my time in vocational ministry I have known and spent time with ministers from other denominations this will be different. I haven’t usually been critiqued by the people I knew from other denoms. This group will question how I respond to situations and often they will do it from very different theological understandings than I have. The group is all protestant (which is unusual around here) with a great deal of variety still within it. My guess right now is that I am probably one of, if not the most, conservative person in the group which is the opposite from the ministerial groups that I am typically in right now.
This is going to be awesome.