Resurrection Sprouts

In case you think Easter is in the rearview mirror, I want to tell you about some resurrection stories that continue to stir up hope and faith. An ICU nurse told me our phone call needed to be cut short because the staff was about to do a“parade.” One of their COVID-19 patients was recovering, […]

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A Ministry of Prescience

My mind has been whirling with phrases, and the whirling has not been such a good thing. Phrases like, “abandonment of post,” and “ministry of presence.” Of course, lots of other phrases are now mantras for everyone: “an abundance of caution,” and “shelter in place.”  For chaplains and pastors, pastoral care has meant, at its […]

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Is There Joy?

A few days before Christmas, as I was walking from the parking ramp where I’d left my car to the hospital, I saw a patient transport vehicle leaving another parking garage. The driver hollered out the window, so I walked back to where they were, noticing the passenger in the front seat wanted to say […]

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Thoughts and Prayers in a Box

I was placing an office supplies order at work and searching through available items to help some of the family members of our hospital patients pass the time while in crisis. I came across a ready-made box titled “Thoughts and Prayers.” What an incredibly handy item to be able to order! I checked the contents: […]

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Ice Cream Grace

Our hospital’s administration has occasionally rolled out an ice cream cart as a way to offer encouragement to our staff. The chaplains get to be “in” on this adventure, serving as good-will agents and wayfinding guides for the cart and others who assist with ice cream distribution. As you may know, hospitals are fairly controlled […]

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Open Table

While I was in college, I asked Philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff if I could sit in on his liturgy class. I knew I didn’t have time to do the homework, but still wanted to peek in on what he was teaching. He let me! And it was wonderful. We learned about Orthodox liturgy, in particular, and […]

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Ebola Terror

Halloween’s pretend scares are meeting some very real terror in the awareness of the spread and tragedy of the ebola virus. Reading the news of ebola becoming an ever-more real threat is sufficient cause for all of us to wonder about diseases, the nature of fear, and a renewed appreciation for health care workers. The […]

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Beliefs… Revised

Is it possible to correct someone’s beliefs? Is it even desirable or “right” to attempt to do so? It’s certainly not a popular concept. Early in my years as a hospice chaplain, I met a kind, welcoming woman who summed up her beliefs by saying, “God’s in his heaven, and all’s right with the world.” […]

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Processional

I’m one of the liturgical nuts who gets chills on my spine when I have the opportunity to be in a large cathedral, where the procession is a big, grand affair, and the pomp and circumstance of things conspire to remind us of the big, majestic, holy God we worship. I like processions, from parades […]

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