Of the various predictable questions that plague chaplains, this one causes perhaps the most annoyance, or at least tired sadness: “So, would you ever consider returning to the ministry?” The point of the question is to ask whether we might consider congregational ministry. And while I continue to uphold the position that the normative experience of the believer is the congregation, and so the normative minister is the minister in the congregation, I get as tired as most at the suggestion that my ministry is not real ministry at all.
Thus, I was pleased to hear this evening during my evening commute the voice of a colleague. The voice was that of Susan Cosio, a chaplain at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, California. The venue was her essay in the “This I Believe” series on “All Things Considered” on National Public Radio (NPR). You can hear her essay or read the text here. I encourage you to do so.