Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Voice of a Chaplain: Responding to Tragedy

Yesterday, as a part of reporting on the tragic fire in Charleston, South Carolina, in which nine fire fighters died, NPR's Michelle Norris interviewed the Rev. Robert Dewey, founder and Chief Chaplain of Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy. Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy focuses on “first responder” chaplaincy, offering pastoral care to police officers, fire fighters, and other “first responders,” to their families, and to the victims they serve.

Rob is an Episcopal priest and chaplain. In addition to his work in Charleston, he has been very involved since the attacks on September 11, 2001 in the work of Bishop Packard, Suffragan Bishop for Chaplaincies for the Episcopal Church, in developing the Episcopal Church’s strategies for disaster response.

Rob has been a valued colleague since he and I served different congregations in Memphis, many years ago. I know I have appreciated what he has done for the larger Church in the past six years. I encourage you to take a little time and listen to his report of the needs he has found in serving in Charleston in this tragedy, and of the compassionate care he and his chaplains have offered.

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