Thursday, June 30, 2011

A New Ethics Resource

From time to time I do try to point to new resources for chaplains and others in health care, and especially, when I can, to resources in Kansas City, my back yard.  In a recent conversation with my colleague, Dane Sommer, Director of Chaplaincy Services at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, I learned of another.

Take a look at the web site of the Children’s Mercy Bioethics Center.  It is a rich resource of information specifically on pediatric bioethics.  There are a number of topics, each with its own page.  Many have attached PowerPoint presentations, lists of references, and links to other relevant sites.  There are links to information on relevant legal cases, and even a blog.  Moreover, the Center is offering a Certificate Program in Pediatric Bioethics in conjunction with the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

So, take a look at the site.  This is, I think, quite a resource in an important area in health care ethics.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Return to the Cafe

After a bit of a break, I'm back up at the Episcopal Cafe.  My latest piece is seasonal, in the Church's sense; and also not limited to one season.  I hope you enjoy it.  If you do (and even if you don't), I hope you'll leave a comment, whether there or here.

And, as always: while you're there, take some time to look around and read.  There's interesting news there, especially focused on the Episcopal Church.  There are interesting essays there on matters of faith and spirituality, and multimedia offerings.  So, go to the Episcopal Cafe and look around.  We think you'll like what you find.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Update on Endorsement for Episcopal Chaplains

I have done my best to keep track of the process for ecclesiastical endorsement in the Episcopal Church.  As I've noted, endorsement is perhaps the most common search terms that leads folks to my site.  I also noted that changes have been happening at the web site of the Episcopal Church.

Well, one of those changes has been to move the form to request ecclesiastical endorsement.  It is now available here.  Even better, the path to reach it on the Church's web site is not only simpler, but relatively logical.  I've given the direct link; but it you go the the Church's home page and click on the "Networking" tab, the link to the form is right there, on the "Networking" home page.  Granted, that's more straightforward if you know that endorsement for healthcare chaplaincy has been moved from the Office of the Bishop of Federal Chaplaincies to the Mission Department.  (Of course, if the search term led you to this site, you already know that.)

So, the form is readily available, and the process remains as it has been for a while now.  And I can only think of a couple of steps for the Church's web experts to take to make it even simpler.  One would be to have a page listing and providing links to all the forms the Church uses, or at least all those for use outside the Episcopal Church Center, and include that page in the links in the Church's "A to Z Directory."  The second would be for the link in the "A to Z Directory" to "Chaplaincies" to include all chaplaincies in the Church, and not just Federal chaplaincies.  I have the greatest respect for Bishop Magness and all of our Federal Chaplaincies; but other chaplaincies have resources at the Episcopal Church Center, and networks for, well, networking.  Making those directly accessible from the "A to Z Directory would simplify the process for a lot of folks.  Granted, it might mean fewer folks came here for this information; but I'd be willing to accept the pain.

So, if you're here to learn about endorsement for healthcare ministries in the Episcopal Church, the information is available.  I'm happy to help, and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

More on Martyrs of Joplin

I have written before of those who served at St. John's Hospital in Joplin, Missouri, when the tornado hit.  Today in the Kansas City Star is a new story, based on interviews with staff, patients, and visitors in the hospital who experienced the tornado and its destruction.  It's a powerful story, if a tough read for those of us who have even the smallest clue what they faced.

In the title I have made reference to the "Martyrs of Joplin."  That thought occurred to me as someone who regularly remembers the Martyrs of Memphis, clergy and lay ministers from a variety of faith traditions who stayed in Memphis during years of yellow fever epidemics.  While it is true that we remember by name those who died in the process of giving health care, they were martyrs well before they died.  Remember that "martyr" is based on the Greek word that means "witness," one who gives testimony.  We remember by name some who died; but they were witnessing in their living, in their caring, and it was only capped by death.

So, I think, we can remember those who gave care in Joplin for the care they gave, whether or not they died in the process.  And while I describe those in the hospital as "Martyrs of Joplin," I haven't called them "the Martyrs of Joplin;" because I'm aware that many gave care and provided safety all around Joplin and surrounding towns, and not just at St. John's.

But, as a hospital chaplain I am particularly struck - not to say terrified! -  by the experience of those at St. John's.  So, take some time to read, and as you read remember all the Martyrs of Joplin: those who care for and protected others, most at risk and some at the cost of their own lives.  Whether they intended it or not, they have demonstrated the best that one human can do for another: laying down one's life.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blogging the CPE Experience: Summer, 2011

Once again, I’ve taken a little time to find blogs from students in CPE programs this summer.  It is a time of great investment, great stress, and, hopefully, of great learning about self and profession and self as professional.  To date, these are the blogs I have found for this summer:

And, as always, I can commend the blog of abayye, a rabbi and CPE supervisor in New York. 

As I find further blog sites writing about the CPE experience, I'll add them.

 One further note: a number of CPE centers accredited by the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP) have made good use of blogs to provide information about their programs and about chaplaincy resources.  There are also blogs among the various web sites of CPE centers accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), though I don't find as many.  If you're looking for information about educational programs, these can be helpful.  I'm more interested in connecting with the experiences of individual students in the process of CPE; but I did want to acknowledge that these blogs were also available.

So, take a look at the experiences of these students; and, as you feel moved, offer encouragement.  CPE is, if nothing else, emotionally tumultuous.  These folks will, I think, appreciate all the support they can get.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Social Issues Thought for 6.14.11

We are ramping up already toward the 2012 election season.  So, let's think about one phrase we'll hear again and again:

"You can't solve a problem just by throwing money at it."

Perhaps; but you can do a blessed lot more than just by throwing rhetoric at it.