Saturday, May 20, 2017

Interested in the Assembly of Episcopal Healthcare Chaplains (AEHC)? Benefits of Membership

Specifically for folks interested in the Assembly of Episcopal Healthcare Chaplains: several years ago I developed a list of benefits of membership. Two things occured to me. One was that I had never published that here. The other was that those thoughts needed to be reviewed. So, here for review (with some annotation) are the benefits of membership in AEHC.

Activities at the Annual meeting (commonly scheduled in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Association of Professional Chaplains [APC]):  the Episcopal Eucharist, participation in the Episcopal Breakfast, and the AEHC business meeting
The Episcopal Banquet at APC.  Ours is the function to attend, contributing to fellowship and networking with colleagues from across the country.  The President, President-elect, and Executive Director of APC are also invited to attend each year. Recently we have tried several different alternatives to a banquet to allow us to gather.
The AEHC web site (; link in the right sidebar).  We share information with the membership, including membership information and web links.  We have recently completed an upgrade to the site.
-  The AEHC Facebook Page. AEHC maintains an open page in Facebook to share information and to raise the visibility of our work. It's another opportunity for members and supporters to hear about events and stories of interest.
Our listserv.  For those members who choose to join, it provides an opportunity for rapid communication and feedback from the Executive Committee, and from other Episcopalians in healthcare ministries. (We use the Mailchimp service, so you may need to review your Junk settings to allow our emails through.
-  Our Relationship with the Endorsing Officer for Healthcare Ministries, currently the Rev. Margaret Rose, Deputy for Ecumenical and Interfaith Collaboration, with the Office of Mission and Program of the Episcopal Church Center. Her Administrative Assistant, Terry Foster, has long processed our applications for endorsement. We benefit from their faithful ministries.
Our relationship with the Office of the Bishop Suffragan for Federal Chaplaincies, currently the newly elected Rt. Rev. Carl Wright.  The Bishop of Federal Chaplaincies has been another voice to advocate for healthcare ministries in the offices of the Episcopal Church and the House of Bishops.  The AEHC Executive Committee works to maintain clear communication and collaboration with the Bishop’s office.
Presence and visibility of healthcare chaplains at General Conventions of the Episcopal Church.  AEHC members have served as Deputies, as representatives of AEHC in the General Convention Exhibit Hall, and have assisted with the Office of the Bishop of Chaplaincies.  We’ve been present for most Conventions since 1994, raising the image of our work.  In Denver in 2000 that put us in a position to respond to resolution 2000-A079a, “Create an Association of Episcopal Health Care Groups and Individuals,” on advocacy in healthcare.  AEHC was noted by name in that resolution.  Two results of that resolution were the Formative Symposium for Healthcare (2001), and the conference “Waging Reconciliation: an Episcopal Response to Barriers to Health Care.” (2003). In Salt Lake City in 2015 current and former members of AEHC were able to touch base on the sidelines of Convention. 
Participation and representation in events of the Episcopal Church such as the Formative Symposium for Healthcare, “Waging Reconciliation: an Episcopal Response to Barriers to Health Care,” and the 2008 and 2012 meetings of the Standing Commission on Health.  AEHC officers have represented the organization in these meetings, allowing us to participate in shaping the church's positions on healthcare.

And now, to comment on some past benefits:
-  Chaplair, the AEHC newsletter, is published three to four times a year. (For the time being, Chaplair has been on hold. We continue to explore how best to communicate with our members and folks of interest, and at the moment Chaplair is part of that discussion, but hasn't been published recently.)
-  Representation at the JCAHO Forum of Liaison Organizations.  AEHC is a member organization of the Joint Commission’s Liaison Organization network. That gives us a voice when JCAHO is discussing new initiatives and regulations.  (While AEHC has been a member, The Joint COmmission has suspended its Forum of Liaison Organizations. Should they resume those gatherings, we will certainly be interested.)

AEHC has, I think, much to offer members, adapting as things change in chaplaincy and in the Episcopal Church. I hope you'll join me in membership.