So, after some consideration, the name of the blog has changed. Yes, it has been “Episcopal Chaplain at the Bedside” for a long time. I was at bedsides for a long time - near enough to 40 years. However, I am now retired, and “at the bedside” just doesn’t apply in the same way.
This is not to say that I will never be “at the bedside” again. Right now, though, I don’t have any plans for that. Indeed, at the moment I simply don’t have any plans. I have already been encouraged to try a fair number of volunteer opportunities. Soon enough I will make some decisions; but not yet.
In the meantime I am still observing from the high ground. There are a couple of meanings of that. First, for the last seven years I was employed I was a Director for a health system and a major teaching and referral hospital. Most of my work was from the high ground - or, as is thrown around (perhaps too) often in organization speak to take “the 30,000 foot view.” While I still saw patients, the vast majority of my work was to see things from the institution and system level, and to see and help others see how chaplains contribute.
And now I’m on the high ground in an entirely different sense: in retirement we live about 1,000 feet higher above sea level than we did. We’re up on the Plateau in Tennessee, with a different perspective on many things - although perhaps not as different as one might imagine.
But I’m still Episcopal, still a priest, and still at heart a chaplain. I’m still thinking and observing, and I’ll still be here. Some things have changed, and more have remained the same. So, I’ll still be thinking out loud, now in this new location.