From Brandon Ashcraft’s recent sermon. . .Since I last saw you all in May, I’ve been spending most of my days completing my Clinical Pastoral Education requirement. A standard part of ministry formation across many denominations and traditions, CPE is essentially an internship in which seminarians serve for a time as hospital chaplains…I went into CPE feeling nervous and overwhelmed and, truthfully, woefully unprepared for the work. Walking unannounced into a hospital patient’s room and introducing yourself as a chaplain can yield a wide range of reactions: some are terrified (thinking that chaplains only come when there is bad news), others are grateful…I just desperately wanted a script; some sort of playbook. In a throwback to last week’s Gospel…my inner-Martha would rear her head and I would become worried and anxious about finding the perfect words that could ease the patient’s pain and assure her that God was present, even in her suffering.
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