Archive for the ‘community ministry’ Category

A Companion for the Journey

December 13, 2007

Yesterday I attended the commencement ceremony for the CPE [Clinical Pastoral Education] students at Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis. Two Unitarian Universalists were recognized for their participation. Dawn Cooley is doing a year-long CPE residency at the Southdale hospital, and Rev. Ann Galloway-Egge is working toward certification as a supervisor for chaplaincy students.

The importance of the work of a chaplain came through loud and clear as Dawn and another student talked about their experiences working with patients. Having a companion for the journey through illness, old age, or the death of a loved one helps assure that someone is there to listen and to understand. And, perhaps, the patient and the family can gain some peace of mind or acceptance of their situation.

In Prairie Star District, we have more than twenty UU Community Ministers out in the world, doing the work of justice, chaplaincy, teaching.  Thanks to all for your good work!

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Here If You Need Me

November 5, 2007

I’ve just finished a wonderful memoir by a Unitarian Universalist minister, Kate Braestrup. Its title is Here If You Need Me. Kate is a Community Minister who works as the first-ever Chaplain with the Maine Warden Service. She is called out to companion family members when someone goes missing in the woods, or to accompany the authorities when they go to notify family members of the death of a loved one.

Kate was the wife of a state trooper, mother of four, and a writer when her husband Drew was killed in a traffic accident. Drew’s dream had been to become a Unitarian Universalist minister. Over time, Kate decided to go to seminary. Her story about being perceived as The Plucky Widow says lots about the way we tend to make assumptions about peoples’ lives.

Kate’s theology and her views about death are insightful and thought-provoking. Her stories about family life make it all very real.

I hope you’ll read this fine book by one of our own. It’s well worth your time.