End of Clinical Pastoral Education for a While (?)


So if my life is a story, then this chapter is done.

On Thursday, I finished my second cycle of 300 hours working at, first Pacific Medical Center, then Davies, both in San Francisco, being with patients who are sitting at fulcrum points in their lives. It has truly been an honor to be their Spiritual Care provider–the patients, their families of all shape–at what are often crucial transitions in their lives. I finished my second cycle of praying with hundreds of people, leading them in prayer. This unit, I’ve become close with people in a new way for me–as their pastor–and I’ve said goodbye to them, and now I’ll probably never see them again.

I finished my second cycle of 80 hours of Didactics–lectures on grief, palliative and hospice care, fetal demise, and the difference between a social and a spiritual visit. I finished my second cycle of six verbatims–patient meetings I wrote up as scripts with my personal and theological take on what was going on in that room, what the patient brought, what I brought. I finished my second cycle of clarifying and discussing out loud what my theology is–and by that I mean how I believe the Spirit of G_D moves in this world, and in our lives–and helping the other people in my cohort sharpen their theologies, get closer to consistency and something that feels true and bright.

I’ve just finished my second unit of trying to let other people get up under my hard carapace and show them my soft belly, my broken heart, because for once in my life i’ve been training in a job besides “Artist” that has as part of its job description Show your soft belly, your broken heart.

I just finished my second unit of learning to open up to, trust, and admire, a group of people who walked a path with me for a while, making this pilgrimage to G_D knows where–Jan, Valeria, Amelia, Benjamin, Merrillynn, Erica, Sarah, Heather–after the first unit finding and letting go of other kindred souls–Eli, Joy, Charlotte, Eleanor, Louise, Rick, Julie. If I see them again, it will be in a new, different chapter.

photo 2

This is what I’ve finished for now. More on what’s beginning next.

  2 comments for “End of Clinical Pastoral Education for a While (?)

  1. cathy
    June 5, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Reading this makes me very happy and hopeful. Onward into the deep, friend.

    • June 6, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Cathy. Thanks for telling me this. Onward you too. Happy end of school year!