Feb. 8th, 2010

dydan: (Default)
Had an interesting day at work today. For months now I've been acquainted with the chaplains who work at the hospital. They frequently come up to the unit to minister to patients and since I'm the Desk Wench they've all taken to chit chatting with me, including the head chaplain lady.

I'm pretty openly pagan and of course my jewelry drew her eyes. We've had numerous but brief conversations about establishing a method to minister to pagan patients. Hell, paganism isnt even tracked in the patient demographics. Neither is Hinduism which kinda shocked me given the large number of Hindus who are students/doctors within the system.

So anyway. Chaplain Lady has been saying for months "we should sit down and talk more". Unfortunately my only "light" days at work are Mondays and Tuesdays and Chaplain Lady had her hands pretty full with the Holidays. We finally got to sit down today and had a lovely conversation.

She asked me a lot of questions about what pagans believe and what we do. She's Catholic but is from South America. She spoke about how she grew up in a fairly integrated community. People in her town were of all different faiths and intermingled socially with no problems...unlike here where she has to listen to STAFF tell her that the Muslims in our area shouldnt be allowed Chaplain Services. She was very open minded and able to easily see connections between Pagan and Christian practices.

Apparently in the last month we have had 2 Pagan patients, both of whom requested a chaplain to visit...but because we had nobody listed as a "registered" volunteer chaplain those patients had to settle for a Christian minister visiting them. And its not that we're anti-Christian...its just that when you are at a point in your life where you are in a crisis (like a hospital stay) and you want a minister, you want someone who knows where you are coming from. That's not the time to have to educate someone who knows nothing about your faith.

The upshot of it all is that I will be working with Chaplain Lady to set up some process for meeting the needs of Pagan patients. I need to corral a couple other folks locally who would be ok with being contacted by the hospital at any odd hour if a patient requests for them. I'll be first contact, but we definitely need backups, preferrably at least one who can speak better Spanish than I can. I'm also being asked to do a "Pagan FAQ" type of presentation. Initially my presentation will be for the chaplains, but eventually she wants me to expand it a little more and present it to staff as part of their "Multicultural Sensitivity Series" that they periodally do.

I'll also get a swanky badge and a special Chaplain's parking pass so I can park smack next to the building if I am called in. Awesome!! One step closer to full time ministry!


dydan: (Default)

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