Stories of Gratitude: Why Your Gift to ACPE Matters

Throughout the final days of 2016 ACPE will share weekly stories of gratitude from our members and students. 

Your gift to ACPE prepares dynamic leaders who make a difference in the lives of students who are discerning their next steps in ministry. Their stories remind us of the power of CPE in the world.

November 23, 2016

Mark Rumsey is a CPE student at Carolinas HealthCare System-NorthEast, seminarian and local news host for WFAE-FM in Charlotte, NC.

My professional career has been built around speaking into a microphone. As a radio news reporter, anchor and host for more than three decades - I've delivered tens-of-thousands of newscasts on the air. My "radio voice," slipping in and out of people's daily existence, has momentarily enlightened, calmed, angered, or inspired. Lately, I've been discovering and developing an additional voice - the voice of a hospital chaplain. My journey thus far has included two units of CPE. Along the way, I'm finding that the voice of a radio journalist, and that of a healthcare chaplain, can produce nice harmony.
Likewise, hospital patients, their family members, and healthcare staff often value the presence of someone who can offer emotional and spiritual synthesizing. Chaplains can aid in the processes of clarifying and contextualizing potentially overwhelming or distressing feelings, options, and questions.
As my radio and chaplain's voices continue to blend, I hope to become ever more attuned to the power of deep listening, of abiding in the presence of pain and strong emotions, and of being willing to let a conversation take an unscripted turn or two. And whether I'm behind a microphone, or a chaplain's badge, I'm grateful for every fresh opportunity to develop my own voice - and to more fully hear the distinct voices and stories of the human family.

November 14, 2016

Hillary Taylor completed a CPE unit at the Training and Counseling Center (TACC) in Atlanta, Georgia, is a seminarian at Candler School of Theology, and served as a Mission Intern with Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church.

My CPE experience at TACC provided me with lots of food for thought on ministry with those experiencing marginalization. I've discussed Star Wars cosmology and the intricacies of DC and Marvel comics with people experiencing profound schizophrenia and developmental disabilities. I've been called a racist, and in the same hour, been praised for my care and compassion with people racially and ethnically different from me.

The two most important things I've learned this summer in CPE is the importance of listening and the power of relationships. When we listen to one another, we convey to others that we see them and we want to know them and love them, just as God knows and loves them.

As a chaplain, I cannot fix another person's brokenness, but I can offer community resources and prayers, knowing that God can take my meager compassionate offerings and use them to transform the hearts and minds of those I encounter, however brief my time with them may be.

A good mentor of mine once told me that ministry is the opposite of being a builder in that one cannot instantaneously see the fruits of their labor. The fruits of ministry take years of constant nurture and attention before they can be produced. But oh, how sweet they are when they come into fruition!