From the Executive Director’s Desk: Seeing our Future, Embracing our Strengths
By Trace Haythorn, Executive Director/CEO  |  September 17, 2018

Over the last several months, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Wendy Cadge and Michael Skaggs of Brandeis University on something we’re calling the “Chaplaincy Innovation Lab.” We’ll be launching our website soon, but suffice to say for now it is intended to be a big tent for people doing chaplaincy in a wide variety of settings to come together to explore research, shared projects, and advance the larger field of chaplaincy. Last Friday, we had a video-conference with representatives from a group we have asked to serve as our advisory board. Over 30 people joined the call, including many ACPE Certified Educators. Other representatives were there from several chaplaincy contexts, including military, college/university, ports (both air and sea), industrial/business, first responders (including police, fire, disaster, and EMT), and of course healthcare. 

The diversity of chaplaincy is in some ways breathtaking. It gave me pause to consider the vast array of places and circumstances into which people walk each day to meet the spiritual needs of folks in their most vulnerable moments. A couple of other take-aways:
  1. Never doubt that your work matters and that your impact extends well beyond the contexts where you educate. It was clear from the call how important people feel CPE is to this work.
  2. Keep imagining ways we can bring spiritual care givers from other contexts into CPE programs, or build a program around a whole new context!
  3. Take a minute to pause and appreciate what you and your colleagues have created over these last 50 years. The first fifty years were about learning method. The last fifty years have been about professionalizing a practice. 
  4. Imagine with us what the next fifty years might be!
These questions are front and center as we think about who in our association should receive a Distinguished Service Award or the Helen Flanders Dunbar Award. We wonder who might be the recipient of the first ACPE Inspiration Award, given to a mid-career professional who have accomplished a career milestone, and/or demonstrated significant leadership qualities in service to ACPE. And of course, we want to take note of those who are new to ACPE leadership, our Emerging Leaders!

A few applications have come in, but since this process is new this year the nominations committee wants to ensure the membership doesn’t miss the opportunity to recognize those whole helped and continue to shape ACPE. 

So who do you know? Who do you and your colleagues believe needs to be recognized for their outstanding work, for the ways they helped build the larger field making something like the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab possible? Here’s a link to nominate: ACPE Service Awards Nomination Form. The deadline is now October 4, 2018.
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