Don’t Miss an Opportunity to Connect with former Students, Colleagues, and our Partners in Spiritual Care
By Melissa Walker-Luckett, Board Chair | February 3, 2020

Our joint meeting in May quickly approaches and I sincerely hope you will join us in Cleveland, OH. Last year, I went to the APC conference and heard an inspiring, well-researched and documented speech from outgoing APC President Ron Oliver. Some of you may have heard it as it was linked to one of Amy Greene’s articles last year in the newsletter. There was much to enjoy and be challenged by in the educational offerings.

However, the most gratifying occurrence for me was the ability to celebrate with newly Board Certified Chaplains. I was amazed and gratified to see three folk who had been in “my” program walk across the stage to receive their certificates. There were others, already Board Certified, in whose CPE processes I had been a part. These folks are now staff chaplains, pastoral/spiritual care department managers, and industry executives. It is very gratifying to see their success and know they offer trained and compassionate care to persons across the gambit of industries where spiritual care professionals work. My gratitude and confidence grow knowing these capable folks will provide me compassionate, professional spiritual care in my time of need.

Recently, I spoke with a dear friend who completed my program a few years ago. After her 2nd year residency, she and her husband moved to Cambridge, England where he began his doctoral work. During their first year abroad, they had their first child. When the time was right, my friend began looking for a hospital chaplain job. She began as a volunteer and progressed to a PRN and then to a full-time chaplain for pediatrics. In the three intervening years we’ve talked periodically, and I’ve been privileged to encourage her as she contributes to the broadening understanding of spiritual care “across the pond.” She has progressed to become an Assistant Chief Chaplain for Cambridge University Hospitals, overseeing her hospital’s six PRN chaplains and over 100 volunteers. Her colleagues tell her she’s in charge of “nurture” as she’s taught them much about self-care and staff care. I’m overjoyed to celebrate with her. I’m delighted we can stand as peers and colleagues, even miles and hours apart, in the service of persons in crisis and in need of spiritual care. Our relationship began as Educator/Mentor and evolved to Colleague/Friend. It’s my joy to celebrate her every accomplishment and celebrate her growing leadership.

When I became fully certified, I bought a small spiral notebook in which I diligently record the type and dates of unit(s) I supervise and the names of the participants. I wonder what has become of some of the students, and others I hear from regularly such as the summer students who often send invitations to their ordination services.

I challenge you to consider the persons you might see at the Joint 2020 Conference in Cleveland. I encourage you to recall and be aware of your new professional colleagues - Certified Educators, Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapists, and Board Certified Chaplains. I challenge you to engage them as colleagues and peers, as we all endeavor to provide for the needs of an ever growing and ever hurting world.

I anticipate hearing your stories in Cleveland as you encounter and engage former students, now colleagues, in our joint effort to make a difference in people’s lives. Together we can do more to care for the people in our world through education, psychotherapy, and chaplaincy.

I hope to see you all in Cleveland, May 11-14, 2020. Only a few days remain to take advantage of Early Bird Rates (deadline is February 14th).

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