I am available for hospital and corporate chaplaincy work. I also offer pre-marital counseling sessions and weddings with enough notice. If you are in need of a funeral officiant and/or grief counseling, I’m more than glad to help you. Just visit the Contact page.
I believe that pastoral care is rooted in the compassion of Jesus Christ. It is my connection and relationship with this living Savior, Teacher, Healer, and Lord which enables genuine care to occur. It is the grace and mercy of God in Christ through the enablement of the Holy Spirit which brings comfort, hope, and encouragement to people in need.
My philosophy of pastoral care addresses three significant factors, in this order:
- Being in a safe environment is paramount.
If there is an “at risk” situation, this is the first order of care. Building trust and connection is important. The caring relationship needs confidence so that the pastor can compassionately encourage and help the person to pursue being in a secure place – whether that is a physical moving away or out, or finding a safe and sacred place within one’s own soul from which healing and holistic health can begin. I take a “zero tolerance” policy of violence, which can be physical, verbal, emotional, mental, or personal in talking abusively to oneself.
- Grieving is necessary.
Mourning and lamenting a significant change or loss must occur to learn to thrive and flourish again in a new situation. This requires being open about one’s feelings, communing freely with God, and being vulnerable with a pastor, therapist, church group, or some other secure human connection. It is common and understandable to get “stuck” in grief. But we cannot remain there.
- Reconnecting with the world is vital.
Learning to find joy in the simple pleasures of life again; to reach-out and relate to others who have gone through similar experiences; and, to regain ordinary rhythms and routines of life are all crucial to being alive. The compassionate pastor gently assists, encourages, exhorts, and walks with others toward relating well with the world once again. He/she fades into the background as the person in need of care now regains the sense of caring for others.
Recovery is not an event, and not even a process; it is a way of life. All of us are vulnerable to the brokenness of this fallen world. We must learn to navigate the troubled times with someone who cares, and not by ourselves. We all struggle to live out our faith commitments in a complex web of various family, work, social, and neighborhood relationships. Making and keeping promises with others and with God form the basis of a compassionate care at church, in the family, and in society.