Category: Café Features

MLK Day vigil online

The Episcopal Dioceses of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania will host an online prayer vigil to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, January 17 from noon until 5 p.m.

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A Chaplain’s Perspective Essay VII: Fighting Fatigue

A reality for all persons in the healthcare world in these days is the necessity to reach down deep and simply do what is needed during this pandemic. In my own little corner of the world it has meant chaplains working additional hours and various shifts as budget cuts have been made, requiring staffing changes.  These staffing cuts have occurred throughout the hospital (and I am sure are occurring in many healthcare systems) because of the very difficult financial realities healthcare facilities are experiencing throughout the country due to the pandemic.                

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Something for New Year’s Day: An essay from Stephanie Painter

Then I wrote a Family Mission Statement and placed a copy on the refrigerator for a daily reminder of my priorities. The tenets include mentoring her spiritual growth and showing her the importance of helping others. “Remember to add joy and humor to daily life!” I also wrote. When my younger daughter was born, I had a perfect lullaby and thoughtful plan to share.

If I could talk to that frantic new mother in the nursery, I’d say, “Hang in there. The spiritual journey, with its opportunity to grow into a better human being, one who can raise good people, will thrill you.”

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A Chaplain’s Perspective Essay VI: Reflecting Beside Still Waters

Throughout the pandemic, I have turned to the website MEDPAGETODAY: Honoring U.S. Healthcare Workers Who Died from the Coronavirus. The webpage is updated as needed. When I go to the site, I reflect upon the acts of courage, professionalism and kindness given by healthcare workers throughout the world and in the United States.                       

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Cathedral goes all online as Omicron spikes in DC

These numbers cause me to reflect on the moral responsibility of this Cathedral during this difficult time…. To protect the health of everyone in our community, we will shift all Cathedral services online through the holiday season, and the building will be closed to visitors and worshippers for all activities. – Dean Hollerith, Washington National Cathedral

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A Chaplain’s Perspective Essay V: A Barge Boat

As an Emergency Department chaplain who also covers COVID+ intensive care units (thirty-two beds). I am called to serve in crisis ministry situations several times a day. In this way, I am frequently present in times of pain, confusion, loss and death. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and her stages of grief theory continues to provide a valid starting point when understanding and being with those experiencing loss and grief. Today it is commonly understood that for most, the grief journey is not linear (simply one stage to the next) but rather more accurately describes the emotions felt in the “pool of grief”, and these emotions are then experienced in a more haphazard manner. Kubler-Ross identified the emotions of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance within the grief journey.       

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A Chaplain’s Perspective Essay IV: The Journey Continues

The most difficult visits for me occur in Labor and Delivery and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. These visits drain me emotionally and I am continually amazed by the heroic teams of professionals called to work in these units day after day. Labor and Delivery and the Neonatal units are for the most part the happiest areas of the hospital full of new lives, but at other times, they are the saddest units in the hospital. The sadness and intense grief seem to fill the hallways and enter the hearts of all associated with the death of a baby.

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Meditation and Prayer: Awaiting the Nativity offered by Terence Aditon

As the days advance to the arrival of any baby, there is both joy and trepidation, a new blessed being, emerging from labor, and love. So with Advent, awaiting the Birth that marks another beginning for the world.

It is mortal pain that brings forth the Christ child from Mary’s body. His mortal life begun as any babe’s, wrenched away from the warm ocean of the womb to the cold air of earthly life. The Child lifted from the Mother, a sign that this most precious Life will end in being lifted on the Cross, and lifting us up, with Him, to the hope of heaven.

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