Today was one of those days when three interesting things happened.
First off, I started the day arriving 5 minutes late to CPE. There is nothing new about this. I’ve noticed that the closer I get to the end of CPE, the slower the subways seem to run. Or, at least, that’s what I tell myself.
I arrived at my CPE site, gathered with the group, and started to go through the patient censuses (or censi?) and the medical charts. But then my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number but it was 212 so I decided to throw caution into the wind and pick it up. It was a call from the bishop’s office! At first, I thought they were going to tell me that there was something wrong with my paperwork or maybe they had found my blog (eep). Instead, they told me that there had been a drop from the MNYS’s voting delegation to the Churchwide Assembly in two weeks. As I was the next person in line based on the vote totals from 2 years ago, they wanted to know if I could go. My heart leaped. I was excited. I really wanted to go. And then they told me the dates of the assembly…and I can’t go. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo…….. /fade to black
Actually, I will be having a lovely time on vacation with my wife, my parents, my brother, and my sister-in-law during the churchwide assembly. I will have plenty of pictures to share once I get back and I’m going to have a wonderful time. But, man, it would have been nice to go to churchwide. I really do enjoy synod assemblies (and I’m starting to learn I might be the only one but, come on, they are awesome). Hopefully I’ll head to the next Synod assembly when the next churchwide delegates are elected and I’ll get myself thrown in the pool then.
My next adventure of the day, I met with a mother with a newborn in critical condition. We prayed, we chatted, and then she asked me to do her a favor. Part of our script for CPE asks that we, as chaplains, ask the patient/family member/etc if there is anything else they need done. Sometimes, I’ve been asked to get the patient ice. Once, I was asked to go get two packs of skittles from the vending machine. But today, I was given a candle and asked to light it for the mother and her child. I found that really touching even though I don’t know any nearby church that allows candles to be brought in and lit. Even the local catholic parishes have switched to the electric flickering candles before their statues of Saints. I made sure to stop by a catholic church (which is her family’s tradition) and light a candle for her and her newborn (in front of a statue of St Jude no less) but I’ve got a candle that I would like to light somewhere and to fulfill their wish. Hopefully I’ll figure that out tomorrow.
Finally, the last interesting tidbit of the day was a compliment I received from my supervisor. He asked me if I thought about doing anymore CPE. He mentioned maybe I should look into doing my internship as a resident in a CPE program. He said I’ve got a great way with the patients and that it’s a gift. I began the program scared to death of being a chaplain…and here I am, being told I’m good at it. Huh. I was thinking about it, during my third year at seminary but…hmm. I don’t know. I really have started enjoying meeting with the patients and talking to them, walking with them, and letting them be where they are at. And I think I’m good at it. So huh. Maybe they tell all their CPE students that :p But it’s at least something to think about.