Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's Time To Be a Chaplain

CPE starts TODAY!

I feel like it's the first day of school.  Last night I made a quick trip to Target to get some last minute supplies.

- A 1" binder - the administrative assistant e-mailed us early last week saying we would need one for our departmental orientation.  I got one in pink.  Naturally.
- Looseleaf paper for the binder - surprisingly, I didn't actually have any lying around.  I always took notes on my computer in school and never needed any!
- A belt clip for my phone - generally, I can't stand wearing my phone on me (I'd much prefer it in my pocket or purse), but I feel like it's going to be necessary this summer.
- A new printer.  Here's the deal.  When I graduated from college, my chaplain gave me a laser printer.  I had to replace the toner cartridge twice over the past three years and it was $70 each time!  My toner barely made it to the end of the semester and I will need to print reflection papers and verbatims this summer.  I looked online and realized it would be cheaper to replace the printer ($28 at Target!) than to replace my toner.  I got it home and set it up right away (which is a feat in and of itself) and so far so good!

Today is also Wear a Dress Tuesday!  I've been a little bit nervous about whether or not dresses will be okay at the hospital, so I decided to take the safe route and wear a simple skirt, white shirt, black jacket and flats.  To show my commitment to WADT I even laid my outfit out last night so I wouldn't have to think about it this morning (man, this IS the first day of school!).

Thoughts on CPE:

"Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a method of learning and strengthening pastoral competence while serving as a chaplain to persons in crisis in a variety of settings."  I will be serving at Grady Memorial Hospital, a Level I trauma center in downtown Atlanta.  It is a county hospital (meaning you will be treated even if you cannot pay) and the only Level I trauma center within the Atlanta perimeter.

I would be lying if I said I was doing this program for my own personal reasons, because I wanted to explore who I was as a person and who I could be as a pastor.  Hopefully that will happen, but that is not my main goal.  To be perfectly honest, I am doing this program first and foremost because it is required of me for ordination.  I'm ashamed to admit that if this wasn't required, I most likely wouldn't have even thought twice about it.

And that's why I am glad that it is required.

Plain and simple, this program will allow me to explore and strengthen who I am as a person and will help me become a better pastor.  It will stretch my limits and put me outside of my comfort zone.  It will force me into new situations and allow me to minister in different ways.  It will give me experiences that I never would have gotten somewhere else.

I really do not know what to expect for the next 11 weeks.  And I am okay with that.  I am going in with no expectations other than to learn.

I am looking forward to reflecting back on this post on August 13th (my last day) and to see what I learned.  Perhaps I will even realize that I had any imaginary expectations that I don't even realize today.

I will be back later with a full recap - although I imagine it will involve a lot of me sitting in a conference room listening to HR people talk about HIPPA.  Wish me luck and say a prayer - I'm going in!

"I was still lying bed when I remembered an anonymous poem I've seen several times over the years.  It says that after we jump into the darkness of the unknown, faith lets us believe that we will either land on solid ground, or we will be taught how to fly."
Anne Lamott


  1. As one who spends mucho time in a hospital, you should be able to be faithful to WADT without a problem :)

  2. Good luck, Sarah! CPE is rough and intense...and everyone has a different experience. I hope you have a good one! I'm looking forward to seeing what you get out of it!

  3. I hope you get to have a great experience during those 11 weeks! At least you'll have tons of crazy stories, that's for sure :-)

  4. Will be praying for you as you begin your CPE. I know that you will be great at this and many will be blessed by you... look forward to reading all about your adventures...

  5. Hi Sarah - I found your blog through YHL, I think, and I added it to my feed reader just so I wouldn't forget about the Wear A Dress Tuesday idea! But... after seeing your posts about CPE, I had to come out of lurkdom and make a quick comment. I have a lot of friends who have done CPE, and almost all of them use one word to describe it: INTENSE. I hope your first day went well!

  6. Is it nerdy that I totally love shopping for supplies like this? Good luck with everything.


Hello and thanks for commenting! Unless I have your email address, I respond to all questions directly in the comment form. Check back if you've asked one! xo, Sarah

Related Posts with Thumbnails