Well, it is now the second Rosh Hodesh that this blog has seen . . . which is just a way of reminding me of what a short time I have been doing this. . . During the first month, I think, I was more successful at keeping up with a regular (daily or more) posting practice (I only posted 13 times this month, an average of just greater than once every two days). . . . But I've really been pleased with some of the postings I've made (and with the progress I've been making in thinking through what kind of role this blog should really play in my life, work and spiritual development.
Some of the best postings were about some of the more technical aspects of modern chaplaincy and for how Judaism relates to it. As such those postings express some of the growth I've been making towards making the next step in my journey once my residency at Reading Hospital is over at the end of August. Those postings have included ones on
- The Discipline of Pastoral Care (and a handout I made for it)
- The magic of Parallel Process
- The difference between Jewish and Christian Pastoral Care
Some of my postings -- even if they themselves didn't have a lot to read in them -- marked some pretty important milestones and activities in my life and work over the last month:
- My presentation of a paper at the Problem Passages conference of the Center for Christian Jewish Understanding
- The successful training of volunteers so we could launch the hospital's new No One Dies Alone program (we had out first activation on Monday!!)
- This was a particularly important project as
- a) It is something I became involved in entirely on my own initiative, and
- b) It fits in with my developing vision of (both) myself as a chaplain (and the future of the world of chaplaincy as a whole) -- as a chaplain as educator and coordinator of spiritual care (performed largely by volunteers and seminary students, as opposed to a provider of direct pastoral care to patients).
- This, by the way, relates strongly to an heated debate on the Plainviews on-line chaplaincy newsletter about the relationship between volunteer and professional chaplaincy. (The economics of modern medicine and chaplaincy have brought along a lot of the use of volunteers instead of paid chaplains.)
I would also say my last post -- "Thankful Awakening " -- represented an important step: it was the first time I had posted on a text from the Siddur (the Jewish prayerbook). . . . It is my hope to do much more of that in the days and weeks ahead, as it supports a series of chaplaincy projects I am working on.
On the down side, I really lost focus on my regular posting practice on Jewish texts, especially on the weekly parsha. So that's what I need to work on in the coming month -- to post more regularly on Jewish texts. I will judge my progress at the end of this month on the basis of whether I am able to successfully restart the kind of regular practice I had in the first week of this blog.
The coming Jewish month is טבת/Tevet, by the way, and the month that is ending now is כסלו/Kislev.