Wally Plock

Hi all.

I was able to read/listen to our presenters.

Key take-aways for me.

Mr. Mclaren– the core beliefs systems that bring meaning and a sense of community of people and the fringe believers who are near the fence and looking over the fence.

Father Rohr–The tricycle, scripture, tradition and the big wheel expereince and God is In everything natural and supernatural.

Mr. Hussain–<span style=”color: #000000; font-family: futura-pt, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 20px;”>The second challenge is when people feel that they need to “water down” or compromise their religious identity in order to fit in and not the place for proselytizing.</span>

I like the way Jennifer challenged Mr. McClaren’s view on people  who are comfortable with their core beliefs.  Not everyone is on the fringe, but do very well loving others from their core. An example comes to mind in Albany a few years ago.

The local high school was making a more welcoming LGBTQ+ policy.  The protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church showed up.  A local conservative evangelical pastor and his church protested their protest while not agreeing with the new policy.

It was interesting. I’ve learned the gift of accepting people where they are at, but there is often a little evangelical nudge in my mind.  I don’t say it, but I think Jesus loves you and I wish you knew that and I hope somehow through our time together of my non-anxious presence and unconditional positive regard that You might see Jesus.  I call it the mystery of the Holy, but wonder if I am guilty of denying the Lord’s name.   I think I stated earlier that being a chaplain has allowed me to go places with people that  probably wouldn’t have happened being a Wesleyan minister.  I like that Mr. Hussein recognizes that there are distinct differences.  The law of non – contradiction.  I don’t bring that to a patient’s room, but I relish conversations with people of different faiths where we can speak truthfully of what we believe.  I am not responsible for people’s reaction to the gospel, but it is a pleasure to be able to invite people to consider that relationship. Again not in my clinical settings unless they bring it up.  I had one gentlemen in the ER, beg me to lead him in the sinner’s prayer.

On that note, I have a wish that I can not act on since in my anecdotal experiences, many people in the hospital and nursing home who have a faith seem to do better emotionally than those who do not (in general.)   I liken it to someone with cancer.  If I had a cure I would offer it to them.  People who are spiritually lost I believe would benefit from a relationship with a higher power in general and specifically Jesus.  But bringing up Jesus is a violation of the proselytizing rule.  It is a good rule.  People walk at their own pace and I respect that.  But what if they don’t know that they don’t know. I believe the more they look the more they will find.  Sometimes, it is frustrating inside that I can’t bring my core to the situation.  I stay in the fringe of kindness and compassion.  Not sure if this makes sense.

A few thoughts about Father Rohr.  The tricycle image was helpful.   We mostly operate from our experiences esp if we have had an encounter with the Lord/divine.

Not everyone has these which becomes part of their experience.  It happened or didn’t happen at the Christian High school where my son went.  People talked about the Lord moving during  chapel services or on retreats.  He desired it, prayed for it and never experienced it.  I would add faith to Father Rohr’s triad as Jennifer added reason.  Ironically, I never heard of Wesley’s quadrilateral.  As far as the cosmic Christ, I am one of those evangelicals who gets nervous when things move outside my box (from a church perspective, not a chaplain perspective.)  But the Scriptures and Eastern teaching he quotes makes alot of sense.  <span style=”color: #001320; font-family: Roboto, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify;”>Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:7.  I like the imagery of God being in everything but not God is everything.  Creation and the incarnation shout all that he has made is good.  It is our free will that causes pain, but God even works those out somehow.  Mike I will respond to your deep thoughts. Nice to be distracted from the corona virus.</span>