11 replies, 5 voices Last updated by Mary M. Wrye 2 years, 3 months ago
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    • #4920

      Lindsay Spencer
      Keymaster
      @LindsaySpencer

      Please introduce yourself!

    • #4947

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Hi all, guess I’m the early bird here, but I’ll get us started.  My name is Joy Freeman I am an ordained, endorsed and APC Board Certified Chaplain serving in a community hospital in the Kansas City area.  I have been in my part time staff chaplain position for 16 years and do a little bit of everything with special interests in maternity care and staff care. I have been doing the chaplaincy thing for 19 years now.

      In my personal life I am married 18 years, have a daughter who is 11 almost 12 and have a second child up in heaven. I am fairly active in the very small church that I am a member at serving kind of as a “Jill of all trades” wherever I am needed.  I teach Taijifit (a form of Tai Chi), do Tae Kwon Do and play Dungeons and Dragons with my husband and daughter, I also craft.  All of these things help me keep my sanity in balance – mostly.

      I am here because I recently realized that while I have long been fully embracing of the LGBTQ+ community, I am also woefully undereducated on their unique spiritual needs.  I am here to learn so that I can more effectively care for them fully.

       

      Looking forward to the journey together.

      Joy

      • #4963

        Hi Joy, and welcome to this course! I know we have been in some other courses together. I love the variety of activities you are involved in–from Dungeons and Dragons to all kinds of church work. I’m curious as to what denomination you are part of.

      • #4966

        Joy Freeman
        Participant
        @jfreeman

        Melanie,  I am Ordained in the American Baptist Churches USA, however I would say I’m not your “typical” Baptist if there is such a thing.  In the last couple of years I have come to identify more strongly as a Contemplative Christian Mystic much of this has been influenced by my martial arts (Tae Kwon Do) and Taijifit as well as my work with mindfulness and in all of this my coming to experience and understand energies and energetic flow (not your usual Baptist type stuff.)

        I look forward to being in class with you again and thank you for your willingness to be such an open dialogue partner with us these next weeks.

        Joy

    • #4948

      Mary M. Wrye
      Member
      @mmwrye

      Good morning all,
      Joy, guess I’ll be next. I am Mary Wrye, also an APC Board Certified Chaplain, endorsed (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship), and ordained. I serve full time as the lone Chaplain for our small community hospital/healthcare system in Henderson, KY. I have been here almost 15 years (come September). Prior to that I served as staff person in a few Baptist churches, and in my “first life” I was a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist working with mentally and physically handicapped adults. I am active in my church which is the lone CBF church – often as the unofficial/unpaid “Associate Pastor”. Fortunately, our pastor is a great guy and a friend. We work well together. Our small congregation is a welcoming and affirming group. Our organist and our former Deacon chair are long time partners. The teacher for our older ladies Sunday School class is a gay man. They LOVE him.

      Personally, I am not married, have no human children, but I do have 2 fur babies – cats that are 10 years old. I travel every chance I get which means an international trip every year. This year my traveling buddies and I are going to France! Can hardly wait.

      Our small community just passed a Fairness Ordinance – again. It was passed the first time 20 years ago after a much HEATED debate. Eighteen months later, and after a City Commissioners election, the Ordinance was revoked. It wasn’t brought up again until a few months ago. To give credit… it passed again but the debate was not nearly as heated and divisive this time. Time heals and gives perspective… at least I hope so.

      I look forward to our discussions together.
      Mary

      • #4964

        Hi Mary, and welcome! I am very interested in the fairness ordinance, as that gives a good flavor for the character of your community. And, I’m sorry to hear that you are unofficial and unpaid in the various pastoral duties at your congregation. I hope the congregation appreciates the quality of service they are receiving from you! I enjoy traveling too, although I don’t do it nearly as often as you. I am, however, planning a trip to Costa Rica this fall, and am very busy trying to learn some Spanish so I can communicate while there!

        I look forward to our discussions.

        Melanie

      • #4967

        Mary M. Wrye
        Member
        @mmwrye

        Melanie,
        My church is most appreciative of my contribution. I love my church folk so it’s a good fit. AND I know how to say NO. :0)
        Mary

    • #4955

      Trish Matthews
      Moderator
      @TrishMatthews

      Hi everyone.  My name is Trish.  I have an interesting “religious” life in that I was born a Methodist, was initially ordained a Southern Baptist, and am now happily an ordained Presbyterian.  I am the Manager of Pastoral Care at my local Presbyterian Hospital, which is part of a 14 hospital group.  We have around 325 beds.  I have one other full time staff person and 6 PRN chaplains who help with on call and some daytime work.  I should say up front that I am currently on disability as I was diagnosed with colon cancer in January.  I have two more months of treatments to go, hopefully.  I realized the end of the year would be here soon and I would need my CEU’s for the APC, so this class will help with that.  I have several gay and lesbian friends at the hospital and even did my first lesbian wedding this past year.  It was very sweet and meaningful to me.  But I am woefully inadequate in my understanding of this wonderful and marginalized group of people so this class will hopefully open my eyes to new things.  Looking forward to being with you,

      Trish

      • #4965

        Hi Trish, thanks for your introduction! I like your meandering denominational history. I sincerely hope your cancer treatments are going smoothly, and that you are anticipating a full recovery after treatments are completed. Thanks for your openness to conducting a lesbian wedding! Please let me know any way that I can help make this course meaningful to you.

        Melanie

    • #4960

      Hi colleagues,

      My name is Melanie Childers. I am excited to be co-facilitating this group with the author of our main text, Bert Montgomery. I am an APC board certified chaplain and have served as director of pastoral care for my small regional healthcare system in the mountains of NW North Carolina for the past 21 years. In addition to daily patient care and crisis intervention, I enjoy chairing our ethics committee, coordinating our palliative care program, counseling patients and families in our cancer center, and leading a group in our inpatient behavioral health unit. I have been a member of the Oates Institute for many years.

      Specifically related to this course, I also identify as gay. I am married to my partner, Cath, of 9 years, and we live in a small home out in the “country” with our dog and cat. I grew up Southern Baptist and am now ordained and endorsed through the United Church of Christ.

      I appreciate what others have shared so far about your interest in this course. And, I’m thankful to the Oates Institute for raising this as an important skill set for ministers and professional chaplains. The contribution I hope to bring is of a person with lived experience as a minority who has felt the sting of rejection and condemnation from churches, denominations, and individuals. I would invite participants to feel free to ask respectful questions in this forum that you do not feel comfortable asking in other venues. I believe it is important to be able to have honest dialogue if we are going to be able to meet each other in a place of grace and love and informed respect. I will do my best to respond in meaningful ways to any questions or scenarios that you raise.

      I will be reading Bert’s book along with you all. I look forward to our discussions.

       

    • #4970

      Hi colleagues,

      I wanted to let you all know that Bert Montgomery, my co-facilitator for this course, has had to leave emergently to be with his mother who is dying. We will carry on without him until he is able to join us. In the meantime, I’m sure he would appreciate our prayers for him and his family.

    • #4971

      Mary M. Wrye
      Member
      @mmwrye

      Melanie,
      Thank you for the information with Bert. I will certainly hold him and his family in my heart and prayers. I was also with my mother in her death. It’s tough.
      Mary

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