All Courses Forums Caring Presence Program Caring Presence Program – 2019 Session 1 Introductions / Caring Presence Program

18 replies, 9 voices Last updated by Robert Barstead 2 years, 9 months ago
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    • #4130

      Rick Underwood
      Moderator
      @RickUnderwood

      Dear St. John’s group,

      By now, I hope you have been able to navigate to this discussion page.  If so, congratulations. Please share a brief introduction of yourself here.  To get started, please share something about your personal and work life (if still working), hobbies, and why you are interested in this course.  Remember to check the box at the lower left corner of this email, to ensure you receive notices of other participants posting to the discussion here in the “Forum”.

      Here is mine very brief introduction.  I am the father of three grown children, 8 grandchildren, one wife for 33 years, and one dog.  I have served as a professional pastoral counselor, CEO of a non-profit, consultant, supervisor, and currently teach parttime at the U of L, direct the Oates Institute, pastor a small rural church and work PRN as a Chaplain at the Jewish Hospital.  We are University of Kentucky sports fans and attend as many basketball games as we can. My wife is a retired Nurse Practitioner from the VA Medical Center and spends her time with grandchildren.

      The reminders and skills in this course continue to serve me well. Just last night, I spent 2 hours sitting with a large family who had just been confronted with the sudden death of the patriarch.  It was an African American family. Previously, I knew none of them. So my temptation was to want to talk too much.  Instead, I introduced myself, asked a few questions about the death, found out how everyone was related and then listened as they wanted to talk.  Gradually, I was able to connect with most of the family members and extend my sympathy and caring presence.  I did pray when it was requested as they gathered around the deceased loved one.

      Rick

       

    • #4135

      Dar Bessler
      Participant
      @DarBessler

       
      <p style=”margin: 0in 0in 8pt; line-height: normal; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto;”><span style=”color: #333333; font-family: ‘Georgia’,serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso-bidi-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’;”>I am Dar, short for Darlene. I am retired from nursing of many different areas.  I have been with my partner for 24 years.  We have two Shiz Tzu. I have been ordained through a church back in 2004 after 6 years of studying under the church program. I Have had the pleasure of going through CPE at Baptist Hospital back in 2006 for 1/2 credit. It was the most wonderful and stressful time that I would not trade for anything.  My heart desire has been to be a hospital Chaplain, but being unable to do that, I now serve to minister to friends, church members and others with my caring ministry.   </span></p>
       
      <p style=”margin: 0in 0in 8pt; line-height: normal; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto;”><span style=”color: #333333; font-family: ‘Georgia’,serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso-bidi-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’;”>I looking forward to learning more to be the caring person that Jesus desires us to be. While I was in CPE, I learned that I had a lot earn to the listening and caring aspect. It isn’t going in and make things better though that seems to be the desire. It is listening and really hearing what they are saying. And guide them along their path of decision making.</span></p>
      Dar

       

    • #4138

      Rick Underwood
      Moderator
      @RickUnderwood

      Dar and others at St. Johns,

      Once again, I apologize for the frustration and time you have experience trying to get on board with this process. Congratulations Dar in your persistence and success.  It appears that you might have “copied and pasted” your comments. I think that is why it appears the way it does.  If that is the case, next post just typed in the “Forum”. It has a good spell check, etc. built in.y.

      Thanks for your introduction. Obviously, you have had a heart for offering others a caring presence for a long time.  I appreciate your attempts to grow personally and professionally and the way you have found a way to respond to your sense of calling.  CPE can be a wonderful experience, but it is initially very challenging for most of us.  It certainly was for me.

      Thank you so much for agreeing to serve as the contact for the group.  Your shepherding has got us to this point.

      Rick

    • #4139

      Charles Eiten
      Participant
      @CharlesEiten

      Greetings everyone!

      My name is Charles Eiten. I work for AT&T as an outside cable tech (thats a fancy way of saying I spend most of my day fixing phone service, internet service, and install business class service). I am married and my wife and I have two wonderful kids – one is in high school – the other in middle school, so as you might imagine I stay pretty busy. For hobbies I enjoy reading, and messing around with radios – I am one of those ‘ham radio guys’.

      I have served as a deacon at St John Presbyterian church for the last 3 yrs and part of what I and my fellow deacons do is to minister to home-bound members through visits, and overall to be the ‘face of the church’ to members and visitors alike. I have learned so much from the things I have experienced as a deacon. I hope and believe that this Caring Presence course will show me new ways to reach out to others, to be a more effective listener, and really to have the confidence and tools to stand in the gap for others. I look forward to all this course will have to offer.

      Charles

    • #4141

      Dar Bessler
      Participant
      @DarBessler

      Rick,

      Thank you revealing to me the way to not have that funny stuff on my post. And thank also for the compliment.

      Dar

       

    • #4142

      Rick Underwood
      Moderator
      @RickUnderwood

      Charles and all,

      Welcome aboard. Glad you could find your way.  Deacon, husband and dad of two teenagers are enough to keep you busy while keeping others connected to the world.  My cousin was a ham operated way back in the 60s and I was always fascinated with his conversions with persons around the world. Of course, that was before the world wide web.  Happy to have you alone.

      Dar, you are welcome. I learned the hard way that this format didn’t like “cut and paste”.

      Rick

    • #4148

      Robin Sprigler
      Member
      @RobinSprigler

      Hi Everyone!  After many days of technical difficulties, I have finally made it in to the forum, thanking God for little victories.

      My name is Robin Sprigler, I have been married to Jonathan for 15 years and I have 2 children.  Emily Dutrow is my daughter from my first marriage.  She is a sophomore at University of Louisville studying psychology and math.  My son Ben is in 6th grade at Highland Hills Middle School and loves music, Star Wars, movies and soccer.  I have been a physical therapist for more than 25 years and now work part time for Baptist Floyd in the Corydon outpatient clinic.  I also provide wellness coaching services to small businesses.  I’ve been a certified wellness coach since 2012.  I grew up Presbyterian in WV so I am a transplant.  My parents Dave and Bobbie Bell also moved here to be closer to us and are also active members at St. John’s.  I received my Bachelor’s in physical therapy from the University of Kentucky and my MBA from University of Louisville but am still a WVU fan at heart.  Past work lives include health care consulting for an accounting firm, regional rehab manager for a home health company, hospital PT department director, regional vice president for a private practice PT company as well as an outpatient clinic director.  I have served on the Session at St. John’s for 2 years.  My hobbies include world travel, hiking, backpacking, group exercise at the YMCA, reading fiction, music, singing.

      My only exposure to pastoral care was participating in pastoral counseling prior to ending my first marriage, I think there may have been 2-3 sessions as a couple and 1 on my own.  The counselor said “sometimes successful marital counseling does not end in a saved marriage.”  My divorce attorney was recommended highly and encouraged me to stay focused on Emily, not my anger toward my ex-husband which has served me well over the years.

      In the teamwork of pastoral care, my “unique gifts” would be that I’m comfortable in a hospital setting around sick or injured people in pain.  I have lived through divorce and found a happier life on the other side.  I have been trained in motivational interviewing as a wellness coach.  I am a mother, a daughter, a wife.  I know what it feels like to be downsized and to lose a dear family member who loved me unconditionally and made me feel special.

      Looking forward to learning how to be a better caring presence,

      Robin

       

    • #4152

      Dar Bessler
      Participant
      @DarBessler

      Greetings everyone,

      I wanted to say that I appreciate getting to know you all better.  Chuck, my father was and my brother is a ham operator. My father did civil service on Halloween night in Valparaiso. Robin, thank you for sharing your hard stuff that God has helped you go through.  I did not know you were a Physical Therapist.  Which helps feeling more comfortable around hospitals and such, as I find that true since I was a registered nurse for almost 30yrs. I even did some home health nursing in Chicago which was challenging but made me comfortable going in strange places.

      I did not give my hobbies which are playing board and card games, work outside, walk and exercise.  I was not raised in church but found church on my own.  I started as Baptist and the move about.  I joined St. John last year and also became a Deacon.  I love helping the church any way I can.

      After reading the Primer chapter one, I feel better about this course. We are all on this journey to be Christ’s Ambassadors, and we are not perfect. As example from many years ago, when my distant cousin lost her husband of 10yrs, I ventured out for my first time to  the funeral home.  Not knowing what to say, I said to her, “I don’t know what to say.”  Her response was, “Neither do I”. It broke the ice for us.  We learn daily just as our walk is with Christ daily leaning and learning.

      I loved the video of Sheldon though sometimes I feel like that is my conversation with people at times.  How many times am I only focused on what my response will be instead of really listening to the person in front of me!  I am willing to learn more ways to hear with the heart and speak with the heart even if it is silence.

      dar

    • #4156

      Rick Underwood
      Moderator
      @RickUnderwood

      Robin,

      I am so happy that you persisted and have arrived at the right place.  I also appreciate your honest expression of your feelings about the issues you have faced. Your obvious grasp of emotional intelligence will be a great help to you as you provide a caring presence for others. Having done this work for years, I know regardless of all of the work we have done with the technology, there are still things that happen.  Hope we can all move forward with as few problems as possible.

      You have a very unique and diverse professional journey and therefore a great deal to offer in our collaborative learning journey.

      I also appreciate your openness in the sharing of your personal journey.  I too went through a painful divorce many years ago and learned a lot about counseling from the other side of the desk and about the pain that such breakups can have on all members of the family.

      Rick

       

    • #4160

      Nancy Eiten
      Participant
      @NancyEiten

      Hello everyone-

      My name is Nancy Eiten (married to Chuck) -mother of those same 2 kids (lol).  I have been working in the finance dept at Fireking International for the past 5 years.   At St. John’s I am in the handbell choir, am a Sunday School teacher for the younger children, and this past year accepted to be the chair for the Christian Education committee.

      Outside of church I am on the board of Christian Formation Ministries, and volunteer at My Club and Camp David.   We strive to help heal the hurts of children with incarcerated parents with the hopes that they will understand and know how valuable and loved they are,  and will break out of the self destructive cycle so many of their parents are in. We also try to help give them social skills and life lessons that most are not getting at home.   Christian Formation Ministries also has chaplains that go into the jails, and we are starting a family “re entry” program as a way to help families navigate through the many issues that arise when a parent is released and they are reunited.   There are times when I am at My Club that I am just not sure how to best  address the kids hurts and problems.   I also struggle with what to say when I have to break up fights between some of the kids.

      I have also just  started a small business (Jolly Good Scents) from a long time hobby of making candles and scented products.  My hope is that the business will grow enough to allow me to quit my current job and  employ people who need a second chance and perhaps a bit more patience.  People who need a caring presence.    I also have an idea for a fund raising business for non profits that I hope to launch this year with the same goal in mind.   I also really enjoy being outdoors and gardening, or just taking a walk in nature.

      I am looking forward to learning some much needed skills!

       

    • #4161

      Dar Bessler
      Participant
      @DarBessler

      Greetings Nancy,

      Good to learn more about you.  I admire your devotion to My club!  IT is a awesome ministry. Thank you.

      I avoid conflict so I have to work on that issue often. I can’t imagine breaking up fights.  I tried helping with Wed night live but I am not a “kid” person.  So small people are not my strong suit and I know that so I mostly interact with adults.  Am looking forward to learning more about everyone in the group and learning more of be a good listener and supporter.

      dar

      Dar

       

       

    • #4169

      Rick Underwood
      Moderator
      @RickUnderwood

      Nancy and all,

      Welcome and congratulations on your persistence in finding your way here.  Sounds like you are a multi-talented and experienced person.  You obviously have a capacity to dream and vision important callings in your life.  Your passion for helping kids living in these tough situations is a great foundation.  While you will not learn word for word things to say, you will find a great deal of help in how to respond in helpful ways.

      Hope the others will join us soon.

      Rick

       

    • #4182

      Dana Rohde
      Member
      @DanaRohde

      Greetings everyone!

      I am Dana Rohde. I am a lifelong Presbyterian and was raised in St. John Church (when it was Hutchinson Presbyterian). I served as a deacon at St. John many years ago and again since my return from 2013-2016. I enjoy the outdoors, gardening, and felting and spent 17 years raising sheep. In July I retired from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary where I worked as an administrative assistant for 25 years. I am divorced. I was married to a Presbyterian pastor for 23 years and could have used this program then.

      In 2016 I survived the return of my breast cancer. It was a long year of surgeries and recovery but I am grateful for God’s faithfulness, my spiritual growth, and all the support I received.

      I am not comfortable in hospitals and nursing homes and feel inadequate in both situations. And, I now find myself at the nursing home every week visiting my sister-in-law who suffered brain damage from a fall in December a year ago. That includes being present with her roommate and providing support to my brother.

      I am hoping that through this program I will become a more helpful presence especially for my brother and his wife as well as for other family members, friends, and the church community so I can pay forward some of the support I was so blessed to receive.

      I am looking forward to this journey with all of you.

      Dana

    • #4183

      Rick Underwood
      Moderator
      @RickUnderwood

      Dana and all,

      Welcome and congrats on finding your way through the technical challenges.  You too bring a lot of life experience to this discussion and training.  Many folks have the same kind of uncomfortable feelings in nursing homes, hospitals, etc. Working in a seminary, being married to a minister, having family in long term care and serving in your church are all areas that we will address going forward.  You demonstrate times when you received care as well as times you have offered it.  These are some of our greatest learning experiences.  You and others might want to keep a journal through this process, where you record your private reactions, feelings, etc as you read and reflect.  I suspect the underlying reasons for your uncomfortableness will come to the surface.  Awareness is the first step in feeling more comfortable.

      Rick

    • #4184

      Roberta Bell
      Member
      @RobertaBell

      Hello all, it’s Bobbie Bell…probably the least computer savvy of this group. (I only found my way into this chat with Dar’s help and her 50+digit site suggestion…I nominate her for sainthood!)  As you can guess, patience with this means of communication is not my forte…so I ask your tolerance with this senior citizen.   Personally, I have been amazingly married to Dave for 51 years and so blessed to be the mother of Robin Sprigler.  God’s greatest gifts have been our two grandchildren who fill my heart 24-7.

      I am a retired medical technologist…working 25 years as chief microbiologist/infection control officer in hospital laboratories.  For years I felt a calling toward hospice volunteer work, but it was only until I was working part time, that I was able to take the training…which taught me life-long useful listening and caring skills which enriched my life and allowed me to interact meaningfully with my parents and Dave’s nearly daily for a period of 6 years while they were all in their 90’s.  Also as a volunteer, I completed Stephen’s ministry training which also encourages listening and caring skills.  Being a “shepherd” to a flock of about 10 in a previous congregation gave me a chance to interact in a caring manner.

      Personally, I retreat to books, needlework and jigsaw puzzles to relax and recharge my batteries.  Spending time with friends, traveling, and visiting museums and art galleries make me smile.

       

      Looking forward to this new experience!  Bobbie

      ps – don’t have a clue what “tags” are…or if I need to type anything in that space.

    • #4185

      Rick Underwood
      Moderator
      @RickUnderwood

      Roberta, Welcome and congratulations on finding this space.  I agree that Dar should be nominated for Sainthood.  She is a good shepherd.  I admire your willingness to be a life long learner.  You already have had some great learning experiences and life experiences.   I hope this process will be another opportunity to both learn from and share experiences with this great group.

      Rick

      P.S. I don’t know what Tags are either!

    • #4186

      Roberta Bell
      Member
      @RobertaBell

      Thank you, Rick.

      I haven’t found the video yet…will welcome any suggestions.

    • #4188

      Jaci Owen
      Participant
      @JaciOwen

      Hello, this is Jaci Owen.  I have been married to Rudy for 35 years and we have two sons, Dave and Andy.  We also have 2 grandchildren, Zoe and Natalie.  I have worked as a dental hygienist for 37 years and hoping to retire before the end of this year.

      I was raised in the Presbyterian church.  Although, I had been very active in the first church Rudy and I belonged to, it wasn’t until I came to St. John that I took on leadership roles.  Here I became a Deacon, an Elder and on the board member for the Great Banquet.  As much as I feel moved to serve, I feel that I lack the training to be able to reach out to those who are homebound, in hospitals or nursing homes.  I hope to feel more comfortable with visitations.

      I have had limited pastoral care.  My first attempt at opening up to my minister turned out poorly as he was not gifted as a shephard.  Several years ago I was counseled by a previous minister who I felt was not truly there for me.  Of course, I should have known that he had a plan and was helping to direct me in the right direction.

    • #4189

      Robert Barstead
      Member
      @RobertaBarstead

      Rob Barstead here.  I’m just beginning my 2nd year as an Elder at St. John.  Caring and outreach have been inportant in my view of Christianity throughout my church life.  Curently my focus is to be able to help take some the the burden of responsibility from the shoulders of the pastor.

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