Celestial Lands The Religious Crossroads of Politics, Power, and Theology

A Firewall in the Celestial Lands

During the next year, there will be a major section of my life that I am going to do my absolute best to keep behind a “firewall”, to keep from directly influencing my writing or engagement here at Celestial Lands. I am beginning a Clinical Pastoral Education year-long Residency at Rainbow Hospice and Lutheran General Hospital. I will be serving as a Resident Chaplain for both in-home-care hospice patients as well as covering on-call shifts at Lutheran General, a Level 1 Trauma Center just Northwest of Chicago.

I am building this firewall to protect the confidentiality that I hold as a minister. Rather than try and parse out the details of what is confidential and what is not during long shifts and longer days, I am going to keep this part of my life and ministry separate. Now, I will still write some theological reflections based upon my experience, but there will be no personal stories from my experience as a Chaplain to elucidate those theological thoughts.

This is a new concept for me, as most of my regular readers know I am a storyteller at heart. It will force me to explore new ways of writing, and deeper ways of engaging. It will also protect the confidentiality of my patients.

Practically, there are going to be a few changes here at Celestial Lands as well, because of the demands of a CPE Residency. It will probably take me a bit longer to approve comments, and the pace of my articles may slow down a bit. I think it will be balanced by the idea that the articles will deepen, but you will have to discover that.

This is a transition point in my formation in the ministry, and I expect this Residency will profoundly affect who I am as a minister, and will provide skills and tools of great benefit for years to come. I just won’t be able to share the journey in detail with all of you.

Yours in Faith,


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