Pastoral presence includes the many life events I accompany people through. Not only do I have over 800 clinical hours (Two Units) of chaplaincy experience, I have bared witness to tragic death, debilitating fear, depression, crisis of faith, job loss, marriage loss, abuse of all sorts, loss of homes, and numerous journeys through hurt from faith of origin. I like to meet people in need of pastoral support where they are – that might mean we meet in person, we might talk after service, we might text. I find the more flexible I am about this, the more I am able to meet the congregation I serve in all the diversity they bring.
My site supervisor when I was chaplaining at Planned Parenthood described my work with a diverse staff and with diverse patients as, “Exceptional. You were nonjudgmental, and offered empathy, kindness and respect.” She also stated how I, “Quickly understood the flow of the work of the clinic and were flexible in how and when you offered support.”
That sums me up well. I observe. I ask questions. I offer support. I aim to help others find their own way when I offer resources, support and clear boundaries.
Last, I have additional training in all options pregnancy counseling. I also have accompanied all genders through abortions.