On Tuesday of this week, I finished another major milestone in my progress; I graduated with my certification of one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. The class consisted of 17 weeks of instruction (8 classroom hours every Monday), 24 hours a month of on-call chaplaincy at Methodist Medical center (8pm-8am one day during the week, and 8am to 8pm on one weekend) each month, January - May, and then 300 total hours of clinical work (fulfilled by my work at St. Croix Hospice). For those of you keeping score, that's 140 hours of classroom work (we met 4 times for a 1 hour individual instruction), 120 hours of on-call work at Methodist Medical center (and, by the way, when we were on call we had to be on location, meaning we had to be at Methodist for the entire 12 hour shift), and 300 hours of supervised clinical visitation. I have already been endorsed by the Converge World Wide for chaplaincy; this is one more requirement down. May is stroke awareness month; I am now 7 1/2 years post stroke, I love what I do through Hospice and I am so thankful to God for what He has allowed me to do, and for all the people who have been praying for me through this process. For those of you that might be reading this blog who have recently had strokes, or know someone who has recently had a stroke, please, never give up. Your stroke may have taken many things from you, but don't let it take your determination! Drs told my wife I would never walk, talk or feed myself again, and here I am working as a chaplain for St. Croix Hospice; Drs know a lot, but they don't know everything! God is in control, let Him take over.
It has been nearly 6 years since I have updated this blog; my apologies. For those that had been following for some time, since I last posted: I stepped down as Senior Pastor at New Covenant church in Knoxville, I moved to Ankeny, Iowa, started a new ministry with St. Croix hospice as Chaplain. I was chaplain with St. Croix for about 4 1/2 years, then in 2020 I moved back to Stratford to pastor First Baptist church. It was a big change going from chaplain work back to the pastorate. I must confess, when I first came (back) to Stratford I was ready to pastor again! I love preaching; I love the ministry of being a pastor, and I love interacting with people long-term. (Being a chaplain is great, but you only interact with a family for a week or so, for some a little longer, but there was a constant upheaval of people and it was exhausting at times...) But, one thing that I have noticed since my stroke is that I get my feeling hurt easily. For instance, people leave the church all the tim