Dedera Baker writes about her experience as a Gilchrist chaplain in honor of Pastoral Care Week, which celebrates the practice of spiritual care through professional chaplaincy and pastoral counseling. What I have learned most about being a hospice chaplain is that, at the end of life, what divides us seems to disappear. In the face … More Tending to the Spiritual Needs of Patients With Dementia
“I ate the little cookie and drank the grape juice, and everything got clear. I saw my mom,” Zack* said. “I really saw my mom. It was weird, but a good weird.” * * * Zack is a twenty-eight year old young man – already, he’s been through a lot in his life. He … More A Good Weird
The night we learned my cousin David would not survive his cancer diagnosis, I don’t recall the words the doctor said. What I do remember is the doctor’s soft voice, the gentleness of his tone, the warmth of his grasp. The nurse bringing all of us refreshing cups of ice water to hydrate us after … More The Simple Things
What does the call upon four hearts, 12 months of planning, 20 hours of flying, and 8,000 miles traveled equal? Answer — The beginning experience of our next Tanzania Hospice Exchange mission team. The group departs Baltimore on February 4 for Arusha, Tanzania. We are two nurses, a chaplain, and our manager of volunteer services … More Here I am … send me.
We often talk of spiritual care as happening in the midst of a “sacred encounter”. I recently experienced such a moment. I had just finished leading a workshop at the Gilchrist Hospice Care Wellness Day Seminar for the bereaved and was having lunch with a group of conference attendees. We were a group of five and … More Sacred Encounters
Spiritual care is an oft misunderstood service of the hospice team. To help unpack what our spiritual care team brings to patients and families I ask new staff and volunteers to reflect on what feelings and interpretations rise up for them when hearing the word or title ‘chaplain’ mentioned. Some say “pastor or priest or … More Spiritual Care in Hospice