Metaphysics Course

This blog is a collection of essays and lesson comments from several of the Universal Life Church courses on Metaphysics. We have a Spirit Quest Course and one on A Course In Miracles.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chaplaincy Studies

What I Have Learned.
Final Essay for Master of Chaplaincy Course
Rev. Arthur Strafuss

Now that I am at the end of another class I look back with a smile and admiration for the instructor and staff that supported me through this.  During this time I was appointed to the position of Chaplain in the American Legion.  I owe this position directly to the taking of the course. 

My assignment is to answer the following:

What did I learn from this course?
What helped me the most?
What could be improved in this course?
What do we hope to accomplish after taking this course?
The most important things of the course for me were the assignments. The getting and digging out the information, and the information was a storehouse, for me.  From this I have made a data base of all this information that I can bring up or go online to get what I need. 
The most important things that help me the most were:
A.     Learning about other type of chaplains, as the Animal Chaplain, which help pet owner through lost of a pet and consoling them their pet is sick or being hospitalizes.  I was surprise to find out that many Seeing Eye dog owners need that form of help through the hard time with their dog.
B.     Police and Fire Chaplains was a surprise in the duties of a chaplain may differ in many ways.  The Chaplain in my town covers both Fire and Police.  He does not live in the town, and is only on call.  In a city like Boston the chaplain is more of a face to face presents. Not just on call but out on call with the Fire Department or Police.  They can't share both departments.
C.    The need for a partner in my ministry. That can be a friend first and then a soul friend later, after we know and work with each other for awhile.   It needs time to know each other's strengths, and weaknesses and how we can help each other in our ministry.  It would e great to share a ministry together, helping others, reading sermons, and help with classes.
D.     Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Program

The goal of the Suicide Prevention Program is to reduce the number of suicides, suicide attempts and self-injury among Massachusetts residents. We do this by:
1.          Raising awareness of suicide as a public health problem
2.          Providing support to communities, agencies and individuals interested in suicide prevention
3.          Providing education and training for professionals and caregivers
4.           Funding community-based suicide prevention and mental health promotion programs
5.          Supporting and collaborating with state, regional and community suicide prevention coalitions

I am open supporting and encouraging communities to collaborate across disciplines to prevent suicide and suicide attempts across the lifespan. In our area, teen suicide is on the rise.  I may have an opportunity to help in the High Schools to get a handle on this problem.
E.      I loved the Tool kit.  What I am finding is the kit depends on what I am doing.  I am cutting back on the Bibles to carry around and the communion kit but I still keep then in the care.  I am also reinstalled my CB Radio back in the trunk.
F.      I like the lesion on active listening
There are two parts to active listening
1,   Have the ability to listen, make eye contact, body language, and giving the speaker your attention. Not to me distracted by cell-phone, noses, actions in the street, and so on.  This gives the message that you see what the speaker is saying is important and that you have an active interest in the subject.  This technique is best used on a one on one session, in which you are trying to help this person through something.  Be prepared for a lot of talk going into dead ends.  Theses session go for a long time until something comes out that you can actually help with.

2,   Having the ability to understand what the speaker is saying is the other.  This can be a smile, quick and shot comments, and sharing your own story.

Word of caution, I am a good listener, I have been most of my life, when dealing with a lonely single person male or female, do not get out the wrong massage.  You may need to make a boundary, or rule of the session that should not be broken.  It very easy to fall into this trap, I have and that is why I state the ground rules first.  It is call transference. I made the mistake of going out for coffee after the session.

What I would change:
A.     Fix the Forum.  I am still having problem with it.
B.     Would like to see Counseling as a complete course as part of this program.  It would help people like me that do not have any counseling history.
C.    More Internet resources, as in helps in consulting, and to Chaplain Organizations.

What do we hope to accomplish after taking this course?
A.     I am going through a hard time right now.  Once I get through it I will be developing my still as a Chaplain in the American Legion, and using that position to open up more opportunities as a Chaplain.
B.      I am continuing my courses to work toward the Master's in Chaplainry and then on to the Doctorates.
C.     I would like to join a professional chaplain organization, for the purpose of my own education and fellowship.
D.     Still Thinking about the Unemployment Chaplain.  I think there is a need there.  People go through the most trying time when they have lost their jobs.  Families break up, things fall apart and never get back together again.   People need to know that God is there and She/He is waiting to be ask for any help that is needed. When all is lost, there is always God. That needs to be convened, that they are not alone, that there is hope.  That a personal relationship with God (no matter how you see God) needs to be established, then prepare for something to happen.
E.      I still plain to work in Education, but God Centered no matter where I am.

Now that is the end of the last lesson.  I wish to thank Daniel Moore and Amy for their help and support.

Blessing to all and the good work you do.

Rev Arthur Strafuss


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