Pastoral Report Articles 

  • 02 Jul 2014 3:30 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Gabrielle Urciuoli authored an article for NJ.COM featuring Ted Taylor, Director of Pastoral Care & Training at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton as "A modern-day hospital chaplain makes his rounds at RWJ in Hamilton". The author quotes Taylor saying, “The focus is listening...noting that this is especially important when it comes to end-of-life decisions. Sometimes it’s just being with people. Allowing people to be scared.”

    The article makes note of the fact that in order to address the demands of chaplain services he directs a training program of CPE Interns, largely from Princeton Theological Seminary, who provide 24/7 clinical chaplain services.

    To read the complete article, click here.

    Chaplain Tedford J. Taylor, MDiv, BCCC, FHPC
    Diplomate in Pastoral Supervision (CPSP)
    Director of Pastoral Care & Training
    RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
    One Hamilton Health Place
    Hamilton, New Jersey 08690

  • 27 Jun 2014 3:38 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Dear CPSP Conveners,

    At the 2014 Plenary in Virginia Beach last March, the Governing Council appointed us, David Roth and David Baker, to update the CPSP bylaws to make our organization run more effectively and efficiently with better representation and greater transparency.

    That work is now done. Having consulted widely and after reviewing the work of governance task forces over the past two and a half years, we have revised and updated our governance in ways that are faithful to the Covenant, respectful and supportive of the Chapter, and build upon our strengths as a Community.

    What we are presenting is a way of governing that is congruent with what has been the best in CPSP life and at the same time adapts to the rapid growth we have seen. The concept is a truly representative 18-person leadership team comprised of three bodies – a Chapter of Chapters, a Chapter of Diplomates, and an Executive Chapter -- that will be nimble enough to meet regularly to discuss the business of the organization, to make decisions, and to communicate clearly and in timely fashion the needs and direction of the organization.

    This fall, all those who make up the Governing Council under the existing bylaws, especially conveners, will gather to address and resolve the governance issue. That’s why we ask you to please review the bylaws document with your chapter members. We believe you will see that it envisages a responsible, accountable, engaged, and empowered CPSP community. Also, there is a13-minute YouTube video that explains the governance concept and certain considerations behind our work.

    Our specific charge was to create new bylaws that will allow us to govern effectively and get things done in CPSP. To that end we have designed a workable governance structure for you to consider. The proposed bylaws will not and cannot be expected to address all of the particular issues that concern us at the present but they are a place to begin. 

    The work you asked us to do at this point is completed. Please make the time to become familiar with it and to share it with your chapter members. We look forward to seeing you when the Governing Council meets in the fall.


    David Roth and David Baker

  • 25 Jun 2014 4:02 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    On June 14, I marched with Boston Medical Center’s (BMC) Gay/Straight Alliance in Boston’s 44th annual Gay Pride Parade. It was far different from Boston’s 3rd Gay Pride Parade in 1973, at which then State Rep. Barney Frank and I were the honored guests—seated in a convertible. The parade route that year took us past Old West Church (United Methodist), where I served as minister for eight years, and had just been forcibly retired after performing the same-sex marriage of two male members of the Church-- which led to my being an honored guest of the 1973 Parade. (For write-up of that Parade, see “300 begin Pride Week with Parade,” By Paul Kneeland, Boston Sunday Globe, June 17, 1973) You could not see it, but as the parade passed Old West Church, I was bleeding inside. (For that story-- and more, See Alberts “Easter Depends on Whistleblowers: The Minister Who Could Not Be ‘Preyed’ Away,” Counterpunch, March 29-31, 2013)

    Forty-one years later, at Boston’s 44th Gay Pride Parade, I was beaming inside—and outside from ear to ear. It was very meaningful to be a joyous member of Boston Medical Center’s Gay/Straight Alliance: a contingent of doctors, hospital chaplain and close friend and colleague, Jennie Gould, and other BMC staff -- including two women whose same-sex marriage I had performed on the lawn of Boston University Medical School, the three of us seated at a picnic table, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, freshly picked from their garden, as the table’s centerpiece. And right behind us BMC Parade marchers was a group from Boston University Medical School, with people from other health care organizations also marching.

    Boston Medical Center’s Gay/Straight Alliance was one of 200 groups, representing a record 25,000 people, participating in this year’s Gay Pride Parade. With thousands of people lining the streets, cheering us marchers on. As the Boston Globe reported, the “groups in the parade included bands, advocacy groups, university clubs, churches, and even corporations and political candidates—a sign of the Pride’s shift from a fringe demonstration to a mainstream, family-oriented staple of Boston’s event calendar and marker of an ongoing sea change in public opinion on gay issues.” (For the full Boston Globe story, see “Pride parade becomes a staple,” By Claire McNeill and Dan Adams, June 15, 2014)

    The “sea change in public opinion on gay issues” is seen in religious circles. Old South Church (Congregational and member of the United Church of Christ), located where the Parade began, held a pre-march “Parade Worship Service,” its pews filled, with spiritual leaders present, the service including the “Open Door Award” given to Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick for supporting gay rights, Hillary Goodridge, a plaintiff whose case led to the legalizing of gay marriage in Massachusetts in 2003, and to Rev. Frank Schaefer, a United Methodist minister who was defrocked in 2013 for performing his son’s same-sex marriage. (Ibid)

    The “sea change in public opinion on gay issues” is also seen in the publicly declared inclusiveness of health care organizations, like Boston Medical Center, with its mission of providing “Exceptional Care. Without Exception.” BMC’s mission professes a commitment to diversity that applies not only to patients and their families. It embraces staff as well. BMC’s 2008 Diversity Statement offers an inspiring model of inclusiveness for any medical, business, political or religious institution:

    As part of its stated mission and values, the Medical Center remains committed to creating and sustaining a workplace and a hospital where employees, patients and patients’ families are respected and valued not in spite of, but because of, the differences in their backgrounds and cultures. We believe that there is strength in diversity, not only in race, gender, age, religion and disability, but also in education, politics, family status, national origin, sexual orientation, and all the other factors that make people individuals. 

    And what makes us individuals? A little boy at this year’s Boston Gay Pride Parade held the answer in his hands. Participating with the throngs of marchers, he continually waved a big sign imprinted with the words, ‘LOVE IS LOVE.’ That is the key factor that makes us individuals-- together.

    (Bill Alberts with his then 18-months-old granddaughter, Aoife)

    When children are born, they are dearly loved by mother and father and family, and often adored by friends-- and even strangers. That is true of children born everywhere. Why should any child become less loved and less legitimate if his or her sexual orientation develops differently? He or she is still the same human being, with the same need to be loved and the same capacity to love. It is in being loved, that we are able to love and to become individuals, fully. ‘LOVE IS LOVE,’ whoever you are. It is not straight love. Nor gay love. It is human love.

    Bill Alberts is a CPSP diplomate and a member of the Dover, New Hampshire Chapter. He was a hospital chaplain at Boston Medical Center for over 18 years, retiring in 2011, and now covers on occasion as a chaplain consultant. His book, A Hospital Chaplain at the Crossroads of Humanity, based on his work at BMC, is available on His new book, called The Counterpunching Minister (who couldn’t be “preyed” away) is a collection of 56 of his articles in Counterpunch-- its publication planned for this fall. His e-mail address is:

  • 23 Jun 2014 8:43 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP) is pleased to offer its National Clinical Training Seminar-West (NCTS–W) this year at the beautiful Episcopal Church Center of Utah, a peaceful location and relaxing environment in Salt Lake City, which is nestled in a valley below the Wasatch Mountains.

    October 26-28, 2014

    NCTS–W is open to clinical chaplains, pastoral counselors and psychotherapists, supervisors-in-training, clinical pastoral trainees, and training supervisors. Members of new CPSP chapters and especially members in the West are strongly encouraged to attend.

    The design of NCTS–W is based on the small-group experience where all participants are expected to bring and share clinical material for consultation with their peers under the care of CPSP diplomats and supervisors.

    The fee for CPSP members is $150, and the fee for non-members is $225.

    Registration includes attendance at all training sessions plus five meals, from dinner on Sunday through breakfast on Tuesday. There will be a box lunch available for purchase on Tuesday to take with you to the last meeting of the day or on your travel home. The chef will personalize meals and snacks for gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, and other needs.

    Registration fees will be refunded for cancellation notices received by CPSP prior to October 10, 2014.

    Reserve your room at the retreat center using this link:ECCU Lodging Request

    Rates for this event are $37.50 per night for a shared room and $75 per night for a single room.

    In order to ensure adequate lodging for all guests, please make your reservation prior to October 10, 2014.

    Refunds will be made by the retreat center in accordance with their Cancellation Policy included in the ECCU Lodging Request.

    UTA TRAX is the Salt Lake City light rail system, and it’s the easiest, least expensive way to get to the meeting site. A standard, one-way TRAX fare currently is $2.50. Detailed information about train times and easy walking directions from the station to ECCU will be provided with each registration.

    For drivers, parking is available on the premises at no charge based on availability; parking lot across the street is $1/hour or $8/day.

    For information or clarification, contact Cynthia Olson, BCCC, CFHPC, or tel (916)712-9776.

    To register online, click here.


    Cynthia Olson, BCCC, CFHPC, or tel (916)712-9776.

  • 15 Jun 2014 8:58 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    I am CPSP is a video promoting the values of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. Depicted in the video are members of CPSP community sharing how their involvement has significantly impacted their personal and professional lives.

    The brainchild of the I am CPSP video production was George Hull. Through the years he frequently commented on the impressive diversity found within CPSP that is strikingly observable when the community gathers at its Annual Plenary.

    The video was produced by Susan McDougal, a CPSP Diplomate with ability and expertise in this area of such media productions. Leonard Chamblee of Creative Motion Media filmed the production. 

    Given CPSP's commitment to "traveling light", the production of this video is one of many examples of CPSP's historical reliance upon the good spirit, creativity and effort of those at the grassroots who are willing to contribute to the wellbeing and mission of the entire CPSP community.

    Chapters and CPSP training centers are encouraged to embed the video in their websites and pass it on to their professional colleagues.

    Susan McDougal, CPSP Diplomate

    George Hull, CPSP Diplomate

  • 03 Jun 2014 9:02 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    The May, 2014 National Clinical Training Seminar-East was held once again at the Loyola Retreat House in Morristown, New Jersey and, with its, spacious terrace and greenery proved to be a refreshing contrast as a backdrop for the theme “Disaster Spiritual Care-the Chaplain’s Response”.

    Linda Walsh-Garrison, BCCC reviewed for us the impact of the overwhelming emotional impact of the disaster on families and loved ones but also on those who serve the community, including spiritual care professionals.

    The topic of September 11, 2001, stirred memories for many of us as I spoke to colleagues during the breaks. It was a humbling experience and for some, a recognition that there is still unresolved grief. This was a reminder that we need to continue to check in for our own self-care and recognize that those around us may be wrestling with issues easily resurfaced when trigger points are touched.

    The media technology broke down during Linda’s presentation and was unresponsive to relentless tries to resuscitate it. Linda was model of calmness and used the equipment malfunction as an example of unexpected breakdowns and crises in our lives. She coached us to be flexible and observant of others and ourselves as we look for ways to manage the crisis and draw on other resources.

    _Finally, Linda encouraged us, as spiritual care professionals to engage with our community response teams like the Red Cross to pre-plan scenarios for local disasters. She emphasized the important role we play to help the community heal both during and after the event. One thing she strongly emphasized…NEVER self-deploy. There are hundreds of people who showed up at the doorstep of the 9/11 disaster with no appropriate skills and no way to support the professionals in place.

    More than a decade has passed since the disaster of 9/11 and several natural and unnatural disasters have occurred inside the U.S. and around the world. There will continue to be times when pastoral care expertise is needed. Whether it is helping children cope after neighborhood disaster, supporting returning veterans struggling with PTSD or responding to a flood, fire or earthquake, making precautions for the next crisis is something we must do if we desire to support those engaged in disaster care.

    This unique gathering of pastoral care professionals offered an opportunity to share expertise and individual stories about the impact of disaster on our lives. There was recognition by most that there is an ongoing need for spiritual care providers to be alert, prepared and supportive both during and after the event.

    Following Linda’s review, we were deployed by Francine Hernandez, our executive administrator, with instructions to gather in the usual small psychodynamic group process to receive one-on-one consultation on clinical work. Participants later returned into the larger combined group where presenters summarized elements of their key learning to be assessed for openness to supervision and to allow those not present in their small group to have a glimpse of issues and recommendations.

    This session’s Tavistock group relations topic, with Raymond J. Lawrence, Jr. as consultant, centered on silence and the comfort/discomfort each of the participants felt and expressed. During the gathering, there was some resistance to the idea of silence as a posture of reflection, observation and restoration. A large part of the discussion focused on differentiating aloneness and loneliness and accepting or rejecting others’ suggestions for managing or “resolving” the state of being alone. Once again, the Tavistock model brought helpful perspectives on the dynamics of group function in relation to leadership, authority and the emotions connected to the process.

    I was personally enriched by the feedback of my peer group on my community-based CPET proposal. There seems to be potential for non-traditional hospital models of Clinical Pastoral Education training. I was pleased to hear that others have developed or are in the process of developing training programs.

    The training seminar brought together 50 people from a diverse group of pastoral counselors, supervisory trainees in clinical pastoral education, chaplain interns, chaplain residents and supervisors from New Jersey, New York, Delaware and other states). The next NCTS-East is scheduled for November 10-11, 2014 at Loyola Retreat House.


    Cheryl Parker transitioned from 18 years in purchasing at Ford Motor Company in Detroit, MI and global communications at the DuPont Company in DE and VA, to a career in pastoral care. She has been a CPSP board certified clinical chaplain since 2012 and has completed one unit in the CPSP Supervisor-in-Training program with an interest in developing a community-based model to train other chaplains in the Delaware area.

  • 27 May 2014 9:05 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    Over the years CPSP has been fortunate to have many good and dedicated individuals who have stepped up to the plate to volunteer their service for the larger well-being of the community. In fact, over the 25 years that CPSP has been in existence there have been countless hours of labor rendered by these good people who nurtured and supported a community growing from the original 15 founders to over 1200 members currently. 

    Folks like Bill Carr, a founding member and CPSP’s first treasurer was one whose signature attested to the business of CPSP in the required filings for the state of Virginia, together with Raymond Lawrence, the General Secretary. As a treasurer of CPSP, Bill meticulously attended to the finances of the organization and the disbursement of its funds.

    In a similar way, CPSP is served by Charles Kirby, our current treasurer to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude for his dedication and unassuming service on behalf of the CPSP Community. Like Bill Carr once did, Charles oversees the disbursements of funds and signs the necessary corporate filings, together with Raymond Lawrence, the General Secretary. Neither Bill Carr, nor Charles Kirby nor countless others ever received any compensation for their many years of service to CPSP. Without such generosity of commitment CPSP could not exist.

    Affirming the thorough work of Charles Kirby was the recent outside audit performed by the firm of Carl Shaw, CPA, Hendersonville, North Carolina, specializing in audit services for not-for-profit organizations, whose recent audit found that CPSP’s financial matters are in good standing.

    Similarly, CPSP members owe a great debt to former CPSP Diplomate, Ben Bogia, who died November 19, 2009. Ben pioneered the way for a CPSP web presence at CPSP.ORG in the early days of the web. Ben also served as the Secretary to the Governing Council, and was one of the earliest Clinical Pastoral Supervisors to throw his lot in with CPSP in the early 90’s. Building on Ben’s work and expanding the web presence of CPSP is Perry Miller, who was also a founding member of CPSP. Perry, a Diplomate in Clinical Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, serves as the Editor of Pastoral Report . Through the dedication of these two men, CPSP has had a continuous presence on the web for over two decades, and, also, as is usual for CPSP, have received no compensation for their long hours of work. Such dedication characterizes who we are in CPSP. 

    Perry Miller, founding member and CPSP Editor of Pastoral Report, together, with such people as Bill Carr, founding member and former treasurer, Don Gum, a founding member who died October 9, 2002, and served as President of CPSP from 1996 - 1998, Francine Angel, CPSP President, 2008 - 2010, George Hankins Hull, CPSP Associate General Secretary 2009 – 2013, Charles Kirby, Treasurer, 2004 – Current, with Raymond Lawrence, founding member and CPSP General Secretary, over the course of twenty five years, have signed the necessary annual corporate filings that complied with Virginia law to do the business of CPSP. 

    In the twenty five years of the existence of CPSP, there have been no changes either to the corporate structure of CPSP or to the manner in which the corporate documents have been signed by CPSP members, or to the documents themselves which are filed in the State of Virginia. All those who signed these corporate documents did so in the spirit of unselfish service and with integrity, and have received no compensation for their work. Our Virginia corporate attorney, who formed the incorporation of CPSP, annually files the necessary documents, prepared by him, with the Secretary of State of Virginia. These are the exact documents that have been filed since the inception of CPSP, and signed in the usual manner.

    We can have great assurance that the record keeping for CPSP is directed and overseen by the legal team of Charles Hicks, Attorney at Law, Little Rock, Arkansas, specializing in Administrative and Health Care Law, working in concert with a well-respected and experienced attorney in Roanoke, Virginia, who specializes in Corporate Law. 

    As we move forward into our next phase of governance, all is well with our corporate body, as we rely upon a dedicated, courageous and caring membership to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.

    George Hankins-Hull
    Director Pastoral Care & Clinical Pastoral Education
    University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

  • 15 May 2014 9:28 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    When David Roth was in the process leading to certification as a diplomate in pastoral supervision, he had a keen sense of the importance of gaining a deeper understanding what really is going on in groups, whether they were trainees in CPE, the family members and friends gathered in a patient’s room, or the hospital staff.

    When Ed Luckett joined CPSP and attended his first Plenary, he experienced “Tavistock” – CPSP’s quasi-sacred ritual, both structured and spontaneous, mysterious and (sometimes) tedious.

    As early as 2011, David had seen the need to renew both our understanding of group relations and our ties with the institution that best maintains the Tavistock tradition in the US, the A.K. Rice Institute (AKRI). He arranged a meeting between Jack Lampl, AKRI president, and Raymond Lawrence, our General Secretary, at the National Clinical Training Seminar-West in Malibu in the fall of that year. Their conversations led to CPSP inviting Jack, along with Charla Hayden, to take the lead in our 2013 Plenary program in Las Vegas. Download Brochure

    In the midst of our own institutional tensions, so apparent in Las Vegas, the importance of group relations theory and practice for the work we do in pastoral care, counseling, psychotherapy and supervision, and for CPSP as a community itself, became more evident.

    Against that backdrop, the two of us journeyed to Dover, MA last June to participate in the 49th annual Group Relations Conference conducted by AKRI, an intensive, six-day residential experience. We joined with an international assortment of leaders in education, government, and business, along with a large number who work in behavioral health fields, and handful of colleagues in ministry. With faculty and participant “members” of a “temporary institution,” we followed an intentional schedule of small-, large-, and inter-group events designed to explore issues in leadership, authority and the emergence of roles. Sometimes, the learning was emotionally challenging, even painful. Along the way, however, we made profound discoveries about the unconscious nature and behavior of groups – and about ourselves.

    The group process – which we so often honor by lip service – is powerful, but very often most of it is lost on us. When we come together in a group, we are more than an aggregation of individuals; we have the opportunity to gain access to insight and understanding that members, as individuals, cannot readily attain.

    Coming away from Dover, we agreed that the long-standing expected compliance to Competency 430.5 in the CPSP Standards – Completion of an intensive, process-oriented group-training event such as a Tavistock Group Training seminar– made sense. (At the same time we had a better understanding concerning why there can be resistance and an avoidance of it.) Thus, we and our colleagues who plan NCTS-West invited Jack Lampl and Charla Hayden to return with a team of group relations consultants to Sacramento for NCTS-West in October 2013 with the aim of increasing awareness in CPSP, especially in the West, about group relations.

    Very soon – next month, to be precise – AKRI will conduct their 50th annual residential conference, once again in Dover. There is still time to register. We strongly urge you participate!

    GREX, the A.K. Rice affiliate on the West Coast, will offer a shorter, three-day conference in August, near Seattle. Please consider this experience, as an alternative, if Dover does not fit your schedule.

    Whether you are a supervisor of many years or a new clinical chaplain, an SIT, pastoral counselor or a psychotherapist, or perhaps still a trainee in CPE, your experience in group relations work will confer lasting benefits on you and those you serve—and our whole covenant community.

    Details on the 6-day AK Rice Residential Conference, Working Across Differences: Authority, Leadership and Institutional Life can be found by clicking here.

    Information on the 2014 GREX 3-day conference, The Merit of the Other: Working with Difference in Organizations can be found by clicking here.


    Ed Luckett is the palliative care and hospice chaplain for Kaiser Permanente – Napa Solano Area in Northern California, a CPSP clinical chaplain and a supervisor-in-training.

    David Roth is director of spiritual care and CPE supervisor at Kaiser Permanente – Napa Solano. Ed and David are both members of the Nautilus Pacific Chapter.

  • 12 May 2014 9:42 PM | Perry Miller, Editor (Administrator)

    It's magic: Michael Eselun at TEDxEncinitas 0:00 / 17:10

    Michael Eselun is a CPSP Board Certified Clinical Chaplain and a member of the Los Angeles, CA Chapter. He serves as the interfaith chaplain for the Simms-Mann/UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology.


    Michael Eselun, BCCC Chaplain

    Michael Eselun, a CPSP Board Certified Clinical Chaplain, serves as the interfaith chaplain for the Simms-Mann/UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology. He has worked extensively in oncology, hospice, palliative care and with acute psychiatric patients. He's been invited countless times to speak to students, doctors, nurses, social workers, and faith communities about his work as a chaplain, on death and dying and the spiritual dimension of the cancer experience.