The College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy is a theologically based covenant community, dedicated to "recovery of the soul" and promoting competency in the clinical pastoral field.
The CPSP Fall 2008 National Clinical Training Seminar was held in Parsippany, NJ November 10-11, 2008.
Reflection has various dictionary definitions but I choose the following: an image, counterpart, a fixing of thoughts, careful consideration, synonyms include contemplation and observation. I think that a reflection is not always a mirrored image. So, I offer a reflection on our seminars, speaker and time together.
This year the gathering was in an alternate venue due to considerations made for Holy days for some of our members. Once we began the venue seemed so much less important compared to the incredible sharing and learning that began.
The cornerstone for CPSP is our CPSP Covenant. Not only did we read it aloud together, led by Francine Angel, CPSP President but acted it out within our collective time as well as our small groups. I experienced grounding reminders from those who are new to the professional caring for others as well as the wisdom of those more experienced. I found both qualities gifts as we remain, “….curious, teachable, compassionate, engaged…” [taken from the seminar papers].
One of our highlights was our guest presenter: Dr. Dale T. Irvin who is President and Professor of World Christianity at New York Theological Seminary. Dr. Irvin took us on a an in depth study of how the term chaplain came to be what we know it to mean now in our work, as well as theological reflections tying these themes together. Dr. Irvin was an engaging presenter and not only did I appreciate his presentation but heard much delightful feedback from many who participated in the NCTS. If I speak for those I heard and know, we all enjoyed and were educated by his presentation.
Of course, we had our small group presentations in the mornings. This was a working environment supported by our covenant process. Trust, vulnerability, sharing, learning, co-pastoral care-- all were apparent in my group; I assume others experienced a similar dynamic within their group. Tears, joy, profound care, new collegial friendships, re-covenanting, commitment, relief, restoration, precious discovery, unburdening, coming along side, sharing, learning--all were only a part of what I heard was experienced by the participants. Speaking for myself, and I hope for so many others, I also experienced gratitude for being in CPSP’s environment which reminds us to stay in relationship with one another.
Before departing this event we were addressed by Raymond Lawrence, CPSP General Secretary. He challenged us to be aware that our profession is one that begs us to continue the process of growing self-awareness that comes from not only support but challenge as is provided by context such as NYTS. This is one of the vital ways we refresh ourselves. May we always bring that refreshment for one another as CPSP members.
I offer this with the sense of the CPSP community that has been gifted to me. Peace to every one of you and I look forward to our next gathering.
Sharon Hindle,LC, BCC
Robertwood Johnson University Hospital
New Brunswick, NJ
Oncology and Palliative Chaplain
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at December 1, 2008 10:52 PM