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.
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April 17, 2012
The dream of a CPSP community where each person’s voice and dreams are heard and valued is becoming a reality. The dream is becoming realized of a moment when we would embrace each other with a spirit of unity in the primary things, such as serving others with justice, compassion and humility. The dream is coming to fruition of a day when we would value and celebrate liberty in the secondary things, such as diverse ways of providing competent care of the soul. The dream is among us of a time when we would deliver pastoral care and counseling moved solely by love and with an unwavering commitment to excellence. We are indeed seeing and sensing the waves of that dream as our diverse and beloved community, making use of its creativity, ingenuity and spontaneity to open new doors and routes to serve humankind. Through our accredited centers we are offering clinical pastoral training; and through our certified pastoral caregivers we are providing chaplaincies and counseling services in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, assisted living, clinics, industries, schools, prisons and churches. Moreover, our clinically trained caregivers and pastoral educators are also providing services under bridges, on farms and even in many unimaginable places around the world. We celebrate who we are as a community of both dreamers and doers.
Jürgen Moltmann (2000) suggests that a life lived in community is a reflection of the divine social existence. This kind of communion reaches beyond merely recognizing each other as living image of God. It also entails the promotion of wellbeing for each member of the community. This way of being together is possible as we embrace values such as respect, solidarity, mutuality, freedom, harmony and benevolence. As we continue this level of social connection we can survive and thrive as persons and as a community.
There is a witty fable depicting this kind of interconnection among members of the community. This fable speaks of a very concerned mouse that runs in quest of help from other animals on the farm after having learned that the lady of the house has bought a new and powerful trap which threatens the mouse’s survival. The little mouse first turns to the hen in desperation, but the hen scorns his clamor, saying that it is not her problem if there is a new mousetrap in the farm. Then the little mouse reaches to the pig, who expresses sympathy for his situation but says that he does not have anything to do with it. Finally, the mouse consults with the farm’s cow, which happens to be a very well-intentioned religious being. The cow exhorts the little mouse not to be concerned about the situation because God will be there for him, and sends him away with the assurance of his good thoughts. Well, that night there is a horrific sound that cannot be anything else but the new mousetrap that has clicked off. Hearing the thunderous sound, the lady of the house gets up to find out that it is not the mouse but rather a highly venomous serpent that has become trapped. Without much time to react, the lady is bitten by the serpent and taken to the hospital. To encourage the healing of his wife, the owner of the farm kills the hen so he can make a nutritious soup for her. After several days the lady is dismissed from the hospital with a very poor prognosis. During her convalescence many people come regularly to care for her at the farm, so in order to provide food for all these people the owner of the farm decides to kill the pig. Finally, the lady dies and the cow is sacrificed so they can have enough food at the farm to feed all the people attending the wake and the funeral. This fable is a reminder that even though we may be tempted to think that the misfortunes of others do not affect us; we are always reached by them in some way or another. Indeed, we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.
In our CPSP community we have faced external and internal stressors that have challenged our very existence, but we have learned that it is by relying on each other that we are able to overcome these obstacles. This community continues to be the source of strength and the depository of resources that assists our pastoral educators and pastoral caregivers to fulfill the mission of healing, sustaining, reconciling, guiding, nourishing and advocating with competence and excellence for those at the center and for those on the margins.
The CPSP community came together in March 2012 to celebrate a diversity of voices and to recover the sense of a communal living soul. A spirit of inclusion and sacred empowering characterized the business meetings of March 25-26 as meaningful discussions were had and significant decisions were made. There were some very tense moments as members of the Governing Council engaged in heated conversations regarding a more democratic and participative style of government. As concurring and dissenting voices were heard, issues clarified, ideas validated and emotions acknowledged, the community moved toward praising the spirit of the collective over individual preferences and needs. The actions by the CPSP Governing Council, the highest authority of our community, conveyed the message of the old proverb which attests that “there is wisdom and safety in the multitude of counselors.” As the meeting came to an end what permeated the atmosphere was the conviction that following the original philosophy of government—in which each chapter remains as the heart and life of CPSP—will secure its future in the pastoral care and counseling network. There is a very promising tomorrow for this vibrant theological community. However, maintaining a shared, transparent and rotating leadership within the spirit of our covenant will require much perseverance and commitment to continue building a better humanity where justice, love and peace reign.
The. Rev. Esteban Montilla, Ph.D.
Moltmann, J., (2000). Experiences in Theology. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress.
The. Rev. Esteban Montilla, Ph.D.
Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at April 24, 2012 8:38 AM