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Epiphany, Chaplains and an Ordination

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, a celebration of the Zoroastrian leaders who were faithful astrologers from the Middle East (likely Iran). Bringing gifts of frankincense and myrrh, these interfaith chaplains brought an ancient reminder that it is possible to be injured without dying:

"Extracting the sap is a tenuous dance—you must injure the tree without killing it. If done properly, the wound will stimulate a process called “gummosis,” which is exactly what it sounds like: the tree tries to gum up the damage, and you can carve off the resulting ooze for your own uses." (Cummins, E., Popular Science, 2021)

While some have interpreted the life, death and resurrection of Christ into a theology that proclaims that God needs or likes suffering, I believe the scattered reminders of Lent in Christmastide and Epiphany are God's proclaim that God is with us when our humanness is palpable. This includes the intersectional complex times that may be healthy, hopeful and joyous, and also full of emergencies, disasters and death.

Chaplaincy is a type of ministry that cares for people during hard transitions, emergencies and in work spaces that include regular exposures to first hand or vicarious trauma (compassion fatigue). During the election for Bishop, I spoke about my vision for chaplaincy in our Synod. I invite you to listen to my vision below: