To: Rev. Amy Long
From: Ashley Andrus
Topic: Master of Chaplaincy Studies
Lessons 1 & 2 Homework
Q: Write out a short paragraph or two on what you know of chaplains.
A: I've known about chaplains since I was young child attending a local United Methodist Church in our area. However, back then I didn't know what a chaplain did. I had the idea that it was something similar to what our pastor did but didn't know the specifics.
Today I understand that a chaplain is someone who visits the ones who are in need of spiritual guidance or someone to listen outside of an assigned church. A lot of these places are in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, ect.
Thanks to the lesson, I now know that they can be found in schools, in the military and at truck stops.
Q: Does your faith group or religion have chaplains or not?
A: The only Wiccan chaplains I can think of are the ones in the military. It's not very common to hear of them elsewhere.
Q: What is your view of chaplains and their role in society today?
A: I think chaplains are a very important and integral part of our society today. I think it's great that although the chaplain can hold their own faith they are also knowledgeable and accepting of other faiths around them as well. This would be especially important if they were ministering to a person of another faith without trying to convert them.
Q: Describe someone you know who has the Divine Mark. What set them apart?
A: I know of two and I think only putting one down as an answer wouldn't be fair to either of them. It was the assistant pastor. I've known this woman since I was 15 and every time I see her, I can feel this giant glow around her as if the Holy Spirit had been permanently implanted in her. She is a very sincere, friendly and good person. I love her a lot.
Another woman is one who is the deacon of an Assemblies of God church here in the same area. I was in a very bad time in my life when I first entered the church. There were women who introduced me to a few people and they picked out one woman in particular, telling me that she has a strong faith in God and if I ever had any questions I didn't feel comfortable asking the pastor(who is a great guy, too) I could always ask her
While I was making my way to my seat, the same woman they talked about, approached me with a big hug, talking in tongues the entire time. She had no idea who I was and immediately prophecied to me. I could feel the heavy, warm glow around her as well. She was indeed touched by the Holy Spirit.
Q: Has anyone observed the mark in you? Write down what they have said.
A: I remember going to a church with my Mum and we were waiting in the main hall for services. A woman came up to us and asked us if we needed any prayer. So, we bowed our heads and prayed for that circumstance(I can't remember what it was now). The woman said to me, without knowing I wasn't Christian, that I definitely had the Lord in me. Hearing this was really touching.
Q: Consider your calling. Describe it in a paragraph or two.
A: I have been told that I am a good listener and when advice is needed I usually have the right things to say. Not always things that are wanting to be heard but the outright truth of the situation. I think this thing had been on me for quite some time, I was just too young and self-involved to see it. For a long time I wanted to be a priestess but I had no idea how to go about doing that or what kind of certificates or permission I needed to have.
A lot of people have helped me along the way. I have grown up with terrible emotional issues that I just could not solve on my own. For a long time I had thought I was Wiccan, however, I was fighting every belief system that was contrary or contradicting my narrow-minded views. I had become what I hated the most. It wasn't until I learned the skill of letting go that I could really become my potential.
All the icky-ness was stuck to me until I had a nervous breakdown. All those attachments, all those prejudices – gone in less than a day.
When I had become well after this episode I had decided that I wanted to be happy. I was sorry for the way I had treated the people who had helped me.
I had a new beginning and decided to make the best of it. And I did. I finally put my faith in God and decided that I can't control everything and there was a reason for that. Finally, I became less cranky and emotional and actually took a turn for the good. Going through mental health awareness and skills classes I learned that life isn't as bad as I had once thought.
Now I want to be able to not only repay the people who were there for me, even at my worst, but to make them proud by having the ability to help and empathize with others.
I jumped from one belief system to the next until I found where I can grow the best. I feel so blessed to be chosen by my Goddess and the All Father. This isn't where it ends, though. Wicca isn't where I'm stopping, though. I have been and am studying different religions and belief systems that way I can be the best help as possible to those in need.
This is what I've always wanted to do as a child. I just reached adolescence and forgot that dream.
But it's here now.