Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chaplaincy Course Lessons 1 & 2 - Rev. Ashley

To:       Rev. Amy Long
From:  Ashley Andrus
Topic: Master of Chaplaincy Studies
            Lessons 1 & 2 Homework
Lesson One
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.
Lesson Two
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.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chaplaincy Studies Lesson One

 Master of the Chaplaincy Studies
Write out a short paragraph or two on what you know of chaplains. Does your faith group or religion have chaplains or not? What is your view of chaplains and their role in society today?
I grow up catholic and serve as an altar boy. I have learn the ritual of the catholic mass and the funeral mass.

I've seen chaplain in hospital but what there work in till I'm not sure.
I'm a chaplain for SMB Holy Royal Arch Chapter 128, Masonic organization.

I believe the minister and chaplain goes hand and hand, but whit the chaplain there stepping more out of the box, especially with the tragic that is going on with the schools all over the state. Counseling all the schools such as the elementary, junior, and high would be something a chaplain would be called upon because of all the shooting that have been taking place.
Chaplain's role in today's society is very important because they are there to counsel people no matter where they are located. Chaplain are like preachers, ministers and even priest. The reason why they are a like because they are there to help people with their problem and also in their time of need. For example, a chaplain in a hospital is there to help the family deal with death and even help those believe more in their faith with God.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lesson #2

Lesson 2        My Calling and Divine Mark
Posted Yesterday, 09:25 PM
1) I think of Fr. Ralph DiOrio when I think of someone I know who has the Divine Mark. He has quite a strong Divine charisma that is palpable. When he speaks, the Holy Spirit seems to pour out of him, flood the hearts of all who are near, and those who are listening, with the heartfelt (literally) fire of the Holy Spirit. He has a definite Presence of God.

2) Yes, people have said that I am the best spiritual teacher they have ever had, giving them the most amazing meditations filled with moments close to Christ. This seems so egotistical to say, but it has been told to me, and is the answer to the question asked. When my mother was 16 years old, four years before I was born, she went to a fortune teller who told my Mom she was going to have a daughter, who the fortune teller saw was dressed all in white and was holding a candle. The fortune teller told my Mom to tell me to become a nurse. I did not become a nurse, but I did become a massage therapist and a holistic health counselor, and dressed in a white uniform for eight years. My ministry now is holding the candle. My mother, and my children have told me that they see me doing this work. Mom says I will be very good at it.

3) I have felt my calling since I was born. I have had a strong prayer life all my life, even as a very young girl. I remember being very, very young and having my beautiful mother teach me prayers. We would walk the few blocks to morning Mass every day, and during Lent, we would go to all the special services, including Holy Hour on Sundays. I fell in Love with LOVE. Before I could verbalize what I was feeling, I was FEELING; what I was FEELING was LOVE, GOD. I wanted to share this beautiful LOVE, so I began teaching CCD, while I was still taking CCD classes myself. From that time to now, I have taught every grade from first grade through adult. At 16 years old, I met with Bishop Flanagan (who is since deceased) in the Worcester Diocese in Massachusetts to help plan programs. I still have a picture of me meeting with Bishop Flanagan. Because of my unquelshable thirst for God, I would meet with the parish priest each week for spiritual direction, a protocol usually reserved for those with a "calling" like priests and nuns. This priest also became a Bishop in the Worcester Diocese, Bishop George Rueger, who has since retired, and I found myself traveling 30 minutes to get to spiritual direction. I was, after all, in the Catholic Church and could not become either of these things, a nun - or a priest, with me being married with children. I continued my studies earning a Master Catechist certification in religious instruction, and took a year long Biblical Androgogy Course for a more indepth study of the Old Testament. It was taught by a Jesuit priest. At first I did not like the presentation, because Jesuits tend to tear apart what you are comfortable in knowing about your faith, and what is left over, becomes your new and evolved faith. I did not like anyone messing with "my" theology. In hindsight, this was a beautiful course and a beautiful priest, who had the patience of a saint in dealing with my questions. However, my quest and thirst for getting "more of God," the "It" I was searching for, led me to go on every religious retreat I could find, and in some cases to organized weekends like Cursillos, Marriage Encounters, and even the ultra Catholic Opus Dei, in which I was a supernumary, learning all the doctrine and prayers reserved for priests alone for a couple of years. I have left all of these attempts to put God and people in a box of human understanding, and after much soul searching, and church hopping, and denomination hopping through Protestant Churches and New Age Energy Multidimensional Healing and Transformation classes, becoming a Master of this and a Master of that, I AM blessed with a much greater awareness of consciousness raising, personal transformation, which I believe is part of the entire ascension process, not just for myself, but every one of us who feels the quiet stirring of our hearts to come closer to the All Is One.
My blog is my worldwide ministry, and is read in over 120 countries, with over 16,500 hits. Todays post meditates on when Jesus is teaching in Greece (during those missing years of Jesus between the ages of 13-30), Jesus informs the people of his day in Greece, according to the "Aquarian Gospel Of Jesus The Christ*."
"Full well you know that there are parts of earth where its great beating heart throws heavenward etheric waves that meet the ethers from above; where spirit-light and understanding, like the stars of night, shine forth *…
"But I would tell you of a life beyond, within; a real life that can not pass away. In science and philosophy there is no power strong enough to fit a soul to recognize itself, or to commune with God. I would not stay the flow of your great streams of thought; but I would turn them to the channels of the soul.*
"Unaided by the Spirit-breath, the work of the intellection tends to solve the problems of the things we see, and nothing more. The senses were ordained to bring into the mind mere pictures of the things that pass away; they do not comprehend eternal law.*
"But man has something in his soul, a something that will tear the veil apart that he may see the world of real things.*
"We call this something, spirit consciousness; it sleeps in every soul, and cannot be awakened till the Holy Breath becomes a welcome guest.*
"This Holy Breath knocks at the door of every soul, but cannot enter in until the will of man throws wide the door.*
"There is no power in intellect to turn the key; philosophy and science both have toiled to get a glimpse behind the veil; but have failed.*
"The secret spring that throws ajar the door of soul is touched by nothing else than purity in life, by prayer and holy thought.*
I feel, (and have always felt), very close to God, and often feel the Presence of the Holy Spirit in my heart. I feel the constant deep abiding Peace that known no bounds.

Lesson #1

Hi Rev. Daniel Moore,
I'm just noticing that you would like the homework assignments sent to this email address. Here is Lesson #1, that I already posted on the ULC Forum Chaplaincy Site too.
Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:54 PM
I find it very interesting that while I have not had much exposure to chaplains in my life, outside of the chaplain in the '70's TV show "Mash," I find much of my life's work, and currently with by worldwide blog, that I walk in the footsteps of the chaplain, the keeper of the sacred. I absolutely love that phrase. I had my own massage therapy business for 12 years. I know people came to me in pain, looking for release of this pain, but often would tell me they came because by the end of their session, they felt lighter, happier, and somehow, closer to God. I gave back to the community by holding monthly meditation nights once a month for eight years. People of all faiths, and some with no faith at all, would attend. Although I have had no real life exposure to the work of a chaplain, I believe God opened doors for me to be exactly in this place, at this exact moment in time, to do exactly this work. With my blog: www.lindahourihan.wordpress.com, I reach people in over 120 countries, with over 16,000 hits, in just over one year. This is quite humbling. I think with main stream religions having a hard time filling their churches, and in some cases closing their doors, that the work of being a chaplain is more needed than ever before. I AM looking forward to this incredible journey.
Divine Love and Light,
Rev. Linda M. Hourihan, DD

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chaplain Studies Lesson 3 - Rev. Westbrook

My teaching skills are 2nd to none. I find myself teaching others all the time, especially my parents .
As far as my scripture knowledge is concerned I am greatly lacking. I have a Bible verse a day emailed to me a day.
I am hoping to increase my abilities.

Due to my handicap I find I have numerous opportunities to witness to others. My guinea pig Pumpkin is my favorite subject. She has brought strong healing energy to our household. My mothers blood pressure and life long sleep issues are resolving. Dad who due to age was not into pets. During the depression there wasn't money for luxuries like food for animals that would not be eaten. He can't get enough of Pumpkin.

Good character that's me. I don't know why but this aspect of my life comes easy. I really don't know what else to say. I do love self help books. Self improvement is my hobby.

Being faithful till marriage is an interesting concept. One I will face with future church member's of mine. I need to decide what I will do when I start dating again. (I had major health issues) . No sex. That would push for a commitment or move on by guys I date. The men I date are extra special. Due to my handicap. This should add a new facet.
Rev. Westbrook

Chaplaincy Comments from Rev. Dunkel

What I know about Chaplains
Chaplains are found in many places.  Until I read this lesson, I only knew about hospital, hospice, & military chaplains.  Now I know that they can serve almost anywhere, even in shopping centers. Chaplains can be from any religious or spiritual background & serve wherever people might need spiritual counseling or guidance, & help in praying to their higher power or G-d.
Reflections – Rev. Leza Dunkel
I have met several ministers in my life that had a true aura of peaceful energy that provoked a profound trust in them & what they said & stood for.  I have been told by a number of people that I would be a wonderful pastor due to my helpful & serene guidance to others.
I would like to be able to be available to others on a regular basis to give counsel & help in prayer to whoever a person's divine deity may be called.  I believe that everyone has a right to their own beliefs, as long as they do not push it on others as the only right way to believe.  I want to promote harmony between religions.
Master of Chaplaincy Studies – Lesson 3 – Reflections – Rev Leza Dunkel
A self-evaluation of my present skills, strengths, & weaknesses
·        Faithful – I am widowed & was faithful to my husband. I am also faithful to my friends & family.
·        Good Character – I am open minded to others beliefs & am not prone to judge others. I believe I am a good person & wish no harm to anything.
·        Good testimony – People who know me, know I am of good character & speak well of my demeanor.
·        Sound in Doctrine – This is an area in which I need to improve. I have studied many different religions, & know a little about a lot of different beliefs. I need to study several religious backgrounds in more depth, & to be able to nail down & speak of my own spiritual beliefs (which are very eclectic), both to myself & to others.
·        Able to teach – I am able to teach on tolerance, personal peace, & love of life in general.
I need to do further studies to improve my knowledge of different religions & faiths. I also need to go inside myself to reflect on what it is I truly believe in. This program of study, along with my BA in comparative religion, & other ULC Seminary study programs, will help me on my own spiritual path, & my path to serve others.
Master of Chaplaincy Studies – Lesson 4 – reflections – Rev Leza Dunkel
Though I have been a member of Religious Science churches for a number of years, I am now drawn towards the Unitarian Universalist faith.
When researching these 2 faiths within the military chaplaincy, I found no Religious Science ministers; & only 10 to 20 from the UU community. I am not surprised at these low numbers, because there are probably not many soldiers from these faiths within the military. I am glad, however, that there are a growing number of UU seminary students planning on serving as military chaplains.
UU ministers in military service can promote religious tolerance of the different faiths of military personnel, & the combatants that they encounter. In current conflicts in the Middle East, this could be quite helpful due to the religious nature of the conflicts.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Master of Chaplaincy Studies Lesson 1

3. Write out a short paragraph or two on what you know of chaplains. Does your faith group or religion have chaplains or not? What is your view of chaplains and their role in society today?

I know that Chaplains do indeed work towards helping others without their own personal religious or faith bias. I was in the hospital once visiting my husband after a knee surgery and had a decent size conversation over the course of his time in the hospital with the Chaplain. He told me of the training he had at a local school just for Chaplains. We had spoken of our faith belief with him and he was extremely interested as he had not pursued the Wiccan or any Pagan faith for knowledge but was thinking about doing it. Together we learned much of the similarities of the core basic ideas and beliefs we shared. 

My faith group is so varied on what the groups do. When I mentor students for their First Degree Wiccan Clergy in the Tradition, I share all of the wonderful things we are able to do to help others. We serve our fellow Wiccans, Pagans, or anyone needing help. They do not specifically have a Chaplain group that I know of. It would be a great idea though.

I think Chaplains are only remembered during serious disasters and mostly known to Fire, Police, and Hospitals. Today's general public probably doesn't even know or understand what a Chaplain is. If Chaplains were more visible they would inspire others with their ways of un biased love and help for humanity(even animals).

Cheryl Lynn Hewitt