Pastoral Report Articles 

  • 09 Oct 2019 8:37 PM | Perry Miller, Editor

    The week of October 20-26, 2019
    represents 34 years of celebrating
    Pastoral Care Week.

    Pastoral Care Week is a time of both celebration and education.  Organizations and institutions throughout the world will recognize the pastoral care providers and the pastoral care given through professional chaplaincy and pastoral counseling within our communities.  The theme, “Hospitality: Cultivating Space” offers a rich opportunity to develop relationships and extend hospitality to those who extend pastoral care, to those who collaborate with pastoral care providers and to those who are the recipients of pastoral care.

    Pastoral care has been an important part of our society’s well-being since humanity sought meaning and connection in its life together. Religions and communities have valued its supportive influence. Hospitality as welcome and nurture requires space for people to feel free and accepted. As cultivation requires ground with which to work, the holy ground of creation is a wonderful starting point.  This year's theme might have some thinking of Community Gardens - a shared space where communities grow together as they grow together. Pastoral care takes seriously the meaningful nature of the space in which we live - its physical realities and its metaphorical meaning. Thus, there is value in providing space where one can feel safe and sheltered, space that allows dignity and creativity and spaces where reflection and worship enrich well-being and humanity.

    The offering of space can involve silence. A person can find silence in one’s space and likewise one can create space in silence. Cultivating space can be an opportunity to create something where there was once nothingness. What a person does with his or her space is personal be it reflective or shared. When space is cultivated, it is dug out, set aside, nurtured for a purpose. If someone allows you into that space it is an invitation where silence can speak and meaning can be fostered. May this year’s focus bless you with space to offer careful spirituality.

    Pastoral Care Week is supported by the COMISS Network: The Network on Ministry in Specialized Settings (COMISS).   COMISS members provide care in specialized settings such as hospitals, prisons, businesses, industries, long-term care facilities, pastoral counseling centers, hospices, military settings, nursing homes, corporations, congregations of sisters, priests and brothers, schools and universities throughout the world.  Among the variety of celebrations will be hand-blessing ceremonies for health workers; open houses; poetry jams by clients; lecture series and luncheons.  Many resources are available, including governmental proclamations, artwork, and merchandise, at or

  • 07 Oct 2019 8:39 PM | Perry Miller, Editor

    Editor's Note: 
    William Alberts, CPSP Diplomate, and author, is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University School of Theology. 

    Reverend Scott Campbell, who introduced Dr. Alberts, said, Whether the arena be politics, race, poverty, environment, war, economic exploitation, or a score of other affronts to justice, Bill's critique has grown more incisive, his passion for what is good more true, and his commitment to speak truth to power more consuming. 

    Bill is a courageous and prophetic voice who often disturbs we the "comfortable." His not so gentle nudge in his writing often feels like a hammer blow to the head when he addresses matters of injustice. His disturbing voice on current affairs is rarely welcomed by many but needed. 

    Below is a video of Bill Alberts' presentation at the event and a copy of Dr. Campbell's introduction

    Download: Dr. Campbell's Introduction

    Distinguished Alumni Panel, 19-Sept. 2019
    (Bill Alberts' presentation starts at 52 minutes into the video)

  • 10 Sep 2019 11:12 PM | Admin Office (Administrator)

    Thirty-seven members from ten chapters in Region 2 gathered August 18-19, 2019 in Gettysburg, PA to deal with recent traumatic events such as the Tree of Life synagogue shootings this past October in Pittsburgh. 

    Certified traumatologist, Dr. Patti Anewalt, led the group through large and small group exercises. Dr. Anewalt shared her experience and expertise, including the downing of Flight 93 in Shanksville on 911 and the massacre of Amish school children in 2006.  However, according to David Berg, CPSP Diplomate and Region 2 Representative to the Chapter of Chapters, who organized the event, the retreat focused much more on how all of us as caregivers deal with tragedy and trauma in our own lives. 

  • 21 Aug 2019 7:07 AM | Perry Miller, Editor

    Editor’s note: Stephen Faller is a Board Certified Clinical Chaplain/Pastoral Counselor and a Diplomate Clinical Education/Training Supervisor with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. He is the manager of the Department of Pastoral Care and a CPE Training Supervisor at Capital Health in Hopewell, NJ.

    The description provided for Christianity and the Art of Wheelchair Maintenance on Chaplain Faller’s Amazon page, posted below, suggest the reader will be in for a treat: 


    After twenty years, Stephen Faller shares his journey into seminary and ordained ministry. CPSP’s Stephen Faller, Diplomate, BCCC, BCPC, publishes his fourth book, Christianity and the Art of Wheelchair Maintenance, which reveals the story of how someone with a lifelong disability, cerebral palsy, might find his way into ministry as a hospital chaplain; there is a certain irony in that. While particular in its own right, this story will speak to anyone in college or graduate school studying one of the many disciplines hoping to make the world a better place. 

    Through both narrative and dialogue, Faller engages philosophers and theologians alike. This is an intimate text that seeks to integrate mind, body, and spirit that situates itself more beyond the margins than as marginalized. 

    Just as Faller’s own narrative is contextualized by disability, this personal work is contextualized in our polarized and politicized culture, as it considers the meaning of ministry for a contemporary time. Faller's is an embedded text that speaks to a multicultural society, even if that body carries brokenness and even if that society is divided. 

    Stephen Faller is also the author of Beyond the Matrix (2004), Reality TV (2009), and The Art of Spiritual Midwifery (2015). He has a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and a Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He can be reached at

  • 13 Aug 2019 4:10 PM | Perry Miller, Editor

    Micheal Eselun at TEDx UCLA - click the photo to view the video

    Michael Eselun, CPSP Board Certified Clinical Chaplain, was recently selected as a member of the Semel Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) Eudaimonia Society. His presentation is linked to the photo, above, or click HERE to view Michael's TEDx UCLA talk associated with this award.

    The organization at the University of California, Los Angeles  focuses on food, built environment, physical activity, emotional and social wellbeing through innovation around curriculum, programs, policy, and infrastructure. 

    Michael was nominated by ten members of the UCLA community and selected for his compassion to help cancer patients find meaning and hope in their experience. He was inducted into the Eudaimonia Society on April 29, 2019 and honored along with six additional UCLA students, faculty, staff, and alumni, who each uniquely embodied Eudaimonia in their own lives and serve as an inspiration to the campus. 

    Michael serves as the chaplain for the Simms/Mann‐UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, serving those touched by cancer at UCLA in the outpatient setting. He has worked extensively in palliative care, hospice, and acute adult psychiatric patients. Highly regarded as a keynote speaker, Michael speaks extensively to healthcare professionals, patient populations and faith communities across the country. Michael weaves stories with vulnerability, insight, and humor– stories that reflect the deeper questions of life, mortality, and meaning.  He’s been widely published in journals, and Michael also has a TED talk available via YouTube called, “It’s Magic.”

    Michael was featured in CPSP's podcast, Chaplaincy Alive!, in December 2016where he spoke about his work with hospice and palliative care patients, his TEDx talks and lectures, his writings, and his background working in the entertainment industry. You can learn more about his work or contact him through his website at

  • 06 Aug 2019 9:25 PM | Perry Miller, Editor

    Editor's Note: 
    Chaplain Patty Berrón, BCCC, BCPC, and a member of the Dallas Metroplex, TX Chapter, who along with colleagues, is providing leadership clinical care and counseling to those who are suffering in this tragic national crisis. 

    Here is Chaplain Berrón's report to the CPSP Community.

    To the CPSP Community; 

    With sadness and hearts that are broken, we unify ourselves with the communities that suffered these pass mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. We, like they, are in shock looking for answers. 

    So far, what the investigators found is that both are hate terrorism crimes with access to weapons of mass destruction.

    Families of the victims are mourning while putting crosses with the names of their love ones in public places. The  communities on both sides of the border are responded by bringing flowers, donating blood, donations, and meeting in prayer. In addition, the communities are also calling their representatives demanding action to prevent what is preventable. These acts of terrorism are outrageous, we should not tolerate them.

    Clinical Chaplains, and other mental health professional, are providing counseling to the individuals and families who have been impacted by the shooting and human slaughter.

    We need to stand up and advocate what our country is meant to be: a place that is welcoming, accepting and protecting. We need to raise our voices to make a statement that the lives of people are more valuable than guns.  

    We must unify ourselves to make us stronger and collaborate on all the different ways available, face to face or at distance. Let’s stand and work together. 

    Below are some of the links that you might use:

    The El Paso Community Foundation has set up an online fund to help those impacted by the shooting. The foundation said it will waive administrative fees and pay credit card fees associated with fundraising for the victims, and that it will work with the city of El Paso and the county to disburse funds.

    The Veterans Affairs of El Paso urged any victims, or family of victims, who are veterans to call the Veteran Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

    Perches Funeral Homes will provide free funerals to the victims of the mass shooting. To learn more, call (915) 532-2101.

    Operation Hope will be partnering with Sunset and Martin Funeral Homes to assist victim's families with funeral expenses, according to ABC News affiliate KVIA.

    The family assistance center is up and running at the Convention Center. Family and friends looking for information on loved ones can come to the Convention Center or call (937) 333-8430.

    Please know that there is a great need for blood donors across the nation and the sad events in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, Ohio have greatly increased this blood need. We give you an attentive invitation to make an appointment to donate blood, you can go to or and put your zip code to find the blood banks closest to your area. In advance, we appreciate your collaboration.

    Peace to all.

  • 23 Jul 2019 2:31 PM | Perry Miller, Editor

    We're pleased to announce that registration is now open for the National Clinical Training Seminar - East (NCTS-East) event, November 4–5, 2019 in Morristown, NJ. The theme of this Fall's event is: "Pastoral Aesthetics: Ministry as Subversive Imagination in the Age of the Overwhelm."

    We're even more excited to tell you about our guest speaker, Robert C. Dykstra, Ph.D., a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and author!

    Dr. Dykstra is on the editorial boards of Pastoral Psychology and the Journal of Childhood and Religion and he is the co-founder of the annual scholarly conference “Group for New Directions in Pastoral Theology.” His books include Finding Ourselves Lost: Ministry in the Age of Overwhelm (Cascade Books, 2018); The Faith and Friendships of Teenage Boys (Westminster John Knox Press, 2012), with Allan Hugh Cole Jr. and Donald Capps; Losers, Loners, and Rebels: The Spiritual Struggles of Boys, also co-authored with Cole and Capps (Westminster John Knox Press, 2007); Images of Pastoral Care: Classic Readings (Chalice Press, 2005); Discovering a Sermon: Personal Pastoral Preaching (Chalice Press, 2001); and Counseling Troubled Youth (Westminster John Knox Press, 1997). CPSP honored Dr. Dystra's significant contribution in the field of clinical pastoral training, awarding him with the Helen Flanders Dunbar Award in 2005. 

    This event will take place at the Loyola Retreat Center in Morristown, NJ. Registration is open for everyone - non-members of CPSP are welcome to join us for this special event. The deadline for registration is October 25 and we're anticipating a big turnout for this event. 

    For more information please visit the event page (link).

    Register NOW!

  • 26 Jun 2019 4:13 PM | Perry Miller, Editor

    The poet Emma Lazarus, who lived in New York City and died in 1887 at the age of 38, wrote the brief poem that is inscribed on our Statue of Liberty:

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    The new, 2019 version:

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, 
    And I’ll see that they drown with their children in the Rio Grande."

    Photo Credit CNNPhoto Credit: CNN
    "Cuomo and Lemon Discuss Border Photo of Dead Man and Daughter",, 06-26-2019.
    CNN's Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon discuss the shocking image of a drowned man and his daughter at the US border.


    THE NEW COLOSSUS by Emma Lazarus

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

    Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    With silent lips, "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    Raymond J. Lawrence, General Secretary

  • 30 Apr 2019 9:56 PM | Perry Miller, Editor

    (L-R): Fran Nichols, Scott Smith, Dr. Larry Moss, Jane Mericle, Dr. Mary Lee, Dr. Roy Proujansky, Kelly Thompson, and Dr. Al Carden 

    When Kelly Thompson's fourth child was born, she was not expected to survive a year, a month, or even a week. With such devastating news, Kelly had to dig deep to be strong for her family. She leaned on her faith with the support of Chaplain Scott Smith, who was by her side through some of her darkest moments, and the Pastoral Care team at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (N/AIDHC). Her daughter Kara is now six years old.

    Today, Kelly shared her experience and appreciation as she joined Dr. Larry Moss, Nemours President and CEO, and Dr. Roy Proujansky, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive of Delaware Valley Operations, in a ceremony in the Atrium of N/AIDHC to recognize and celebrate the Pastoral Care team for their seven-year re-accreditation of the Clinical Pastoral Education/Training (CPE/T) program. 

    "To put this in perspective," said Dr. Proujansky, "this is like the Chaplaincy equivalent of achieving Magnet status." 

  • 15 Apr 2019 9:06 PM | Perry Miller, Editor

    Authority, Leadership and Spirituality

    In A Culture of Nationalism

    A Group Relations Program
    at the
    National Clinical Training Seminars (NCTS) Conference

    College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy
    Loyola Retreat House, Morristown, NJ
    April 29-30, 2019

    This program provides members with opportunities to experience and study the nature of authority and the interpersonal and intergroup problems encountered in its exercise. The ability of individuals to work effectively in groups and organizations is influenced by the way in which authority is vested, and how responsibilities for leadership and followership are assumed. The forces which influence this process can best be understood when they are seen in actual operation. Therefore, this program offers the opportunity to study what happens in and among groups at the same time it is happening. Consequently, the learning which takes place occurs from the direct experience of the individual. The aim is to bring together experience and thought, emotion and intellect, without neglecting one for the other.

    Since the exercise of authority is dependent upon the presence of others, the program’s focus of study is upon groups rather than individual personalities. Although the individual is important, it is our experience that the complexities of group life are best examined and understood when the attention shifts from the narrower perspectives of the individual to the group as a whole. This broadened perspective, shifting the emphasis from the individual to the group, distinguishes this program from sensitivity training or encounter groups.

    The program is open-ended in that that there is no attempt to prescribe what anyone shall learn. The intent, rather, is to provide an institutional structure within which program participants can experience and examine the many dimensions and aspects of authority in a variety of contexts. Participants will have opportunities to:

    · Examine the nature of leadership, authority and spirituality in diverse groups and organizations;

    · Explore the development of collective dynamics, overt and covert, in group settings, and examine the influence of such dynamics on the life of the group-as-a-whole and on individual group members;

    · Explore questions about leadership, authority and spirituality, membership and participation, sub-group formation, issues of social identity, as they emerge; and 

    · Examine the concepts of boundary, authority, role and task as they relate to the work of diverse groups and organizations.

    Program Events

    Program Opening:  As the initial event of the program, the Opening involves all members and staff.  The Program Director will introduce the task, provide a brief theoretical framework for our work, and review the events. 

    The Large Group: All members and staff of the program will comprise the Large Group in a here and now format. The task of the Large Group is to study the group’s behavior as it occurs, with the assistance of the Program Director. While the Large Group also provides opportunities to explore both the overt and covert factors influencing behavior in groups and how members take up personal authority, it highlights dynamics that may occur in large assemblies or in crowds or mobs, where face-to-face interactions are limited. The formation includes a spiral of participants in the center of the room who will actively participate as they are encircled by an outer ring of participants who will serve as silent observers. All members will take up both roles. In these dual roles members and staff will have the opportunity to experience and examine aspects of the system as they occur in the “here-and-now.”

    Program Discussion: Following the fourth Large Group which is the last “here-and-now” event, this event provides an opportunity for everyone to speak and reflect on the program experience together.


    Kimberley A. Turner, PhD, M. Div., Consultant. Associate Minister, Metropolitan Baptist Church, Washington, DC; Program Manager, D.C. Health Department; Past President, the Washington-Baltimore Center for the Study of Group Relations, and Associate, A.K. Rice Institute.


    The Loyola Retreat House is at
    161 James Street, Morristown, NJ 07960,
    and can be reached by calling (973) 539-0740. 

    Registration deadline is 20-April 2019. 

    Please read the registration options carefully - if you need to arrive the night before the conference, there is an option for early arrivals on Sunday, 29-April after 3 PM. 

    There is a $50 non-fundable deposit for cancellations. 

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