For months I have been planning a three month sabbatical and now it’s here! On Monday I will head to Dallas for my summer at Children’s Medical Center to serve as a chaplain. I’ve been working all week to leave things “ready” for the summer at All Saints’, meeting with parish leaders, making a “summer check-list” for our staff, and more. At the same time the hospital in Dallas has asked for several documents related to immunizations, etc., so I’ve been back and forth to my doctor’s office trying to get all that organized. I even had to go have a drug screening test at a strange facility in Waltham.
I’m subletting a place from a young woman in Dallas, so I’ve been corresponding with her about how to get into the place, when, etc. I booked our hotels for the journey down to Dallas (Paul will be making the road-trip with me).
Many have asked me why I’ve chosen to do something so intense for a sabbatical. The truth is that for many years now I’ve had a real sense of call to this work. As a parish priest, some of the most meaningful pastoral moments for me have been with children and families “standing on the edge of being and knowing.” Children’s Medical Center in Dallas is a leader in the use of Godly Play in a clinical setting. I am so excited to get a chance to see their work up close, and learn something about what they know. I also hope to help them to continue to develop a training model for pediatric chaplains interested in using Godly Play as part of their work. I know I will come back with a new perspective for the work I do here in Belmont, and for my work as a Godly Play trainer. I’ll be blogging about my experiences here.
My prayer is that God will make me an instrument of peace in that place, both in my work with the children and families and with the chaplain residents at the hospital. Please join me in that prayer.
I had foot surgery back in February and I’m not yet all healed, so please pray also that my foot will heal so I can come back with some fabulous cowboy boots!