Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling

Spiritual Care Week 2019 Part 2: Cultivating Space in Your Ministry Setting

Each year the COMISS Network promotes Spiritual Care Week. It is an occasion to recognize the different disciplines who offer spiritual care to persons. The theme for 2019 is Cultivating Space. Throughout this week you will hear from CBF endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors as they focus on this theme. Below is Part 2. Learn more about Spiritual Care Week at spiritualcareweek.org

By Chaplain Inetta Reddell 

InettaReddell

Chaplain Inetta Reddell

Immanuel Kant is one of the most intellectual minds that has spurred me to stretch beyond comprehension.

Kant asserts, “In whatsoever mode, or by whatsoever means, our knowledge may relate to objects, it is at least quite clear that the only way it immediately relates to them is by means of an intuition. To this as the indispensable groundwork, all thought points. But an intuition can take place only in so far as the object is given to us. This, again, is only possible, to man at least, on condition that the object affect the mind in a certain manner. The capacity for receiving representations (receptivity) through the mode in which we are affected by objects, is called sensibility. By means of sensibility, therefore, objects are given to us, and it alone furnishes us with intuitions; by the understanding they are thought, and from it arise conceptions. But all thought must directly, or indirectly, by means of certain signs relate ultimately to intuitions; consequently, with us, to sensibility, because in no other way can an object be given to us.”[1]

So, would it be a stretch of the imagination to assert that within many of our context of ministries the objects of our settings would be patients, clients, employees, their family, and the broader context thereof? If you concur with that premise, to add to that framework, I would assert what has disappointed me in my former context and observations, is while my system worked very hard at cultivating space and had some great incentives to invoke hospitality initiatives; there was still a huge disconnect, and there was still a great part of the population that was culturally desensitized.

Civility use to be the norm it ranked high on the scale of morality. In fact, it was just one of those expected behavioral adages one was expected to implore. However, today many are isolated and one on one communication has become a secondary source. In the interim, technology has become our primary focus and has forced many to use that as a shield to hide behind. Consequently, the culture has become evasive and complacent when it comes to teaching one another with the dignity, respect and sensibility individuals ought to receive.

It’s always been amazing to me how I observe colleagues attend meetings with one another and in fact sit shoulder to shoulder with one another and later pass by them in a corridor and an hour later that colleague will walk by the other without any acknowledgement whatsoever. If you’re guilty of that, I ask you why? I believe that it serves one no purpose in directly, or indirectly asserting discounting, dismissive and or demeaning decorum.

As I surmise, I know firsthand, my former administration went through a great deal of strides to ensure the employees at that fine institution had a place of welcoming and inviting hospitality and laid the indispensable groundwork as Kant asserts previously.  It will serve individuals, me included to do their part to acquiesce and remember the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto thee.” Luke 6:31

[1] Kant, Immanuel, (1996) Great Books: Transcendental Doctrine of Elements. Chicago, IL:  Encyclopedia Britannica.  p.13

Rev. Inetta Reddell is currently a Certified Educator Supervisory Student at Advocate Health System in Libertyville, Illinois. She is a Board-Certified Chaplain and has been endorsed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship since 2013. She has a degree in Legal Studies (Northwestern, Chicago, IL.); MA in Pastoral Counseling (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL); MA in Bioethics (Trinity Graduate School, Deerfield, IL); and a Masters of Divinity (Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL).

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