Congratulations to Cantor Rita Glassman, a 2013-2014 year-long CPE chaplain intern, and to the Rev. Alice Cabotaje, a Supervisory Candidate, whose poems were recently published in Synapse, the student newspaper at UCSF. To read their poems, you can go to this URL: http://synapse.ucsf.edu/articles/2014/04/24/tabula-2014View Post
We are pleased to announce the publication of an article co-written by the Rev. Dr. Michele Shields, UCSF’s director of spiritual care services, with Chaplain Allison Kestenbaum of Jewish Theological Seminary (NYC) and Dr. Laura Dunn of UCSF’s department of psychiatry, based on the research project that was funded by the HealthCare Chaplaincy and the John Templeton Foundation. The article, entitled “Spiritual AIM and the Work of the Chaplain,” has been published in the journal Palliative & Supportive Care and is copyright © 2014 by Cambridge University Press.
Pictured from left to right: Dr. Laura Dunn, Dr. Michele Shields, and Chaplain Allison Kestenbaum, in Atlanta (October 2013).
More articles based upon this research project are expected to be submitted for publication in the near future, so stay tuned! And congratulations to the co-authors and everyone on the project team for their enthusiastic commitment to this cutting-edge research venture.
In March 2014, Spiritual Care Services chaplains toured the site of the new Mission Bay hospitals that UCSF is building and expects to open in February 2015. Pictured here are the Rev. Susan Conrad, who will serve as the on-site chaplain supervisor, and the Rev. Will Hocker, who is a staff chaplain for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. The new campus will include the children’s hospital (seen in far background), the UCSF Bakar Cancer Hospital, and the UCSF Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital.
UCSF Medical Center Spiritual Care Services, Psycho-Oncology and the Symptom Management Service for cancer have won a $250,000 research grant from the John Templeton Foundation, a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. HealthCare Chaplaincy, a leader in advancing the role of chaplaincy care, recently announced the six recipients chosen from 72 institutions that submitted proposals to identify and explore hypotheses regarding chaplains’ contributions to palliative care.
These Templeton grants are the largest in size and scope for professional chaplaincy. UCSF’s project is for a “Spiritual Assessment and Intervention Model (AIM) in Outpatient Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Cancer,” led by Dr. Laura Dunn, Rev. Dr. Michele Shields, Chaplain Allison Kestenbaum, Dr. Mike Rabow, Rev. Will Hocker, and Dr. Dan Dohan. Spiritual AIM is the model of spiritual care that has been taught to chaplains and used with patients at UCSF Medical Center for the past seven years. For more information: http://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/templeton-research-project.htmlView Post
Volunteers in Concert is officially underway!
High school age summer volunteers are visiting patients and their loved ones accompanied by Music is Good Medicine Coordinator and Chaplain, Pegi Walker.
Volunteers in Concert is a collaboration between UCSF Medical Center and Benioff Children’s Hospital Spiritual Care Services and Volunteer Services.
If we missed you or your staff and you would like to receive a blessing, it’s not too late! Call Spiritual Care Services and we would be happy to come to you. 415.353.1941
Seventh Annual Thelma Shobe Endowed Lecture on
Ethics, Spirituality and Health
at UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
6 PM: Religion and the Case for Women’s Reproductive Freedom.
Rev. Rita Nakashima Brock, Ph.D.
Research Professor of Theology and Culture
Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, Texas
Many religious traditions support reproductive freedom for women. This lecture will discuss the religious basis for protecting women’s access to this freedom, and the problems of religions that do not respect the full humanity of women as moral decision-makers. In addition, it will discuss the moral ambiguities and anguish for some women as they consider terminating a pregnancy and responsible spiritual care for women making decisions about reproduction.
7 PM: Abortion, Conscience, and the Ethics of Provision
Margaret Olivia Little, Ph.D
Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Access to abortion is a fundamental right; its availability critical to women’s well-being and ability to meaningfully author a life. Yet the morality of abortion is also something about which truly good and reasonable people disagree. Given this fact, how are we to think about the role — and limit — of conscientious objection in the provision of abortion? Some reject any role for conscientious objection; others defend its role as absolute; I argue that neither approach suffices. The social life of abortion needs to be acknowledged as a nuanced one, reflecting the fundamental complexity inherent to the issue.
8 PM Discussion
In our work with patients across the life-cycle, we are often touched by their wisdom, self-awareness and sense of humor. This blessing, attributed to an unnamed seventieth-century nun, preaches a message of revealing truth through self-discovery and humility. No matter where any of us are in the aging process, may the sentiment of this poem inspire us to have grace, lightness and humor for ourselves and others.
Prayer for Old Age
Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am getting older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details, give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others’ pains, but help me to endure them with patience.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint—some of them are so hard to live with—but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Following the frightening and sad events in Boston last week, we came across two commentaries, from very different kinds of sources. These commentaries reflect a common and poignant theme – kindness and humanity prevail, even in the most unspeakably tragic moments. One is from comedian Patton Oswalt and the other from a Christian Minister, Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto.
We offer these excerpts as a prayer, for all those impacted by this tragedy.
Patton Oswalt on Facebook (excerpt)
“I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, ‘Well, I’ve had it with humanity.’
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem…But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out… But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evildoers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good out number you, and we always will.’”
From Rev. Dr. Eric D. Berretto, “Love and Hope in the Wake of Boston”
We should have stopped trying by now. We should have thrown up our hands in despair and cried, “Enough.” We should have relented by now, given up any hope that our lives would cease being punctuated by random violence. We should have stopped hoping for something different.
But we haven’t.
Not when planes crashed from the skies. Not when bullets stilled the vibrant energy of an elementary school. Not when the the quotidian violence of our neighborhoods rip apart communities and the media pays no heed. Not when death strikes so indiscriminately, so cruelly.
And we didn’t stop hoping yesterday when a moment of victory for runners and spectators was shattered by crude violence. First responders and onlookers alike rushed to the aid of others in the midst of potential danger. My Facebook wall lit up with prayers and cries of hope. In response to casual cruelty, the world reacted with compassion.
It may be that despite the many instances of malice that seek to tear us apart and to cause us to lose hope what binds us together is stronger. It may be that “love never ends” as the Apostle Paul once wrote to a Corinthian church community fraying at its edges. Love, he said, “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:7).
This is not the sappy love of pop songs or the fleeting infatuations we incorrectly label as love. This love, true love is at the very core of whom God has made us to be. This is persistent love, love that refuses to give into the cruelties of this world. This is an indefatigable love.
As a Christian, my faith has shown me that God dwells in love, inhabits love, embodies love. This radiant, ever-present love is the source of my hope in times like these.
And this love binds us not because we believe the same things or attend the same church or even because we are citizens of the same nation. This love binds us because we are humans created in the very image of God. In moments of great inhumanity, it is the miracle of God’s love that our true humanity, what most makes us the people God created us to be, crowds out the darkness. In the end, it is our love for another that shines most brightly.
When we heal the wounded, we love one another. When we pray for the grieving, we love one another. When we hope against hope for a better world, we love one another. The perpetrators of violence never succeed as long as love abides.
By this point, we should have stopped the race, given up hope of ever seeing the finish line. We should have counted all our hopes as vanity and delusion.
But we don’t because even on a day like yesterday, love wins. Love always wins.
The Symptom Management Service, Spiritual Care Services and Art for Recovery invite you to:
The 5th annual
Day of Remembering at UCSF/Mount Zion
Herbst Hall, 2nd Floor UCSF Mount Zion Hospital 1600 Divisadero Street San Francisco, CA 94115
Thursday, May 9, 2012 From 4:00-5:30 PM
An opportunity to celebrate the lives of patients who have been treated here at UCSF/Mount Zion and who have passed away, and to honor the work and care of their families, friends and caregivers.
If you would like your loved one’s name read at this memorial or for more information, please call Gayle Kojimoto at (415) 885-7671, or email at Gayle.Kojimoto@ucsfmedctr.org
This memorial is organized by the UCSF Spiritual Care Services, Art for Recovery, and the UCSF Symptom Management Service. We wish to thank the Symptom Management Service of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center for their generosity in funding this event.