Sunday, February 8, 2009


Church Matriarch joined the Church Eternal and Triumphant yesterday afternoon - a week after her stroke and five days after the withdrawal of life support. It's been a tough week for her family.

Small City Famous Hospital folks were absolutely wonderful. They treated CM and her family with dignity, respect and a lot of care. I am grateful for the compassion and support they gave as the process went and on and on.

I was particularly impressed with the palliative care physician and his CRNP. When it became apparent that CM had a significant brain injury and would not recover, the neurosurgeon called in the PC team. On Thursday, when I was visiting, PC Doc stopped in to check on her. He was gentle and soft-spoken and he won me over! We talked for over an hour about bioethics, quality of life, etc.

His approach is holistic. He was concerned about the family's spiritual needs and told me that in his years of PC, he had never encountered a pastor doing a hospital visit. And when he would call upon a family's pastor for pastoral care, he was told, "I don't do that. I leave it up to the hospital chaplains." Wow. I found that hard to believe. I told him I wasn't like that. I was hands on, purely relational and didn't mind doing visiting.

He offered me a job as the PC Team's chaplain! He's building a team to offer the best PC care at Small City's Famous Hospital. He's in charge of assembling a multi-disciplinary group of individuals to provide the best quality of life for PC patients ... medical direction, spiritual support, masseuses, music therapists, etc. I would love to be working with a team like that!

Unfortunately, I really love where I am at right now. If this offer came at this time last year, I'd be all over it. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I would miss the preaching, the Bible Studies, the Youth Group, the Confirmation Class ...

Yeah, I'm a rural small church pastor. And that's all right.

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