ACPE's weekly digest to keep you connected, better informed, and well-resourced for the week ahead.
July 24, 2017
Trace Informal
ACPE's Monday Briefing is a weekly digest from ACPE Executive Director Trace Haythorn
Each week you will receive related articles and updates on ACPE transitions. Also included are helpful links to keep you connected, better informed, and well-resourced for the week ahead.
Thank you #1!
We are so grateful to those of you who took time to send student reflections on their experiences - keep them coming! We use these not only in our "Year in Review" but also with potential donors. These stories and reflections are a wonderful way to show the impact of your work!
Thank you #2!
I've heard from several folks about interest in a "return on investment" workshop - thank you for responding! We are working with our strategic partners to clarify next steps and collaborative possibilities. If you didn't express interest yet, feel free to let me know in the next month or so. It will take a few months to pull this together.
ACPE is Hiring
The national office is searching for an Academic Technology Specialist to help us collect and maintain our data to better support students, centers, members, fundraising efforts and event records. This position will also support the new Area Managers with their work in the community. If you know of a qualified candidate, please encourage them to apply at: Apply Here through Emory University. Requisition # 73296BR.
A Poem for Reflection
My family lived for five years in central Nebraska. There are few places quite like it. One of the privileges of living there was coming to know a man who became Poet Laureate of the US. Ted Kooser makes the ordinary special, with a careful attention to words as well as an acute ability to observe the world that we often simply glance over. Here's a sample of his remarkable work:
"In the Basement of the Goodwill Store" by Ted Kooser

In musty light, in the thin brown air
of damp carpet, doll heads and rust,
beneath long rows of sharp footfalls
like nails in a lid, an old man stands
trying on glasses, lifting each pair
from the box like a glittering fish
and holding it up to the light
of a dirty bulb. Near him, a heap
of enameled pans as white as skulls
looms in the catacomb shadows,
and old toilets with dry red throats
cough up bouquets of curtain rods.
You've seen him somewhere before.
He's wearing the green leisure suit
you threw out with the garbage,
and the Christmas tie you hated,
and the ventilated wingtip shoes
you found in your father's closet
and wore as a joke. And the glasses
which finally fit him, through which
he looks to see you looking back-
two mirrors which flash and glance-
are those through which one day
you too will look down over the years,
when you have grown old and thin
and no longer particular,
and the things you once thought
you were rid of forever
have taken you back in their arms.
Something Extra
I noted above our hope to receive student reflections. Here are two that came from Angelika Zollfrank's program:
"I am a seasoned career missionary, and had the opportunity to work in many different types of ministry, some of them under high emotional pressure. When I signed up for CPE my expectations of learning were low. I expected to learn practical skills related to chaplaincy work, the nuts and bolts of hospital procedures concerned inter-faith spiritual care. However, I was caught by surprise by how much this summer is teaching me about human beings. Skills and procedures are something we all learn in the first week, but the nature of human suffering, the meanders of finding the path of real conversations, and the beauty of a true encounter of souls, that has been my real learning piece."
"This week, it finally dawned on me that that's why we do CPE. It makes so much sense to do this kind of work in a hospital setting because the clinical work is there to support the process work. Cleaning out my emotional storage closet is so much more profound when I am taking myself daily into the rooms of very sick people and offering them compassionate care. I have often felt somewhat shredded by our work in group, but when I bring that shredded self to my clinical work, I am so much more emotionally open than I ever could be without it. Tearing down my emotional and mental barricades is hard work - but doing it in the context of clinical work provides the opportunity to rebuild my foundations with compassion for myself.
A perfect example is what we talked about in supervision last week. I realized that I use my anxiety as a shield to protect me from feeling my feelings. I've been doing this for a very, very long time (since childhood, as we discussed). I take that anxiety into the room with patients too, and it totally gets in the way of my ability to be present and compassionate with them. I realize that that anxiety has gotten in the way, to varying degrees, of all of my relationships throughout my life - boyfriends, family, friends, acquaintances. I would say it's a foundational part of my being, so deeply embedded in me that I couldn't see it until the clinical work shone a bright light on it. All of my anxiety about prayer, about sick people, about ministerial identity, about doing it "right" is, in part, a tactic I use to avoid confronting the pain of my emotional wounds. I always knew in theory that we humans operate in ways to try to avoid pain, but I have never had the time or inclination to figure out how I do that."
This Week on the Calendar
Monday, July 24
*Pioneer Day - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Celebrated annually as the anniversary of the entry of LDS pioneers into the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, in Utah in 1847 C.E., after a historic trek across 1,300 miles of wilderness.
Sunday, July 30
*Oharai-taisai - Shinto
A purification ceremony to cleanse believers from offenses committed during the first half of the year. A large ring of woven grasses and reeds is placed at the entrance to Shinto shrines, and people walk through the ring as a symbol of inner purification.

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