G is for God

(This post is part of the continuing series ABCs of Hospital Chaplaincy.)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the following exchange with a patient or family member in the hospital:

“Hi, my name is Stacy. I’m the hospital chaplain.”

“Oh, thank you for coming, but I don’t believe in God.”

My response varies. In my early days as a chaplain intern, I would have allowed this to be the end of the visit. But now, with a few years’ experience under my belt, I don’t walk away so quickly. Sometimes I’ll ask them what it means to them not to believe in God. Sometimes I’ll be honest enough to say, “That’s okay; sometimes I don’t really believe either.” But usually, I just breathe a silent prayer to the God I (usually) believe in and offer whatever support I can to the person across from me. We may never mention God again, but God is there.  Continue reading “G is for God”

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Celebrating Pastoral Care Week — The miracle of chaplaincy

I wrote this post for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship blog in celebration of Pastoral Care Week. This year’s theme is Spiritual Well-Being.

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Below is Part 4 in the 2014 Pastoral Care Week (Oct. 19-25) series here at CBFblog

By Stacy Sergent

People come to the hospital where I serve as a chaplain because they want to be made well. They have become sick or gotten hurt, maybe quite suddenly, or maybe so gradually that they barely noticed for a long time. But now things have gotten serious enough to bring them here for healing. They want the help of doctors, nurses, radiologists, physical therapists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and others. What many of them come to realize as well is that they have a need for healing that is not only physical. And that’s where my ministry begins.

I am thankful that many healthcare systems today are coming to understand the need to care for the whole person, not just address a physical diagnosis. Chaplains like myself help patients and their families address…

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Stacy Crochetcy (It Rhymes!)

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This week, I began a new business venture. I’ve been crocheting for a few years now, mostly making fun things for myself or gifts for friends and family. Over and over, I heard some of them say, “You should open an Etsy shop!” And so I finally have. I’m starting with just a few items, but I’ll be adding more in the days ahead, and I’m excited! If you’re looking for some lovely and slightly quirky handmade gifts, I invite you to check it out at this link: StacyCrochetcy on Etsy

Crocheting is more than just a hobby for me; it’s a spiritual discipline. Sometimes, through the gift of holy imagination, I have conversations with God while we crochet together.  Continue reading “Stacy Crochetcy (It Rhymes!)”

#BlessedAreTheCrazy: No Longer Protecting Secrets

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This is Mental Illness Awareness Week, and I’m proud to be participating in this synchroblog to celebrate the launch of Sarah Lund’s new book, Blessed Are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family, and ChurchI come from a family in which mental illness — especially depression and anxiety disorders — and addiction have had a huge impact. As a little girl, I remember the great lengths my family went to in order to protect the secret that my mother had been hospitalized for depression. I felt the shame of it, even before I understood what it meant. I was afraid other kids at school would laugh at us if they knew, and any time a group on the playground was whispering, I was sure it was about me and my family.  Continue reading “#BlessedAreTheCrazy: No Longer Protecting Secrets”

F is for Forgiveness

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(This is the sixth in the series ABCs of Hospital Chaplaincy.)

Plenty of times in movies and on TV, I had seen someone go into a dark confession booth and say to the priest on the other side of the screen, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been [length of time] since my last confession . . .” followed by a litany of sins. The priest would then assign a number of Hail Marys or Our Fathers, maybe some act of penance. That was pretty much all I knew about asking forgiveness. I’m a Baptist, after all; we don’t do confession — at least not to another person. We confess our sins directly to God (if at all). So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself, as a hospital chaplain, on the receiving end of a whole lot of confessions.  Continue reading “F is for Forgiveness”