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Lesson 20 The Next Step (Final Essay)

#1 User is offline   Chpln. Abdullah Rashid 

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 06:42 PM

I have learned a lot of information that has helped better prepare me as a chaplain. It will be entirely impossible to include every detail. But I will address the most inspiring and mind blowing information that I have learned taking this course. I learned that the term chaplain came from the roots of the Christian faith tradition and that chaplains work in other various locations besides hospitals, fire departments, jails and the military. What surprised me was when I was researching about military chaplaincy that the Universal Life Church is a recognized faith group and that there are a few Universal Life Church ministers who have been commissioned as chaplains who do not take basic combat training because chaplains are not allowed to carry weapons, they are assigned a chaplain's aid who in a sense serves as a bodyguard to ensure that the chaplain is safe and gets to where he or she needs to be. Chaplains also are excepted to run. And a great number of military personnel have become ordained through Univeral Life Church.

I was shocked to read that some law enforcement agencies require and train chaplains to perform first aid, CPR and in hostage situations. I never expected chaplains working for the police to have that much of training skills. Upon researching chaplaincy within the police department I learned a lot. I learned that they chaplain would have to study the outside and inside aspects of the department along with the judicial system. What blew my mind was that the department of chaplaincy in a hospital was the first pulled when funding began to become low. That answered my question sadly that I have had for years wondering why certain hospitals did not have chaplains or a chapel for their patients. This to me just seems unacceptable as there could be some kind of plan to prevent this and maintain and increase the funding. What shocked me the most about a chaplain is that some do get a salary. I had always thought that chaplains somehow worked for "free" and got free meals and housing. One police chaplain has inspired me is Imam Khalif Latif from the New York Police Department.

Upon reading and learning about the story of Rev. Daniel Moore being advised from a police official in Baltimore about the conditions of the public schools, it came to a shock to me as schools sometimes do not understand the role of a chaplain and automatically assume it is only about religion. This is something that I am interested in and would like to do. As I know that students experience and deal with a lot of issues and that majority of school officials are not trained to assist them. I was recently informed by a federal agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigations that several students specifically in high school were having difficulties and suggested that I go visit and make contact with them in order to counsel. He states that the students who are at the most risk are those who are Muslims and those who identify as LGBTQ. He further went on to say that as hate crimes were going up in number so was bullying.

I was also not aware of chaplains serving in the business sector. It never came to my mind that a chaplain could be able to work for a company as a chaplain. Learning this inspired me to make an addition to my ministry and to start reaching out. A lot of individuals have busy lives and the majority of their time is spent at work, they do not have time to attend to their local worship center so chaplains go to them. I believe that all companies should have at least two chaplains, one working day and one at night. Due to the increase in workplace violence and active shooter events, customers and employees are going to be traumatized and will need emotional, mental and spiritual support. After doing some additional research of Chaplains USA I began to adopt their focus on serving business as one of my ministry's objectives.

I would have never thought a major sports team would be in need of a chaplain. But as I think of it as they travel and are away from their families and friends they will need encouragement along with spiritual support to keep them motivated. As traveling can be fun and exciting it can also be lonely and filled with sorrow in which can lead to depression.

What helped me the most was the self-evaluation in which I learned what my strengths and weaknesses were and how to improve them. I am now proud to say that I have learned how to better counsel my clients. Adding to that I learned some preventive measure to prevent getting burned out. I believe without these two major things I would not have noticed nor learned how to become better prepared and as a chaplain. Now with this knowledge, I can help my chaplains improve themselves and advise in regards to preventing them from overworking which will cause them to burn out sooner or later.

I believe that the course should have more interfaith perspectives such as giving the view of chaplaincy from multiple faith traditions in regards to the history, experiences and success stories. Not to forget to add the view of chaplaincy from LGBTQ clergy and dealing with the LGBTQ community. Upon taking this course I hoped to learn new information that would help me in prepare myself as a chaplain. Even though the majority of the information I already knew upon previous research before becoming ordained. It was worth the time to have a refresher and I am thankful to have learned some new things. I hope after fully completing this course that I will be able to teach new chaplains and prepare them for ministry. I also hope by completing this course that doors for employment opportunities will open for me so that I can do full time ministry and quit me labor job.

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