Devotional Listening Group Forming for Chaplains and Spiritual Directors
Chaplains and Spiritual Directors are immersed in the spiritual and physical lives of people often during very challenging times. We hold a lot, give a lot, and care a lot. We need a place to take a breath, listen to the still small voice, find meaning in our lives and work, and reconnect to the Sacred. In a small group we have the opportunity to be heard by others and to offer devotional listening to one another in a reflective and creative setting.
I am starting a monthly group in the Fall of 2023 for spiritual accompaniment through devotional listening to self/the Sacred/and one another, writing, and sharing. Limited to five participants. People of all traditions welcome.
Who is Rabbi Chaya? After becoming a Spiritual Director in 2001 I was ordained as a rabbi in the ALEPH Rabbinical program in 2006. In addition to rabbinical work and spiritual direction work, I am a Board Certified Chaplain and worked as a Jewish hospital chaplain and then interfaith Palliative Care hospital chaplain for many years. Please read my piece on being a Spiritual midwife. https://rabbichayagusfield.com/spiritual-direction/
Other ways to engage with the work:
After I left Kaiser as a Palliative Care Chaplain in November of 2020, I began serving hospice chaplain, social work and bereavement teams all over the United States. I offer creative expression and team building workshops that involve an opportunity for those serving patients a place to rejuvenate, process their work, be witnessed, and support their colleagues in new ways. I am also available to work with CPE students.
My personal experience with death and dying, mental health, cancer, and aging issues, as well as my experience serving as a spiritual leader, spiritual director, and chaplain has given me great respect for the importance of tending to the broken heart as life-giving.
Let us continue to ask, what heartache needs tending to today?
How spiritual and palliative care professionals can engage with my work:
Visit Chaya’s Gallery here and see how I use my art images with those I work with.
Visit Chaya’s Garden here and read my blog posts, many very relevant to chaplain work. Consider subscribing to receive entries as they are posted.
For team managers and directors, consider offering your team the gift of a one or two hour nurturing workshop to rejuvenate, process their work, be witnessed through devotional listening, and support their colleagues in creative ways. (Contact me for references and to sign up for my mailing list to receive my periodic newsletter.)
Presentations and participatory workshops are available on a variety of topics including:
- Important things to know about serving Jewish patients.
- How to encourage religious diversity conversations and group visioning within chaplain teams.
- Assessing patients through writing their prayers with them.
- Using writing and art as ways teams and staff can create a sustainable work environment.
- Participatory workshops on how to use authentic, deep, universal prayer language when working with the spiritual but not religious patient and family.
Professional Chaplain credentials: I have been a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains since 2014 and completed my Clinical Pastoral Education residency in 2013 at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley/Oakland. After completing my residency, I worked at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (in three campuses) and at Oakland Kaiser Hospital (two campuses). I have worked as a hospital chaplain in several capacities. I have worked as a Jewish chaplain, an interfaith chaplain and a Palliative Care Chaplain on an interdisciplinary team. As a Spiritual Director and as a rabbi, I found hospital chaplaincy extremely rewarding. I also really enjoyed teaching chaplain students in a variety of topics including serving Jewish patients to offering universal prayer and creative expression to help process the work.