I am the Spiritual Care Coordinator at MidCentral DHB in Palmerston North, New Zealand. My role is to develop a vibrant, professional service that meets the needs of a changing market.
It's a diverse role moving from offering one on one spiritual care to patients, families whanau and staff, through working on health task groups, to teaching courses about spirituality and compassion. Alongside that I write, speak and advise about spirituality, the art of how we make meaning.
Previously, I worked in health promotion, public health and change management then retrained in theology and religious and values education. After ordination as an Anglican priest I gained experience as a school and military chaplain before coming full circle back to health.
For many people making meaning is done beyond religious traditions. For some there is a pick and mix approach, drawing from religions, alongside philosophy, art, science and music. However spirituality is constructed or packaged, the challenge is to ensure that it is backed up by solid, academic research. I'm not saying that science can explain everything, but I think we have to use scientific methods to help us explore and explain what we mean.
Think of it like this .... Studying art helps us see how paintings are created, a way to understand more about the materials, textures, colours and symbolism used. Knowing these things doesn't mean that the painting is any less an art form or that there hasn't been an energy in the artist that is hard to define. Neither does it dismiss the idea that symbolism may come from a deep connectivity in humanity that we need to learn more about. What it does mean is that we are progressively learning more about the human condition and can adjust our living accordingly.
This all contributes to my life long learning journey about spirituality. Please join me ...