Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Final essay Master of Chaplaincy by Rev. Hackler

Final Essay Master of Chaplaincy:

The questions I was asked: What did I learn? A chaplain's most important service is to listen, to provide spiritual guidance, comfort, and counseling. And this course has reinforced my belief that no one should be judged or turned away because of their beliefs, sex, race, sexual orientation, and anything else that makes them stand out as an individual. I knew from a very early age I was set apart, I have spent my life spiritually searching, this course has given me direction, not a new path, but a piece of the road map that I was missing. These lessons reinforced the need to live the life I represent, through my life, the life I live daily, through my faithfulness, trustworthiness, reliability, as a chaplain my job is not 9 to 5, it is a life, 24/7. A chaplain is Faithful in their belief, but accepting of all. I learned a chaplain needs to have good communication skills. A chaplain needs to be able to separate themselves from a situation. My connection with my higher power must be strong, I must set aside time for that connection. My unwillingness to not accept failure isn't part of my position as a chaplain, there will be times I cannot help.

As chaplain I would have to be well acquainted in the nature of the business or agency in which I would be working. Understanding the business or agency helps a chaplain in counseling individual employees that are facing career crises and job pressures. Chaplains are often required to meet one-on-one with employees and managers, as well as in small groups or in conferences, seminars and meetings. The main areas that need a Chaplain in my areas are related to health care and we went over that last week. If I worked for a company I would follow what my research has shown me. Privacy, trustworthiness, reliably, and respect are my greatest assets, and I would use them as much at work as I do in my personal life. To gain trust I would know the rules of the organization I work for, be honest, trustworthy (no gossiping), consistent, reliable, available. I would work on healthy relationships with the other employees and my superiors. Knowing who to refer people to if I'm not the one they need would also build an area of trust. As one can see there are many steps to building trust, another

BIG TRUST BUILDER is to live the life you are projecting during work hours, goodness, honesty, and trustworthiness doesn't have a time clock. Oregon law requires clergy to report abuse. I can have a strong  my ministry by: Not compromising myself in any situation, my own or others. Always walking in my faith while accepting others' rights to their beliefs. Praying before making any decisions and have those seeking my help pray. Surrounding myself with smart, moral people. Loving my family and not putting them aside while I reach out to help others. Taking care of myself, mentally and physically. Learning from stumbles, and using them to grow closer to my higher power. Always living what I talk. Pray for those that upset me. Let go of anger quickly as I learn to stop it before it enters me. Live an open and honest life. Always doing what I know is right.

SELF AWARENESS: Know my limits: When ask to help in areas I haven't got experience in I will refer them to someone who can. Be aware of manipulation.  Contra-transference: I avoid it by setting appointments, not meeting away from scheduled places, keeping myself physically and mentally healthy. Respect sex: To avoid the trap I keep all my inner actions with the person on a professional level. I keep myself emotionally and physically healthy, (a good diet and plenty of sleep keeps the brain working as we want it to). And I keep all my personal relationships strong, mate and friends. All gifts I receive are handed over to my ministry to decide their destiny, that includes cookies, etc. Money: One set fee, donations may be made to our ministry through a check made out to it, not me. Pride: I have no problem saying I don't know something, but I will help that person find the answer, either through listening to them, research, or a referral to a person with knowledge of what they seek. I know I'm replaceable, I take my vacations and leave my work to rest or to someone else. I always listen when my friends counsel me.  In our ministry we celebrate every holiday one of our members brings to us. Everyone is welcome to join in or leave the room. We have a loving group that has, so far, joined into every celebration. We encourage the younger ones to bring in wacky, fun holidays. We've celebrated "take your pants on a walk day (while we are wearing them)", "Teddy Bear Picnic Day", and many more. And by doing these activity I've found the young ones more interested in our celebrations, the meanings behind them and the desire to participate.  Making a sacred place: Any corner or empty space that you deem "sacred"  is perfect. Place a room divider, beads, or a curtain to section off your place. Add a comfortable chair or a pillow on the floor. Create an altar with objects that will bring the energy of spirituality. An altar can be as simple as  a small table with special to you fabric or paper on it. You can have candles, oil, crystal, etc on it. Place a symbol from your own religious belief on it, a cross, a rose, etc.  Add plants and colors, depends how much room you have. Photographs of gardens and or flowers may be uplifting. Add soft music, a book, a pen and paper. Weddings: never assume anything, get it in writing. A chaplain needs a soul friend: I have a few  very close friends, now I have a special name for these very close friends:

SOUL FRIENDS. benefit. How we became so close is an item that took thought because we have shared this for many years, but thinking it over I can say we became close in our spiritual quest, our mutual respect, and have grown closer as we seek further enlightenment. My Mentor: A mentor In the lessons we were told we need a mentor. My mentor is a very wise and knowledgeable, retired clergy person. She listens, advises, laughs and tells me not to take myself so seriously, that God is in control. And we're taught we need a self-care plan: My spiritual self-care plan is: First know when to say no. Overloading myself is a sure way to burn out. Give myself plenty of sleep, proper diet, time to enrich my mind, time to grow spiritually, time to pray, time to meditate, time to spend grounded. Spend time with family and friends, and never skip vacations. Be prepared: I have a bag packed with everything I might need, other items in my car, like food and water. Along with the physical, material things that I take with me, I take a lot of smiles, positive attitude, confidence in myself, good posture, a strong connection to my higher power, prayers, and most importantly good listening skills.

What helped me
? the clear way the lessons were written and Amy's fast response to all my questions. What could improve this course? I believe it's right on, see no improvements needed.

What you hope you will accomplish as a result of taking this course.
Of course there is always the search for knowledge and enlightenment, but I am working on becoming a chaplain and this is the first course I took to show me what it completely entailed and I believe it accomplished exactly what I expected from it and more. from

Rev. Mary Jane Hackler
 



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