Life is good.
Today I turned 60.
I miss the congregation and being on the bimah, but it was definitely time for a change. After 31 years of 60 hours weeks, most of the year, I am ready to work a 30-40 hour week
Last week I had my medical run throughs at Adventist Health Care - getting the vaccinations and medical paperwork I needed.
This past Monday for all new "employees" was orientation to hospital safety: medically and for practical safety.
Next Thursday starts "Continuing Pastoral Education" CPE. That's the training that I need to be credentialed to be a chaplain in hospitals, nursing homes and hospices. Today many rabbinical students receive the units while in school. Thirty years ago no Jewish seminaries offered the courses. I look forward to the supervision and learning. Already have homework to read and then write a book report - it's been a long time since I wrote one.
The first full week of November I have three days of orientation and practicum in Pastoral Care at Adventist. I don't have my schedule yet or whether I'll be primarily at Shady Grove Hospital or Adventist Rehab Hospital. But wherever they assign me will be a great learning experience and I hope spiritually helpful to the patients.
I've enjoyed my 6th and 7th Graders at Or Chadash Congregation in Damascus Sunday morning and Tuesday night. Great energy, great fun and even a little learning. I still enjoy the challenge of creating a lesson that works for all ways of learning and the needs of a diverse group of young people.
Only stress is minor... I was hoping for a residency position at Shady Grove which has a stipend. But I will be working there as an intern... no pay. So I'll have to start dipping into non-retirement savings starting in January. I'm making between teaching and other pastoral duties about a quarter of what I took home at Kehilat Shalom... so I'll just have to take some money out of mutual funds every few months to pay my share of the home bills. Thank God, I have the money...
When I've completed my CPE units hopefully Shady Grove will hire me as chaplain, but if not, there seem to be frequent openings at other institutions in the area for this skill set. Tali hopes to go grad school for an MA and then a PhD in Eastern European History... and I'd love to be able to help him out with tuition and housing. He's taking GREs this weekend... so wish him luck.