I’ve been a part of the team since December 2016. At that time, our team could fit around a small table in the conference room. It has been amazing to see the table expand and our group grow over three offices in Iowa and one in Minnesota.
Prior to my time with Hospice of the Midwest, I spent over 10 years serving in various ministry settings. Although I grew up in Iowa, I had a few summers in Oklahoma working at a camp in outdoor ed. My spouse and I lived in Seattle, WA for a few years, and during that time I served as an Associate Minister and Community Developer for a congregation. I completed a Chaplaincy residency (Clinical Pastoral Education) through Evergreen Health Medical Center where I spent time both on the hospital floor and in the hospice setting.
Believe it or not, I never applied for this position. After moving back to Iowa to be near family, I received a phone call from a small, but growing, hospice team looking for a full-time Chaplain. When I came in for my interview, it felt like walking into the house of a dear friend. And I have been making myself at home with this team ever since.
Death and dying are topics not often openly discussed in our culture. We find ourselves ill-prepared at the bedside of those we love. Hospice exists within the thin space between the now and the not yet. As a Chaplain, my role is to assess emotional and spiritual pain and walk with folks as they work through their final days; not to fix or change, but to offer reflection and validation of their lived experience as they seek to make peace with their life.