Association of Professional Chaplains Meeting Notes

APC Meeting Notes by Rick Underwood

Last week several of our board members and I spent two days meeting and greeting folks at the annual Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) meeting in Louisville. What a great experience we had meeting our long-time members face to face. We heard stories of great collaborative learning experiences, new personal connections, and surprise personal and professional journeys. We also heard about some of the difficulties that members had endured during our transition. This was great feedback! And I want everyone to know we are back and working hard to overcome the problems we heard about and to continue to offer the best collaborative learning experiences in spiritual care on the worldwide web.

We also met many new friends. Over 50 folks joined our Lifelong Learning e-newsletter. As promised at the end of the meeting, we drew for a free seminar. Susy Gaffney from Hawaii won that drawing, and we are thrilled to have her join us for that.

Now here is the good news. For everyone who put their card in the drawing and allowed us to add them to our Lifelong Learning e-newsletter, we are offering one half-price seminar. And, in celebration of my good health news, I am extending that offer to any person who opens and reads this Lifelong Learning newsletter, who is not currently a member. If you want to take advantage of this offer, check the website for upcoming seminars and email [email protected] for information on how to register.

July Seminars Open for Registration this Week

Now is the time to sign up for July seminars. The offerings are as follows with a brief description if available:

Exploring the Power of Story in Spiritual Care-uses a narrative research approach to spiritual care. Articles used are provided by one of Chris’ Hammon’s Continuing Education groups.

Fiction, Spirituality, and Holistic Care at the End of Life-features discussion on topic using (at least lately), The Sweet By and By, by Todd Johnson.

Exploring the Gifts of Imperfection-Uses Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, to explore the gifts that come from being human.

Thriving in the Whirlwind: Lifelong Learning for Effective Ministry.

We are currently working to provide further descriptions and seminar details. We are also working to set the new web site up so that you can register for yourself. At this point, we DO invite members and non-members to register through an email to [email protected].

Executive Director Notes from Rick Underwood


Rick is doing well!

Finally, I share a brief story.  After meeting literally hundreds of chaplains from all over and hearing about their work, I wound up in the hospital last Sunday with chest pain. After a number of tests over the next couple of days, it was determined that I needed a heart catheterization. Eventually, after getting my blood levels right, I had the catheterization Wednesday morning. Fortunately, it was negative. In fact, the Cardiologists said that I had the arteries of a 20 year old. The conclusion was that the pain was caused by acid reflex and the stress test had been a false positive.

Much of my career has been spent ministering to heart patients. Thousands of times I have heard folks tell of the anxiety involved with this special definitive test. But, for the first time, it was my turn to experience the fear, uncertainty, and doubt about my health. Fortunately, there were nurses, doctors, and supportive friends and family that allowed me to process my nerve-racking thoughts and feelings. All turned out well. My healthy living paid off. But once again, I enjoyed the spirituality through my loving connections with self, others, and God. It seemed this brief journey was an exclamation point on the power of what all of these chaplains do and for that matter what we do with you through the Oates Institute! Keep up the great work.

Board Member Focus

Alissa Meriwether has served on our board for several years. Currently, she is our secretary/treasurer and is on the Executive committee. Alissa is a financial consultant and realtor, is married, and has one daughter and one wonderful granddaughter. She and her husband are active members of Southeast Christian Church. Alissa is the epitome of a great volunteer as she cheerfully gives of her time, talent and treasure. Our deep gratitude goes out to Alissa for her dedicated service.

Program Committee

As we slowly get reorganized, one of the great needs is for someone to step up and serve as chair of our Program Committee. This committee is charge with the oversight of the programs offered by the Institute. Moreover, new seminars are suggested and created by this group. Finally, the committee reviews evaluations to ensure we are meeting the needs of our members. If you are interested in possibly serving in this role, please contact [email protected].

Membership Special

Join us as we celebrate our collaborative relationship with APC and with all our members and friends. You may renew this month using the APC/Memorial Day Special rate of $140. If you are not certain whether you NEED to renew, drop a note to [email protected] and just ask for a membership update. Join or renew NOW.

Other Board News

Bill Holmes has resigned from our board because of health concerns. It is with gratitude for his support through the years we say goodbye. Furthermore, we wish him God speed with his health issues.

We are also saddened to say goodbye to Cliff Kuhn. the Laugh Doctor. We will miss his enthusiasm, sense of humor, dedication, and friendship. Fortunately, he has offered to continue to help with a committee of physicians to help create an on-line continuing education learning experience in some aspect of spirituality for physicians through the University of Louisville Medical School Continuing Ed Department. If you would like to serve on this committee, please let our Executive Director know at [email protected].

© 2015 Oates Institute. All Rights Reserved.

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