A Message from Pastor Hyejung Hwang

Last month, I finished Clinical Pastoral Education, which is a kind of Chaplaincy training and a requirement for ordination. This training included regular peer group study and chaplain internship at the hospital. The first unit of CPE, that I completed last fall, was an opportunity for me to learn and ponder more about self-awareness. As a group we learned about our different types of personalities and we observed our group dynamics. It was very interesting to learn that we all have different ways of leading the group and solving conflicts. I could learn about my style of leadership and my own character, and what I need to develop to become a leader. The second CPE unit had a different focus with the same curriculum. The group members were different and came from diverse ministry settings; pastors from the Lutheran church and Assembly of God, and hospice chaplains from Catholic and Episcopal Churches. I learned more about hospice care that I had not experienced before. There were also several lectures regarding family dynamic theory, liturgies for different life situations, spiritual assessment… Also, I spent many hours in the hospital during chaplain training. It was my joy to meet different people each day and listen to their life stories. And it was a blessing to me when I could offer prayers with patients or families in the hospital. I believe that it was God’s guidance to have amazing teachers; chaplains who taught me about hospital settings and pastoral caring in the hospital, a CPE director very skilled in guiding the peer group and respecting cultural differences, and peer group members having different life experiences and ministry experiences.

As I finish about 6 months of CPE, I see where sometimes I had to put more hours towards CPE than my work at church, and I am so thankful to have been allowed to have this amazing learning experience. Now, I am excited to start the third year of my ministry. I hope you all are ready for the ministry coming this fall and winter in your lives as well as in church. I believe that we all will see God’s guidance to lead us to grow and follow Jesus Christ.