chaplain

Joe Kay 07-14-2015
Holding hands in a nursing home

Holding hands in a nursing home, Eduard Darchinyan / Shutterstock.com

The nursing home was quiet, which is typical for a late Sunday afternoon. I walked to the end of the hall where Grace lives in a room decorated with clown figurines that make her smile. I knocked at the doorway and announced myself. Grace was awake in bed, but upset about something.

“Oh, Joe! Come in! Can you do me a favor? I’ve lost something and could use your help finding it.”

Grace (not her actual name; I have to change it because of privacy laws) once had bright red hair that fit her personality. The red is gone now; her hair turned a pretty, cottony white after chemotherapy.

And today, something else was missing.

“I can’t find my left boob,” she said. “Would you be a dear and look around for it?”

Tim Townsend 10-07-2013
Photo by Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Kristen Leslie, (left), a professor at Eden Theological Seminary. Photo by Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — Kristen Leslie began her 2003 book, When Violence Is No Stranger, with a verse from Psalms, a nod to her training as a theologian.

“It is not enemies who taunt me — I could bear that; it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me — I could hide from them. But it is you, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend…”

The book’s subject was acquaintance rape, and it got the attention of a chaplain at the Air Force Academy. The school was then reeling from a Pentagon report indicating that 7 percent of its cadets reported being the victims of rape or attempted rape. Nearly 90 percent of the perpetrators were their own classmates.

Leslie, now a professor of pastoral theology and care at Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, Mo., was invited to Colorado to consult with academy leaders on how to train Air Force chaplains to deal with sexualized violence on campus.

Now, a decade later, the U.S. Navy has come knocking.

Photo courtesy RNS.

The Rev. Cameron Partridge, religion scholar. Photo courtesy RNS.

She graduated from all-female Bryn Mawr College in 1995, where she came out as gay and also as a woman called to the priesthood. After college, she graduated from Harvard Divinity School, married her girlfriend, became an Episcopal priest, changed her name — and changed her gender.

Today the Rev. Cameron Partridge, a religion scholar at Harvard Divinity School and Episcopal chaplain at Boston University, is living outside Boston with his wife and two young children in what looks, to those who don’t know them, like a typical heterosexual marriage.

We talk to Partridge about his transgender and spiritual journeys, his discomfort with simplistic views of male and female, and feeling at home in Anglicanism. Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Colin Mathewson 07-26-2011

There's something special about the bookends of our lifetimes. I became a first-time father seven months ago and a hospice chaplain just one month past. Growing up and growing old, especially the first and last months of our lives, can be surprisingly similar experiences.

I fed my daughter sweet potatoes for the first time last night. Introducing her to solid foods has been a treat. While we're trying our best to teach her the sign language words for "food", "more", and " all done", Robin still finds closed-mouth grumble-whines to be the best way to let us know she thinks sweet potatoes aren't all that hot. Another subtly nuanced whine might instead wonder, "You don't happen to have any more mashed banana or applesauce around, would you?" My attempt to turn the filled spoon into an acrobatic and roaring airplane met with scant success.

Logan Isaac 04-04-2011
Forty-three years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee.
Rose Marie Berger 02-25-2011
Writer and Trappist monk Matthew Kelty died last week at age 95. His is an example of a good life and a good death.
Becky Garrison 08-24-2010
When I was interviewed in The Austin American Statesman about my book

When I first heard the announcement to rise for "the presentation of the colors," I didn't understand what that was.

Josh Stieber 04-19-2010

Recently, Wikileaks, an online whistleblower site, released a video which was dubbed "Collateral Murder." I write as a former member of the Infantry c

Wendy Murray 03-30-2010
The sex abuse scandals plaguing the Catholic Church simply will not go away. Even the Pope himself is not immune.
Shane Claiborne 03-23-2010
I can't imagine a better way to lament the 7th anniversary of the war in Iraq than by spending it with Iraq veterans who are horrified by the war and courageously speaking out against it
LaVonne Neff 02-17-2010

Fifteen years ago next week, on my mother's 85th birthday and exactly one week before Ash Wednesday, my father died.

Chris Hoke 03-31-2009
In Sojourners' April issue, Tierra Neuva gang chaplain Chris Hoke http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj0904&arti...

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