By The Rev. Thomas S. Rogers, III On May 18, the Bishop Anderson House staff had a retreat where we looked at where we are at right now with COVID-19 and all that is going on in the world. We did this by shifting our thinking from cause and effect (A + B = C) to systems thinking – taking in our wider context and thinking systems (i.e. Christmas tree lights on a Christmas tree where if one light goes out, the whole strand goes out). At the heart of the theory of living human systems is the idea that [...]
One of the things that happens in many organizations is a group will engage a topic like bringing in an outside speaker or read a book, but when the board at Bishop Anderson House engaged social responsibility and racial justice they had an action step: hiring a community-based chaplain to facilitate relationship and community building through the provision of spiritual, emotional, physical and social support to families, business, corporations, schools and groups in the near West side of Chicago. I am pleased to announce that after a search process involving 15 applicants, three phone interviews, and two face-to-face interviews, we have [...]
Chaplain Micheal Smith provides spiritual support for patients recovering from serious injuries in the Burn Unit at Stroger Hospital of Cook County. During the harshest weather months the Burn Unit experiences a significant increase in patients, including a large number of housing and food-insecure patients. Many homeless patients are immediately faced with the challenge of securing food after discharge, for some even when he or she is being discharged to a shelter. Recognizing this essential need, Micheal partnered with Burn Unit nurses, social workers and staff dietitians to create "Samaritan" backpacks with non-perishable items to [...]
The nurses, technicians and doctors all lined up and clamored for what Chaplain Rose was bringing to them--no, not the snack baskets she replenishes weekly. They were yearning instead for spiritual nourishment and wanted her to anoint their hands in healing oil. To commemorate Nurses Week, Rose and Chaplain Micheal made sure that the hard-working and hard-caring nurses on the units could have their tired and dry hands blessed by scented and soothing oil--a reminder that they are each agents of healing, following the call to soothe those in their care.
Oh what a night! A "roomful" of over 100 guests from across the country laughed and cried their way through the May 2nd Healing One, Healing the World spring benefit. Full of positive energy and contagious enthusiasm, Paddle Raise Queen Kay Lewis shared heartfelt stories of the impact that Spiritual Care Visitor Training has made in her life, and in doing so, blew through all previous paddle raise records by securing pledges and donations of over $67,000. Our honorees Linda McMillan and Martha Gano gave brilliant presentations about their love for Bishop Anderson House, and we enjoyed the group presentation [...]
Individual and group participation is welcome. Cost per individual: $10, includes 2 copies of Five Wishes Cost per group of 10: $35, includes 10 copies of Five Wishes Your copies of Five Wishes will be mailed to the address provided, and the link to the Zoom workshop will be emailed the week prior to the date selected. To commemorate National Health Care Decisions Day, Bishop Anderson House offered 2 virtual workshops on Advance Care Planning using the Five Wishes format. We have learned from COVID-19 that not one of us knows what is around the corner. Completing [...]
The first session of 2021 Spiritual Care Visitor Training kicked off in January with Zoom retreats introducing active listening, the cornerstone of the course. The students, from the Chicagoland area and Wisconsin, and are now completing the 7 online modules at their own pace. Students practice their skills 2 hours per week by providing (virtual) spiritual care, and writing 2 verbatims, which provides time for reflection on their visits. Next session begins with the virtual retreats on August 21 and 28. Learn more here, or contact Kim at Kim_Lessner@rush.edu.
The energetic Friends of the House team spent the end of 2020 planning a collection of warm winter items for Hope's Table and the CORE Center of Cook County. "I was blown away by how many people came together to donate to community members in need," shares Lesli Vipond, a member of the Friends of the House board. "We'd hoped people would participate in the clothing drive, but the support from the community and our business partners was honestly so much more than I could have imagined. What a bright spot at the end of a long year!" Bags [...]
The West Side Partners in Caring program is a bereavement support group for families who have lost their children during pregnancy or after birth. Since the pandemic, the monthly group gatherings have moved to Zoom meetings. This group provides parents an opportunity to share their stories and receive support from each other and from the facilitators. Currently the group has only been open to Rush families, although historically both UIC and Stroger have participated in the program. In January, we began dialogue with Stroger to reinitiate involvement so that more families are able to receive support after they leave the hospital. [...]
I never thought I would miss the sound of weeping or gnashing of teeth But now I long for it over the constant hum of those damn machines They just don’t mourn quite the same. 15 minutes is all you get, no hugs no kiss on the cheek They tell the family as they don their gowns with ease I hand a form for the body’s release It is their 5th one this week They knew the funeral home address by memory What’s the purpose of someone like me? I know that I’m supposed one who can accompany, But [...]