This past year has been a time of some personal and professional change (spoiler alert, all good changes I believe). I’m about to conclude my 12th year of full-time work as the Chaplain of Public Safety Ministries. Since this is a simple “Check-In” as opposed to a full fledged “Ministry Update”, I’ll try and keep it short. There are two things I’d like to share with you regarding some good changes.
First, The most important thing I’ve learned since January 2007 (when I retired from EPPD). I became a pastor after I retired, with a mission to be a Spiritual Care Provider to Police, Fire and EMS personnel throughout Minnesota. I was engaging the professions intending to work my way in as a chaplain and provide them with care… to care for them. What I learned very quickly, was that if I truly wanted to care for these cops, firefighters and medics, I first needed to care about them. Get to know who they are, what they do, and why they do it. And most importantly, stay out of their way while doing that! **Important Lesson Learned: “Care for people, by caring about people.”
Second, I’ve changed “where” I focus my ministry work. When I started engaging the public safety professions I first engaged the professional associations such as the Hennepin County Chiefs of Police Association (HCCPA) the MN Police Chiefs (MCPA), the MN Law Enforcement Association (LEMA), the MN Fire Service Foundation and others. This provided the opportunity for high visibility, high attendance engagements where I could share ideas for promoting and providing Spiritual Care and Support. Those efforts were very productive and now I have hundreds of agency and individual Care relationships. Through those relationships, seeds were planted for other providers to grow their opportunities for providing care in their local communities. So, I’ve disengaged from the majority of those large associations and agencies (while maintaining active relationships with those that have replaced me). And now my ministry work focuses on going deeper with many of my local agencies (those within the west metro area of the Twin Cities) and their personnel. Because of my move from high visibility, high volume personal relationships, I intend to maintain communications with those I’ve served and those who are now engaged providing similar services, by providing more activity on this website.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and we’ll be in touch!
With Care, Pastor Dan