Yes, it’s another new day! It happens to coincide with a new calendar year, a new journal for Dan, a new work year after a couple weeks off, a new decor in our house (we took down the Christmas decorations), a new beard, a new perspective, and all other things that are made new again, each and every day!
But there’s also something else new going on here, something that doesn’t happen every day. Our Ministry (PSM / Public Safety Ministries Inc.) and our Minister (Me:), are starting off down a new path today. After almost 15 years as an incorporated/non-profit ministry (2005), 13 years of full time ministry outreach work (since 2007 EPPD retirement), and almost 10 years of fully ordained ministry (ELCA Lutheran ordained 2010), we’re re-creating what our ministry outreach work looks like. This re-creation of our work product concludes approximately two years of transitions.
When we first started this journey we decided to do whatever was asked of us (or allowed of us?), as long as it fit into our mission of promoting spiritual health and fitness in our public safety professions. That mission was very well received and our work soon transitioned from promoting spiritual health and fitness ideas; to providing spiritual health and fitness support and resource services. The vast majority of that work was providing direct spiritual care to Police, Fire and EMS agencies, their individual employees and their families, as well as the community members where these public safety professionals served. This work was done by making “house calls” to the places where these professionals work and live. Our work as an itinerant pastor (or chaplain in this case), and the literally thousands of miles covered throughout Minnesota, led to many of these care services existing with significantly low visibility… by design.
So, what’s new about the ministry today? Through all of the experiences we’ve encountered, over those thousands of miles and circumstances, we’ve discovered that we’ve actually learned some things… some things of great value… some things that we believe that our communities need to ensure that their spiritual health needs are met as directly and intentionally as their physical health and mental health needs. So with that brief introduction, simply stated, it’s time our ministry work becomes more visible*… so that people can see what we’ve done and learn some of the lessons we’ve learned.
(*A qualifier here… confidentiality is a critical component of our work, and this new visibility does’t change that. However, the vast majority of lessons learned are universal in nature, they express universal truths as my friend Fr. Tim always said. It is these truths that we intend to make visible in a positive, useful… and hopefully healthy way.)
So thanks for reading, feel free to pass this information on if you feel it’s of value, and stay tuned… there’s more to come!
With Care, Chaplain Dan