Over the past three months I’ve had the opportunity to share my transition story, my ministry story, essentially my “faith story” on several occasions and to a variety of audiences and people. In doing so I have tried to navigate the best way to describe my identity, as well as the identity of the ministry, “Public Safety Ministries Inc.” Although I am the only staff person with PSMI, and my personality and faith and beliefs are the primary contributing factors to defining the ministry, the PSMI identity is something much bigger than that. It is much like when I was a police chief. My individual characteristics and personality played a significant role in defining the Eden Prairie Police Chief. But the Office of Police Chief stood for something much bigger than any individual that held the position.
The identity that I have decided to pursue for my role in the ministry is best categorized as “Chaplain”. And like when I held the Office of Police Chief, as I hold the Office of Chaplain, in several organizational capacities, I realize that I am a critical component of an “Office” that is much bigger than the person that occupies it, me.
One of my goals for the next three months is to bring better clarity and definition to the ministry and its mission: “Serving Those Who Protect: by Promoting Spiritual Fitness in the Public Safety Professions”. As I define the ministry and my role as chaplain I must often define myself. Here I take a quote from Jack Fortin’s “The Centered Life” page 16
“In this book I speak out of who I am, from my center as a Christian. At the same time I respect those of other faiths or no faith….. I believe I can help others most by being true to my own center”
So in this ministry I speak out of who I am, a Christian, a Lutheran, a retired cop and chief, and a often stubborn and independent individual. But not only do I respect those in the public safety professions of different faiths, beliefs and thoughts, I want to embrace them, learn from them and most of all serve them by encouraging and supporting them in their personal spiritual fitness development.