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Welcome to the Social Media Chaplain newsletter!
Each month, I send you an email with resources I’ve discovered that are helpful for people giving care to other people in times of hospital and grief. It's a mix of things to help you, for you to share, and for you to reflect about. If you have suggestions of resources, I'd love to hear about them. 

And if you know someone who would find these resources helpful, please forward this to them so they can subscribe. 

Recent writing I've done

In "Hospital Prayer", I'm unpacking more of what I think about conversing with God in hospitals. It's part of Before You Walk In, a book I'm working on for everyone who heads to the hospital to care for people. 

"May you have peace" is my response to the way Facebook and others load on us the expectations of fake holidays. 

"Too great for me" is a reflection on Psalm 131. It ends "Stop the stream. Filter the flurry. Resist the reactions. Comfort the crying. Care for the dying. Calm and quiet our souls."


What I'm reading
A son has a traumatic brain injury in a football game. The parents handle it differently. And then are willing to tell their story in the book, Hit Hard: One Family's Journey of Letting Go of What Was--and Learning to Live Well with What Is. Here's the review. When trauma on the field creates trauma in the home

One of the writers at Christianity Today wanted to do a podcast series on the prosperity gospel. He discovered that it was a podcast series on grief. https://www.christianitytoday.com/partners/christian-standard-bible/living-and-effective/

Karl Vaters talks about the significance of smaller churches. He's drawn the line at about 250 people. In "'Get more people in the room' is dead: Here's what's replacing it," Karl talks about the value of engagement, influence, relationship, and depth. Awareness of when people are in the hospital and in need can be a result of these four. 

A man wants to be baptized. No big deal, unless he's on oxygen, dying of lung cancer, wanting to be baptized by immersion. The chaplain at University of Alabama at Birmingham helps. (thanks to Laurie Reese for the tip)

"Make a joyful silence unto the Lord" is a plea and argument for silence as part of worship services. 

I've been following the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College for a few years. Jamie Aten, the director, has written about the impact natural and human disasters have on people. For example, "Don't romanticize suffering following the Aurora mass shooting" where he writes, 

Growth doesn’t just cancel out all the struggles of suffering. It would be nice if growth were somehow guaranteed, if it always came as a wonderful gift that somehow over time compensated for suffering. But sometimes growth comes at devastating and painstaking costs, and sometimes not at all.

The blessing of suffering isn’t growth. It’s being reminded that our lives have meaning and that we aren’t alone in our hurts — whether we grow or not.

Jamie's part of a research team looking at spiritual fortitude. In their words, "SF is defined as a character trait enabling people to endure and make redemptive meaning from adversity through their sacred connections with God, others, and themselves." Development and validation of a measure of spiritual fortitude

In closing. . .

Again, if you know this is helpful for someone else, please forward this email to them with your endorsement. I'd love to be able to help more people doing what you are doing.  

And, if you'd like to know more about supporting this project and 300wordsADay, please read "sustaining". 

Thanks!

See you next month!

Jon 

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