SPM educational event, retreat set for October

Registration is now open for “Lutheran Pastoral Care in Pluralistic Contexts,” an educational event and retreat for those involved in specialized pastoral ministries.

spm-retreat-INThe SPM Regional Education Event, sponsored by LCMS Specialized Pastoral Ministry (SPM), is set for Oct. 28-30 at the Mercy Conference and Retreat Center in St. Louis. The event is for chaplains, pastoral counselors, clinical educators and others involved with specialized pastoral ministries in the LCMS and those exploring SPM-related ministry.

The event is designed to give specialized pastoral ministers of the LCMS continuing-education hours as they learn from seasoned colleagues who have worked in pluralistic settings for decades.

“Providing these educational events to our colleagues serving on the front lines of specialized pastoral ministry has been an honor,” said the Rev. Joel Hempel, manager of LCMS SPM. “Quite frankly, those in SPM don’t get many opportunities to spend quality time together sharing best practices, unloading stress and finding encouragement from brothers and sisters in Christ who get what they do.”

Presentations and speakers include: “Pastoral Care in Pluralistic Contexts” by the Rev. Dr. Phil Kuehnert, connections pastor at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Williamsburg, Va.; “Personal and Professional Wellness” by the Rev. Lee Joesten, chaplain at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill.; and two Bible studies by the Rev. Russ Helbig, supervisory chaplain at FCI Williamsburg, a medium-security federal correctional institution in Salters, S.C.

In addition to the speakers, the event will feature small-group and plenary discussions, worship, peer support and an opportunity for a post-event workshop or peer review. Up to 12 continuing-education hours will be available. The event also will allow time to connect with those involved in specialized ministries.

The event is similar to the first-ever SPM Regional Educational Event held in February in St. Louis, which drew 30 participants.

That event helped participants meet continuing-education requirements for ecclesiastical endorsement that went into effect last year for many of the rostered LCMS workers in ministries that SPM serves. Those rostered workers include institutional and emergency-services chaplains, clinical pastoral educators and pastoral counselors, along with Veterans Affairs and federal prison chaplains who are required to maintain their ecclesiastical endorsement with 20 hours of SPM-related continuing education each year.

As many as three educational events will be planned each year.

Registration, program, housing and meals are free for those eligible. Travel scholarships of $250 each are available, based upon need and request.

To download the registration form, click here. The registration deadline is Oct. 10.

For more information, email the SPM office at spm@lcms.org or joel.hempel@lcms.org, or call 314-996-1388.

To learn more about LCMS Specialized Pastoral Ministry, visit lcms.org/spm.

Posted July 24, 2014

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