Happy New Year

Dear Chaplain Family,
Happy New Year or, better yet, A Blessed New Year. As a Christian, I came into the new year with the words from songs like “Peace on earth to men of good will” and “Joy to the World,” still ringing in my ears. I was looking at new opportunities for ministry, since I retired from Soul Repair Center. Ardis and I had a wonderful trip to visit Randall in Stamford, CT for Christmas. But then – Paris.

I was reminded that our world is a violent place and that our belief systems are part of the cause of that violence, hatred, and horror in our world. I think that the Almighty could ask, ‘Let the community without this sin throw the first stone.” I am also certain that no rocks would fly and quietly we would all shuffle away. That is a sad picture of how we all have misused the Revelation we have been given by God. Where is hope?

All my ministry has been connected to chaplaincy and that ministry has given me hope. I think that deep in the soul of authentic chaplaincy exists a gem called “Respect for the faith of all.” That we can “Cooperate without Compromise.” The gem becomes precious because it, like a pearl, is formed by pain. The pain that I have experience in the collegial relationships with other chaplains moved me from “Tolerance” for all to “Respect” for all as I struggled to express in our lives of faith the powerful experience of the Theophany – the problem of brokenness in our world and in ourselves, even while we gaze at the gems gifts of insight, love and friendship on our chaplain community.

What I wish for all of us in this New Year the blessings of the contemplation of the gem as it moves us all the value and respect each other and our faith even when and especially when we experience hurts in our community. May your year be blessed as you grow in your faith!

Herman Keizer Jr.
Herman Keizer, Jr.