Chaplaincy is one of those gifts that came to me as an invitation to connect with life, others, and myself. I had the opportunity to complete one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) during my last semester in seminary and even though I grew up knowing about chaplaincy, it was not until this first CPE unit that I was exposed to the richness of this ministry. I fell in love with it right away! I noticed it was something that flowed very naturally in me never knowing it would become an intrinsic part of my life. Prior to this, my background in ministry was rooted in leading worship and music at conferences and denominational events. All of this was great and I thoroughly enjoyed the connections I made with people over the years. However, it took some time for me to listen and respond to the still small voice within me redirecting me back towards chaplaincy.
Soon after graduating from seminary, I had the opportunity to continue my training in pastoral care through a one-year CPE residency. This year would become a pivotal moment in my ministry for chaplaincy and gave me the opportunity to explore the application of faith in our daily lives and more importantly, out in the world. Chaplaincy allowed me to sit and walk alongside people with stories that I would have never considered exploring otherwise. It gave me an opportunity to see and embrace our diversity and God’s ever-expansive unconditional love. Today, I am fortunate and blessed to carry this ministry with families, children, youth, and young adults. It fills me with deep gratitude to create and cultivate opportunities where together, we can reconnect with God’s presence within us and through us.
The Rev. Jorge Sayago-Gonzalez is Chaplain at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School in Coconut Grove, FL.