New Chaplain Finds Retreat

As a brand new chaplain, I was eager to participate in as many NAES programs as I could. I enrolled in the Mentoring Program for New Chaplains and found a wonderful match. After various tragedies at our school in the first semester of my new job, I found continual support in my mentor, the staff of NAES, and the Zoom meetings they offered. Getting to meet the Mentoring Program participants in person at the NAES biennial conference in November 2022 was another way to make connections and gather ideas.

I was excited to be asked to be on the NAES Chaplain Retreat planning committee, and with a grant from the Anne Mellow Fund, I made my way to Baltimore in June 2024. Spending more quality time with my mentor and with the various friends I had made affirmed my work as a new chaplain and gave me the energy to begin to find my own voice at my school. At the conference, I got to present on the topic of inclusive language in chapel, a marker of Episcopal identity that creates belonging in our daily chapels at St. Mary’s. I also was glad to create a meditation space in one of the conference rooms for the necessary spiritual retreat that we needed. Everyone pooled together their icons, prayer mats, cushions, prayers, and music to create a space that we all enjoyed–gaining the attention of people at the conference center for different conferences! Our worship and plenary sessions were intimate and enriching.

I am grateful for the grant and the support of NAES. I encourage everyone to participate in as many online and in-person gatherings as possible, and I would make a special plug to do what you can to make it to the chaplain retreat next year!

Submitted By:
Miranda Cully
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