Carol Tubman
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Five Spiritual Care Providers (Chaplains) from the Diocese of Calgary joined colleagues professionally employed in health care from across Canada, in the first Anglican Health Care Chaplains National Gathering.  In his letter of welcome to the chaplains, Archbishop Fred Hiltz wrote, “More than anyone else, you understand the challenges patients and families face with regard to medical assistance in dying.  Yours is a demanding ministry and I am mindful of how costly it can be for you and your own wellbeing – physical, emotional and spiritual.”  The agenda included: plenary sessions on self-care; who chaplains serve and who supports them; and the relationship of professional Spiritual Care Providers to the church.  In recognition of the changing nature of healthcare, a large portion of time was devoted to discussing Medical Assistance in Dying (M.A.I.D.).  At the end of the weekend the gathered spiritual care providers expressed gratitude for the event, particularly for the: affirmation of their ministry, healing and celebratory worship, the sharing and acceptance of heartfelt stories, and the mutual support they experienced.  They left with an ardent hope that this was the first of many gatherings.