Association for Clinical Pastoral Education Application (ACPE) HSL:
Jewish Geriatric Chaplaincy Training
2. A reasonably full account of your life.
Let me begin by introducing to you who I am and where I was born and raised.
The year was August 8, 1959, I was born at Temple Hospital which is located on North Broad Street Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I say with pride and boldness I am a African-American woman born in The United States of America,
My parents were Blessed with the birth of having nine children, four boys and five girls; I was raised in a household where there was love, laughter, peace, and sadness.
I can recall as a child my mother, maternal grandmother, and my eldest sister Bonnie reared me to become the woman I am today, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit of God. Still today I wonder about what made me so special back then that they kept me close underneath them, and never far out of their sight.
My parents raised their children to say Grace and Bless our food before we put a morsel of food in our mouthâ€™s. My siblings and I were raised with morals and values that would give us stability in life. For example; I was asked over and over again starting at the age of five what I would like too become when I grow-up? After going to college/ maybe Villanova or Temple University. Temple University is where my father went to law school. I was undecided of exactly what I imagined my career life would look like as an adult, I know I liked being with people. My parents kept reminding their children that there are two types of people in the world; good people and bad people, what type of people would you have for friends? My maternal grandmother taught me how to pray in the morning and at night before going to bed. I would pray at night on my knees that God for keeping me and my family during the day, and in the morning thanking God for watching over my family and I during the night. My maternal grandmother lived with us until the day of her death.
3. A description of your spiritual growth and development
The lineage of my maternal grandmother’s faith was Baptist, which she practiced and passed on to her only child, mother and her grandchildrenI. At the age of 5 years old I really did not have a full understanding who God was and why I was born and living here in the world. Life for me was a mystery and trying to understand God.
I was 9 years old when my grandmother die in July 1970, I stopped attending church for awhile it was something about God that made me to seek Him, worship Him, and try to build a relationship with God to understand who He is and what part God work in my life (why am I here and what is my purpose in life).
The year my disconnection from God happened right before my 11th birthday, August 8,1972 and the week of my graduation from elementary school, one week after my sister Bonnie gave birth to her first child, my mother passed away June 23, 1972. I was unable to comprehend what had happened to my mother and I waited and waited and waited and my mother never came back home. I need to express that death is one of the subjects that my family talked about or expressed openly. I was raised with the belief that â€œchildren should be seen and not heard and children should never be in the present of adult conversations.â€
Bonnie, my oldest sister moved out into an apartment with her daughter, leaving the four youngest children in the house with my father to care for 3 teenage girls and 1 teenage son. My father was Honorably discharged from the Navy, because he was wounded in the War. After my father recovered from his injuries he sustained from the war he worked as a long distance truck driver. My father worked long hours and did not have time to care for his children. My aunts, uncles, and other family members tried to help my father with raising his children, but the support my father need was support for his school age, young girls, a male son during the time he was at work during the day and at night. I was still in middle school when my father come to me and my youngest sister and said that he could not care for use and keep us safe, that we would be going to live in a group home and would be able to receive the care we needed mentally,physically, and socially. My father went on to say that we will be able to go and spend time with my other sisters and brothers who were married or living on their own. My sister and I stayed in the group home until our 18th birthday.
On December 19, 1977 I married my husband at the time I was 18 years old. Less than a year later my brother one year older then I was murder by a police officer, going home from celebrating my sister birthday at her home. November 19,1978, this was a dark and sad day for my family, the death of a son, a brother, a cousin, an uncle, ectâ€¦
I had a contrite heart which needed to be restored by God HImself. My sisters and brothers whom passed away Evelyn 2006, Kathryn 2007, James 2009, Robert Earl 2016, and my youngest sister Denise 2019
I am reminded of two scriptures: the â€œProdigal sonâ€ Luke 15:11-33 and â€œNo man can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the otherâ€ Matthew 6:24.â€ It was death that made my soul cry out to God to rescue me, and He did. Not only did God rescue me from a world of darkness, sadness, and despair, He gave me a purpose in life that was alright inside my spirit. I will never forget when God first called me to ministry, I heard the calling but did not answer, until every door I
tried to open, God closed each one of them. I eventually answered the calling of God that was in my life by doing my research and spoke with Deans of The School of Theology at Universities and Colleges. It became frustrating and took me many years to get to where I am today as a Licensed Hospice Aide and I am pursuing to become a Hospice Chaplain.
I went to God have shown me that I have a gift of healing the broken heart through Him, the gift of showing compassion to mothers and fathers who feel alone and isolated in a world where very few people care about seniors well-being.
In 2004 the quality of life I was living was full of hopelessness and sadness. My son said to me you need to go to church and I decided to go to . I joined Morning Star Baptist Church in 2005. I became a member on the Missionary board in 2009. I joined the aspirants ministry in 2015. I also joined the bereavement ministry in 2017, to enhance my ability to serve as a Hospice Aide and a Hospice Chaplain.
4. A description of your work (vocational) history.
It was the summer of 1978, I was 19 years old that James and I decided to move to Baltimore Maryland and start our adventure through life as husband and wife.
I will never forget that day when someone gave me a career list and asked me â€œNow Roberta you are 18 years old what do you want to do with your life.â€ In other words, that type of work I wanted to do. I knew that healthcare was the field I wanted to pursue. My very first job was in 1977 working in a medical center on Girard Avenue North Philadelphia, medical filing and cleaning officers. When I moved to Baltimore with my husband in 1978 I worked for a short period of time at Popeyes and other fast food restaurants. I started my career in Healthcare on April 14,1981, at The Belair Convalesarium, as a Geriatric Aide. Working with the Geriatric population in Healthcare enhanced my personality and skills. I wanted to aid and do more for the elderly and frail.
After years and decades working as a Geriatric Aide, Nursing Aide, Nursing Assistant, I attended North Shore Community College. I received an Associate Degree in Human Services. I continued my education at Salem State University, where I received my Bachelor Degree in Social Work. I have received my BSW License and Hospice Aide License. I have held many positions over the 42 years of my working career and experience: in the field of Healthcare and Human Services from case manager, counselor, Home Health Aide, Homemaker, and Hospice Aide.
On September 28,2020 I was hired as an Hospice Aide by Hebrew Senior Life (HSL). Unfortunately I had to step down from my position due to the increased numbers of patients contracting COVID-19/Coronavirus during the pandemic and I am looking forward to returning to working at Hebrew Senior Life.
February 2014 to September 2019, I worked for Bayada Healthcare, as an Home Health Aide/ CNA. I provided personal care servicing, adults and elderly patients in their private homes, Nursing homes, and Assisted Living homes, and Rehabilitation facilities. I also provided companionship to some of the patients I care for.
In 2013-2015 I worked for Best of Care Inc. as a CNA/ HomeMaker servicing seniors and adults providing personal care, Homemaking service, and companionship. I also was able to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments and transportation to grocery stores, outdoors activities.
4. An account of a â€œhelping incidentâ€ in which you were the person who provided
I can recall my very first visit with Mrsâ€¦. She was assigned to me by my supervisor at Bayada Healthcare Inc. doing my first visit with Mrs.â€¦ Very soft-spoken weighed about 110 pounds she said at the table in her kitchen and she was in a conversation with her daughter and her other caregiver she had a smile on her face that glow and light up the whole kitchen. She said to me the next day tell me about yourself and I did I told her I had two sons and four grandchildren, and that I attended church in Boston. And she said to me â€œI donâ€™t believe in God, will you still be my friend?â€ I was surprised of the response and I didnâ€™t know how to respond. I prayed silently, and then I responded yes I will be your friend. From that day forward I did not mention anything about God but I let her see God in deeds and action the compassion of care I served, in how I served each of her meals, how comforting I was as her companion. Everything that I did for her she was able to see God in me and I did not have to speak about God it was in my actions. Mrsâ€¦.passed away, September 16,2019.
5. Your impressions of Clinical Pastoral Education.
Because my calling is to become a Hospice Chaplain I will need to gain knowledge and experience on an in deep leve the empathy process of serving seniors during their aging process, family members,caregivers, and friends during their grieving process.
My understanding of the Clinical Pastoral Education program(CPE). The CPE is a 2 two part program which will equip students who are pursuing their calling as chaplains with lectures and hands-on experience in order to serve seniors and their families who are having a difficult time doing the process of aging and dementia.
Moreover the information that I received from HSL stats: â€œJewis Geriatric Chaplaincy Training, our curriculum addresses spiritual care as it relates to aging, illnesses of aging (including dementia), family caregivers, bioethical decision-making, dying, and bereavement. Special attention is given To cultural demographic diversity impacting and spiritual issues of older adults, including trauma-informed care, recognizing resilience,Working with patients with dementia, LGBT Identities, and being there and being â€œnot religious.â€œ Students serve as chaplains interns on assigned HSL units, providing spiritual care to patients, family, and staff. Our Primary Lens is that of Jewish spiritual care students who wish to learn about spiritual care from the pet prospect of other religious/spiritual traditions are invited to make this one there.â€
My Heavenly Father ordered my steps to HSL and opened my eyes, here is where I will study how to serve Him and His people/ children. The Jewish Geriatric Chaplaincy Education program there is a calling on my life from my Heavenly Father, God to achieve and serve Him and serve His children as a Hospice Chaplain.