By Alex Chamtcheu
2017 Conference Workshops Chair
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24.32)
Our conference theme in 2017 is “Hearts on Fire: Our Own Emmaus Journey.” As we began selecting pre-conferences and workshops for the conference, we realized that our journey to Emmaus had already begun.
Our rich pre-conference offerings will explore the competencies for spiritual care leadership; renew our interest in research projects by exploring care conferences; explore the art of storytelling through various forms of arts; and, finally, rediscover how we can use the treasure of our Catholic social justice tradition to minister to patients, families, and our institutions.
The workshop submissions show the excitement of NACC members, non-members, and chaplains from other faith traditions to share their ministry, expertise, and creative skills with all. We have been blessed to receive many submissions, covering most aspects of our ministry and capturing the vibrancy of our profession: Prayer and spirituality; research; leadership; palliative care. Our presenters will also discuss new trends in chaplaincy and beyond hospital; workplace spirituality; creative chaplain skills; end of life issues; self-care; and much more. I am confident that with the wide range of workshops offered, everyone who attends the conference will find a way to revive their interest in a particular topic or to spark a whole new area of learning.
It has been a delight to realize that some of our upcoming workshops have been featured in local news because of their creativity and inspiration, and some are hits on YouTube because they offer creative ways enhance spiritual healing and wellness.
The conference is always an occasion of making connection, building new relationships, allowing self-discovery, widening horizons, building community, gaining new learning, and much more. Even though our Emmaus journey goes through New Mexico, our destination is really the journey, and we hope to feel our hearts burning inside. Come ready to have your heart set on fire for discipleship.
Alex Chamtcheu, BCC, is a chaplain at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Milwaukee, WI.