NCR Racial Ethnic Multicultural Network Workshop “Providing Patient Care in a Multi-Religious Context”
The NCR Racial Ethnic Multicultural Network held a day-long workshop at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Chicago on November 8th with financial support from the Chicago Area Supervisors’ continuing education fund. The topic, “Providing Patient Care in a Multi-Religious Context”, was chosen in recognition of that fact that religious diversity has be- come a distinct feature of American spirituality within the 21st century and that this diversity is increasingly reflected in the pa- tient and staff populations of the institutions we serve.
The Workshop addressed some important questions in both philosophical and practical ways: How do we maintain the integrity of our own religious or spiritual convictions while providing care for or worshiping with those whose beliefs and practices differ from ours? How do we prepare students for this task? It was led by Rev. Dirk Ficca, Executive Direc- tor - Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. The Council is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization fostering inter-religious encounter, dialogue, and cooperative common action in metropolitan Chicago and around the world.
Interwoven with Rev. Ficca’s presentation were religious observances from four different traditions: Jewish, led by Phyllis Toback; Muslim, led by Darnell Karim; Christian, led by Gale Poindexter and her CPE students; and Unitarian Universalist, led by Deb Derylak. There was also opportunity for small group discussion-- first about specific cases, then about the points of view that characterize our approaches to the provision of spiritual care in a multi-religious context.
Participants in REM Workshop, Advocate South Suburban Hospital: Rev. Ficca suggested that we will best navigate these uncharted waters if our goal is harmony rather than unity and convergence rather than consensus, and our focus facilitation rather than struc- ture. He argued that historically we have spent our time trying to find areas of agreement, while neglecting to build trust, which is where we should really be channeling our efforts.
One of the ways we build trust is to offer hospitality. This involves moving beyond tolerance to understanding; becom- ing comfortable with our own spiritual identity; seeking out opportunities to experience the world of the other; and finding resources within our own religious traditions for the offering of hospitality, so we are fulfilling rather than com- promising our faith in offering it.
The ACPE Multicultural Competencies
Task Group is asking Supervisors to fill out forms regarding the composition of their summer groups in regards to each student’s ethnicity, country of origin, native language, religious affiliation, level of educa- tion, physical handicap, level of training, etc. The forms are on the website.
Participants were asked to reflect on which of the following points of view characterizes their approach to religion, spiri- tuality, pastoral care, collegiality, and common or shared religious observances or practices:
I have the truth; I have the power.
I have the full truth and the ultimate power; others have them only partially.
The Task Force also held focus groups at regional an- nual meetings where Supervisors were asked to share their experiences, and reflect on how their personal education and their theological/religious, personality and educational theories inform their supervision in a context of multicultural diversity.
We all have the truth; We all share in the power. I have my view of the truth and respect
NCR Focus Group:
the truth of others; I have my share of power and honor the power of others.
NCR FOCUS GROUP
Which best characterizes your approach?