Notes From Our Visitation Pastor
Pastor Dee Miller shares a variety of topics with us regarding her work within our congregation, visiting those in hospitals, nursing homes and in their homes.
Follow Pastor Dee for regular updates.
by Pastor Dee Miller 3-8-2019
As I am sitting here approaching the weekend by starting my daily devotions, it struck me that once again God’s plan is so incredible and unique. We as United Methodists have all types of emotions and opinions about the special General conference that just happened in St Louis. Most of us are very weary with the weather at this point of the year and are impatient for flowers, sunshine and warmth. Lastly, I have the honor and privilege to witness and be present for so many people who are enduring physical challenges with testing, infusions, medicines and prayers. In the midst of all this human difficulty and pain, God places Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of 40 days and 40 nights. This is a holy time where God pursues and calls each and every one of us for renewal of our lives by fasting, prayer, and reading scripture. It is really a time of self-examination and opportunity to get into a right relationship with our Lord and Savior.
I have to admit that growing up in the church, I truly didn’t understand the truer deeper meaning of Lent and back then, the only church that participated in Ash Wednesdays were the Roman Catholics. It wasn’t until I was almost 17 and our youth group viewed a movie about The Passion that I finally had an awakening to the incredible and total sacrifice that Jesus did for each and every one of us. It began my journey of continued attempts to really pay attention to keeping a Holy Lent with self reflection, fasting and a period of journaling and repentance. Annually, it has allowed me to take another step in my personal relationship with Jesus and to fully realize the importance Jesus’s love and grace is in my life.
So I am looking forward to this journey again this year alongside a new wonderful group of people at Valpo FUMC as we all attempt to be faithful to a process where we remember that Humanity has two problems: 1. Is that we are mortal beings that came from dust and to dust we will return and 2. We all fail in our lives; each and every one of us. I can tell you that I have filled many journals discussing my failureS with God.
Together let us pray that we will all try to attempt something new this year that will help renew our relationship with Jesus. The leadership staff has created so many opportunities to help us keep a Holy Lent. Enjoy the journey and process of Lent so we fully experience the celebration of Easter TOGETHER.
We, as your pastors, want to be available to you when you are in the hospital or facing a difficult time in your life but we are having a little difficulty at times getting through the front desks of the hospital.
If you have a given birth name that you DO NOT USE, please be sure that it is in our church data base. We will continue to call you by the name you prefer when we are with you in person BUT the hospital operators and front desk people WILL NOT tell us what room you are in unless we have the complete correct name. This prevents us from visiting you or getting into the ER when there is an emergency.
So, if your birth name is different please let Lani at the church office know so we can have the correct name in our data base along with which name you prefer. The church office phone number is 219.465.1661.
Thanks so much. Pastor Dee
by Pastor Dee MillerSeptember 19, 2018
There is one thing that I have learned in being a chaplain and a pastor is there are people who fiercely guard their privacy, particularly during difficult times of their lives. I believe the new laws called HIPPA were created to safeguard people’s privacy and helps all of us by guarding our personal health issues to be the conversation between people that we don’t even know.
In the church, we as disciples want desperately to support each other with love and grace always. That help is different for each individual because we are all unique personalities. As pastors and chaplains, we are bound by vows of confidentiality and we have to take those vows very seriously. As disciples in the church it is important to understand that when someone confides in us it is a sacred trust. In honoring that trust it is important that we ask permission to share what and with whom they will give you permission to share information. We need to ask permission to put someone on the prayer chain and we also need to ask what they want shared through the prayer chain or in different groups where joys and concerns are shared. We need to stop and ask ourselves: Do we have permission to share any information here??? All of us can prayer for someone without knowing any of the details of the situation in someone’s life. Sometimes, people guard their privacy in order to have space to process and gather resources to deal with what is happening in their lives. Other people want as many people praying for them as possible.
We all deal with difficult situations differently. Please let us all respect our individuality and our different needs for privacy as we strive to support each other with God’s love and grace. --Dee
Thank you to all the people who made it possible to bring light to those hurting this holiday season with our Longest Night Service. Thank you to Gene and Bonnie Albert who served to fabulous hot chocolate and treats. This service will become a yearly event so we look forward to any volunteers who want to be involved. The pastors are working to making this service even more meaningful next year.
The care team members delivered this holiday season beautiful door decorations that said Joy to all of our homebound members of the church I want to particularly thank Chris and Kevin Stewart and Deb Wuebbling for their creative talents in making this possible. I wish that you all could have seen the joyous reactions from our parishioners as we all delivered them these special gifts.
We are still looking for volunteers to share their faith by delivering a homily at the Pines monthly service on the First Thursday of each month. If you might be interesting in this wonderful opportunity please let Pastor Dee know.
IF YOU ARE HAVING SURGERY - please call and leave a message on Pastor Dee’s extension. If you leave it on the prayer request cards we might not see it in time to be present for you at the hospital. We really want to be able to pray you in for your surgeries or visit you in the hospital. Also if you have a given name that we do not know you by please let us know in the message because if we don’t ask for your given name then they will tell us you are not there due to HIPPA regulations.
Thank you to all the dedicated care team members that are being God’s hands and feet in this ministry. I really appreciate all that you do. If you are interested in joining the team please leave Pastor Dee a message because we will have another meeting in January.
In His Grace,Pastor Dee