January 23, 2021

A Day at Work in the Great Hall

Yesterday, this Caucasian, American, Midwestern Christian who now practices his faith in a Lutheran church, who grew up a Methodist, who had a spiritual awakening in a Southern Baptist church, who went to a non-denominational Bible college and an Evangelical Free Church seminary, who served as a pastor in American Baptist, Bible, and Community churches, went to work.

I spoke to a gay colleague who attends a Methodist church.

I tried to call one of my supervisors, who is a member of a Nazarene church.

When I couldn’t get her, I phoned a Mormon coworker.

I prayed at the bedside with an African-American family whose loved one had died.

I greeted my white, African-American, Latino, and Asian co-workers at the hospital.

I read an email from an administrator whose husband served as a pastor in the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

I texted a Roman Catholic co-worker about a personal situation.

I phoned a Mennonite friend and inquired about having lunch together.

I offered to give some pastoral counsel to a friend who grew up in the Church of Christ, but is now looking for a church home because she never really felt her parents’ church was her own.

I also sent an email to a United Methodist friend.

I sat at the bedside of an unchurched person and prayed for her.

I had a brief conversation with another chaplain, who is Catholic.

I visited the home of a woman who had grown up Southern Baptist, but who most recently has been part of a Church of Christ congregation.

I tried to set up a visit with a lady who was once part of an independent Baptist congregation, another to a lady who attends a Wesleyan church, and yet another who is a member of Disciples of Christ church.

I made a pastoral call to the home of a man who has no church, but who had a local Pentecostal preacher he knows officiate his father’s funeral.

Then I visited a young man whose family has been part of an independent Christian Church congregation.

I emailed a pastor who will be seeing some patients for me when I’m off. He’s a Wesleyan.

I communicated with a couple of fellow team members who are active in the Church of God.

I will be participating in a charity golf tournament today in memory of a young Roman Catholic man.

• • •

At the end of day, we go to our separate rooms. And like most everyone, I feel strongly about the rightness and suitability of the room wherein I dwell.

But during the day, I am happy to spend time with all of these interesting people, as we try to help each other and serve together in our little corner of the great hall of humanity.


  1. Why would you want want to call your supervisor a Nazarene? Is that some sort of insult in your denomination?

  2. No, it is a denomination.
    Google Church of the Nazarene

  3. Looks like the Kingdom of God to me! Red and yellow, black and white and Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Mennonite, gay and more.

  4. I got it, Bidley. Lol

  5. separate rooms . . . great hall . . . c.s. lewis

    good application of his description . . . you understand a lot about that central hall . . .

  6. The ‘other guy’ is at his worst when we are isolated from him. Connectedness brings a rounding of the edges.

  7. So if you talk to a gay Latino Catholic, do you write them up as gay, Latino, or Catholic? You speak of Catholics who golf, not of golfers who go to mass.

    No one on your list is identified as white (except in the fifth line, where whites are named as a group alongside several other categories). Is that because whiteness is the norm from which departures are noted?

    As a monetarist, I nevertheless maintain friendships with Keynesians, Marxists, followers of the Austrian school, and even those who drift through life without any monetary policy.

    • I would imagine the majority defines the norm. So if an African-American who lived in an African-American area had written this article, he might have written about the non-African-American without referencing the ethnicities of all the other folk who were Atrican-American.

      Now what I find odd is the whole White thing. I’m not white. I have an ethnicity deriving from a specific group in Europe. So are most of the folks I work and live with. So we’re German-Americans or Irish-Americans, or Czech-Americans or whatever.

    • I identified myself as white too — to be precise, Caucasian. I only mentioned in the line about my hospital coworkers to note that we were all working together on the same unit.

  8. You have no Calvinists in your life? 😉

    • They are rare around here. I did see a Presbyterian at the golf tournament today and a phone call from someone who attends a Reformed church. This is Indiana, where revivalist churches and Wesleyan theology rule.

    • Come to think of it, I don’t know that I actually know any Calvinists in real life… There one guy I can think of who might call himself one. I think Calvinists are an over-represented minority on the internet. 🙂

    • I know a few Calvinists…. as I read this post I was just thinking how some people would react in the circles I once moved in…

      “Evangelism opportunity” vs’ “He/she/it is not Christian….” I remember those days when you took inventory when you met someone and immediatly realize “they are not saved…” or in a few cases being unsure and discussing that with others who have taken the plunge with the koolaide.

      I don’t miss those days at all…..

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