Though rarely planned, a hospital stay is often part of “a life’s journey,” says the Rev. Thomas C. Jackson, Episcopal chaplain in Stanford Hospital’s Spiritual Care Service program. Providing companionship on that journey, in whatever form patients request, is the goal, whether it involves sharing conversation, prayers, the Eucharist or simply silence.
Jackson, who also directs volunteer chaplains and seminarians in clinical pastoral education at Stanford Hospital, will speak about his work with the ill and dying this Sunday and Wednesday, March 25 and 28, as the final installment of “Being the Hands of Jesus: Lenten Conversations” at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church. He’ll be joined by licensed family therapist and grief counselor Tanya Gulevich, who works with the Pathways hospice program.
“When we meet a patient for the first time, we never know how our journey together will end. If things go well and the patient is healed, our time together is short. Sometimes the course of treatment will run for months, taking us on a roller coaster ride of good and bad days,” Jackson wrote in the Episcopal Chaplaincy winter newsletter. “The best we can do is to walk with a patient and their family as they move through the bright hill tops and dark valleys and all the places in between.”
The 45-minute discussions, which are free and open to the public, take place at 9:15 am Sunday (3/25) and 6:30 pm Wednesday (3/28) in Lehman Hall, to the right of the church parking lot entrance off Monte Rosa Avenue, at 2650 Sand Hill Road. A simple supper is available at 6:00 pm. Wednesday, with a requested donation of $5; RSVP to the parish office at (650) 854-6555.