Why write books about chaplains?

I came across an inspiring blog post today: Life as a queer chaplain by Laura Arnold. I’m at a particularly thorny stage of writing the next Reverend Lindsay Harding book, and I’ve been a bit discouraged. This post really helped reconnect me with my “mission”–to entertain and engage, while reminding people that we are all children of God*. We all need love. We all seek truth. We all crave meaning and connection. Chaplains, whatever their personal stories, come into our lives at critical moments and do their best to help us walk through to the other side. But chaplains are just like the rest of us–struggling with their own inner turmoil and trying to make their own way in this world.

*Note: Please substitute The Universe or Humanity if the idea of God doesn’t speak to you.


  1. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this outstanding blog!
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  2. jChaplain Martin says:

    Clinically trained chaplains and pastoral counselors are greatly needed in hospitals, psych hospitals, prisons and recovery programs. The work of the chaplain is most often low key and person to the patient and staff. Often the administration of hospitals think of ministers who are chaplains of being just an add-on that can help a little in the JAHCO grading survey. They often start out with an attitude of the chaplain being “one down”. Physicians who lose a patient often see that as a terrible defeat, an in my experience, they brighten when the chaplain arrives and quickly exit the grieving family scene. Being a chaplain is often a teaching process. A Chaplain must have access to all the hospital and must have access to the charts and charting.
    Books about chaplaincy have been long in coming. I am concerned that the two books I read of Mindy Quigley that involved chaplaincy needs more about pastoral care to patients and staff.


    1. kevinformal says:

      The next book, A Burnt Island Burial Ground, will go into some detail about her relationship with a dying patient. I hadn’t thought about her showing her counseling a member of staff, but that’s a good idea, too. I think you’re right that the pastoral care side of her job has been in the background for the first two books. It would be nice to show more of that, as she is clearly very dedicated (maybe even overly dedicated) to her job.


  3. Chaplain Martin says:

    My mistake: I somehow put a “j” in front of my name.


    1. kevinformal says:

      That makes it cool, like iPhone, and iPads! 🙂


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