Walking the Path: My Interfaith Journey

A Pagan seminarian's perspective on faith, theology, and facilitating interfaith dialogue.

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Denora

Denora

Denora is currently a full-time wife, mother, and chaplain. As an eight-year veteran of the United States Air Force, her professional career has spanned network administration, performing presidential support requirements and veteran military funeral honors in Arlington National Cemetery, and executive communications support for the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Denora has an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Central Florida, an MA in International Relations from St. Mary’s University, and a Master of Divinity degree from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. She has completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education with the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and has spent a year as a chaplain resident with the Mountain Home VA Medical Center in Johnson City, TN and as a Mental Health Chaplain Fellow at the Lexington VA Medical Center in Lexington, KY, specializing in trauma, substance abuse, and PTSD. She is an active member of Circle Sanctuary's Military Ministries team and the Lady Liberty League Military Affairs Task Force.

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When the Path Isn't Visible

So much has happened over the last year. I'm not exactly sure where to begin. So let me start by saying that for the first time in my life, I had lost my faith.

For me it wasn't a drastic shift. It was the long, slow feeling of being abandoned by my deities when I needed them the most. When my path had become the most difficult to tread and I was feeling alone and scared. I had left Lexington KY and moved to St Louis without a job, and with the hope that after two chaplain residencies I would be able to find work as a chaplain in my field. Two opportunities presented themselves only to fall through at the last minute. Eventually, with no work to keep me grounded I took a job at Starbucks just for the benefit of social interaction with other humans and to keep me sane. Me--working at Starbucks. Ten years of training and two post graduate degrees and I'm serving coffee for a living. The buck stopped here.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I have three college degrees and I am currently doing manifest in a warehouse. I might be depressed or angry about it, but when I
Ruminations on the Soul: Mental Illness and Suicide

**This post is rooted in recent current events, and has foundations in my experience as a mental health chaplain. The content may be upsetting or triggering to some**

"Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

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  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #
    Thank you for this post.

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Ruminations on the Soul: Forgiveness

I've taken some of my group material I used as a Chaplain Fellow with my PTSD and substance abuse program veterans and modified it here as blog material. I feel the content and message of the material is universal enough that it needs to be shared, even if the context is different. I hope you enjoy.

"Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It's always darkest before the dawn..."

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Ruminations on the Soul: Guilt and Shame

I've taken some of my group material I used as a Chaplain Fellow with my PTSD and substance abuse program veterans and modified it here as blog material. I feel the content and message of the material is universal enough that it needs to be shared, even if the context is different. I hope you enjoy.

"Well baby I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I've seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah..."

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Ruminations on the Soul: Love

I've taken some of my group material I used as a Chaplain Fellow with my PTSD and substance abuse program veterans and modified it here as blog material. I feel the content and message of the material is universal enough that it needs to be shared, even if the context is different. I hope you enjoy.

Matthew 22:39 tells us to "Love your neighbor as yourself," but is not very specific as to what love looks like or how to go about loving either your neighbor or yourself. Luckily, the Greeks were helpful in providing eight types of love for us to examine to help us determine what type of relationship we are in with not just ourselves, but with others. Are our relationships healthy or unhealthy? Do they need to be adjusted? Do they need to be amended or cut off?

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Update on My Wandering Uterus

It is almost a year after the initial conversation that sparked the crazy idea to write a collection of women's stories and call it "My Wandering Uterus" (for more details on that journey, please reference Byron Ballard's blog here: http://www.myvillagewitch.com/my-wandering-uterus/)

As I'm putting together a presentation on the history of the theory of trauma, the irony of this is not lost on me. Men like Jean Martin Charcot and Pierre Janet were some of the first men in their field to turn the tide against the asinine diagnosis of hysteria; recognizing that the manifestation of trauma based symptoms were not physiological in nature, but psychological, and not limited to the uterus. The article that inspired this conversation can be read here: https://lithub.com/hysteria-witches-and-the-wandering-uterus-a-brief-history/

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  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Thanks so much for being part of this exciting project!
Limitations of the Christian Trinity (God as Mother)

As promised, an excerpt from my paper on the Christian Trinity. A few things to consider:

 

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  • Karen Nolan
    Karen Nolan says #
    Really enjoyed reading this -- more people, especially Christians, should truly, deeply wonder how Mary felt in giving life to Jes

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