Leadership Spotlight: Up Close and Personal with Past President Beth Jackson-Jordan

Rev. Beth Jackson-Jordan

Beth Jackson-Jordan

Director of Spiritual Care and Education

Carolinas HealthCare System Northeast

Concord, NC

 

 

Educational History

BS in music education at William Jewell College in Missouri; MDiv at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY; ACPE Supervisory training at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC and Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD; Doctor of Educational Leadership at University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Connection with NCCA

I’ve been a member of NCCA for at least 10 years, though I have attended meetings since 2000. My current role is past president.

Professional Uniqueness and Passion

Our chaplain residency program includes introduction to Integrative skills as a part of the curriculum, so all are familiar with and some become proficient in using modalities including aromatherapy, guided imagery, hand massage, rituals and mindfulness as a part of their chaplain practice. We now incorporate integrative modalities into a lot of what we do with staff as well as patients and families.

I am passionate about hearing people’s stories and being a part of helping them make meaning of whatever they are going through. I find chaplaincy allows me to experience people at a “fork in the road” moment in which they are in some way making new meaning or finding new ways to understand how the Holy is present in their lives.

Family

Family for me consists of my spouse and three children, as well as an assortment of friends now spread all over the country and world who became ‘family’ to us at different stages of life. One is my college roommate who is now a chaplain in New Mexico; another is a faculty member at Perkins Divinity School in Dallas; another is a chaplain here in Charlotte. They are the people who know me, love me and accept me just the way I am, and I try to do the same for them.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you as a chaplain?

The best thing is something I have experienced more than once – it is when I encounter someone I have known and worked with in CPE who tells me how what they learned in CPE has made a difference in their life and in their ministry. Especially when they feel their time in CPE helped them discover their calling and they have found meaning in their ministry. Not too long ago I ran into a priest who had done CPE with me in the early 90’s in Washington, DC. Now he’s a local parish priest near Charlotte and still talks about how he has used what he learned in CPE about accepting himself and being present to people going through suffering.

Recent Embarrassment

Just the other day I had unknowingly come out of the restroom with my skirt tucked into my pantyhose. A local clergy person was the first to see me, and had to try to let me know so I wouldn’t walk through the hospital like that! I don’t know if it was the worst thing ever, but it was sure the most embarrassing and funny thing to happen in a long time.

Poignant Memory

In my first chaplaincy job in a long term care facility, a resident who had initially kept her distance from me came up and grabbed my hand and said, ‘You are the most Unitarian Baptist I’ve ever met!’ She went on to explain that when she heard a Baptist chaplain had been hired, she thought I would be rigid and judgmental, but she had come to experience me as accepting and loving. She blessed and ‘ordained’ me as a chaplain that day and I’ve always remembered her.

Sustenance during the low times

  • My wonderful staff assistant who never seems to have a bad day
  • My family
  • My meditation walks through the nature trails around my house

Community of Faith

My denominational affiliation is the Alliance of Baptists. I have done different things in my churches over the years—taught, sung in the choir, helped with English as a second language classes, trained groups to do pastoral care visits, been a youth chaperone.

Rejuvenation and Renewal

I love to travel, read, garden, play piano, play tennis, and cook.

Gutsy Move

Not too long ago, I wrote a letter to the editor disagreeing with the pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte regarding his stance against gay marriage. It was published, and I got letters from those who agreed and a lot from those who disagreed and questioned how a minster could take such a stance.

 

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