June 16, 2022 | by Mallory Naake
On Tuesday, May 31, the conference committee on Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (CUIR) held a fruitful and helpful discussion with three interreligious chaplains serving in diverse settings. A recording of the webinar can be found here: "Interreligious Spiritual Care: Chaplains Crossing Faith Traditions." Please feel free to share with others. And a big thanks to those who could join us!
More about the webinar...
Chaplains and Spiritual Care professionals work across a diversity of settings, and serve multi-religious and non-religious communities and individuals. We hope the professional experience of trained chaplains will provide a framework with how to support our neighbors from different religious backgrounds or no faith background, particularly in times of tension and crisis. We are excited to have a diverse group of chaplains from a variety of settings and experiences including prison, hospital, and end of life soul care. Please read about our panelists below.
Dr. Kamal Abu-Shamsieh is Director of the GTU’s Interreligious Chaplaincy Program and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology. The founder and director of Ziraya Muslim Spiritual Care, Dr. Abu-Shamsieh has extensive international experience in primarily Arab and Muslim countries as a trainer for spiritual-care providers, and has served since 2012 as a relief chaplain at Stanford Hospital and Clinics. He completed his PhD in Practical Theology and Islamic Studies (with a focus on chaplaincy) at the GTU earlier this year, and also holds a Certificate in Palliative Care Chaplaincy from California State University Institute for Palliative Care, an MA in Islamic Studies and Muslim-Christian Relations and a Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy from Hartford Seminary, and a BA in Linguistics & Translations from Birzeit University.
In 2018, Majlis Ulema Indonesia and the National Shariah Board offered Dr. Abu-Shamsieh an endorsement for his model of end of life care and a recommendation to train Indonesian healthcare professionals the art of Islamic chaplaincy.
Rev. Samuel C.M. Brown-Dawson manages the UC Davis Medical Center Department of Chaplaincy Services & Education and is the ACPE Certified Educator. Born and raised in Freetown the capital of Sierra Leone, West Africa, and grew up in the Methodist church, he came to the United States in 1980 and entered chaplaincy in 1988. Throughout his career, he has served as hospital and hospice chaplain providing spiritual care to religious and non-religious persons. He is married with four children and finds fulfillment caring for persons facing sickness, death and dying.
Susan Shannon, M. Div. is a seeker, teacher, earth and animal steward, devotee of the heart. She has worked in the fields of Emotional Literacy and Restorative Justice for over 20 years, incorporating over 45 years of Buddhist practice and study from the Tibetan tradition. She’s worked with various diverse populations all her life including inmates, Tibetan refugees, the homeless, the differently-abled, at-risk youth, the Buddhist Chaplain to the men in San Quentin State Prison and Death Row. She currently resides in the San Juan Islands where she writes, provides spiritual coaching and tends her land.