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February 18, 2005


The Rev./Dr. James Stapleford, Past President of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education writes the following comments in response to Raymond Lawrence's article A MESSAGE TO THE COMMUNITY ( posted on the Pastoral Report February 8, 2005

Dr. Stapleford writes:

I read with interest the article written by Raymond Lawrence about COMISS being driven out of business by ACPE. It is interesting to me that Raymond picks on ACPE when my experience is that it is the Association of Professional Chaplains that was the driving force for not only this project, but the White Paper on Pastoral Care.

I was a strong supporter of COMISS in the early days of the organization and had high hopes that this would be the one uniting group for all of the Pastoral Care Groups and endorsing agents. My experience over the years is that it has not been. There is conflict between the endorsing agencies and many of our professional groups around ordination, gender and sexual preference. I have come to the conclusion that at best COMISS is a once a year meeting for the persons to visit with each other, but I don't expect that anything will really come out of COMISS that will be earth shattering nor move the professional organizations closer together.

It may be of interest to you to know that only the Board of Representatives can speak for the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. Mr. White, while being a ACPE Supervisor does not speak for the Association. As a former president of ACPE I don't believe that the Board ever gave Mr. White the right to speak for ACPE, nor do I find any "exclusive" claims from the Association as being the only organization that can claim the pass-through. I do know that we were told that unless you are approved by the Department of Education, you are not eligible for the pass through. Now there are more rules and regs that limit the conditions of the pass through even more.

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at February 18, 2005 12:06 AM

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