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The College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy is a theologically based covenant community, dedicated to "recovery of the soul" and promoting competency in the clinical pastoral field.

« October 2009 | Main | December 2009 »

November 24, 2009

The Death of Benjamin Preston Bogia

Ben Bogia was one of the earliest clinical pastoral supervisors to throw his lot in with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy in the early 1990s, during a time when no one was sure we would be sustained as a professional community. He was present at the first Plenary meeting at Camp Bethel in Roanoke, Virginia.
Ben continued as a faithful and energetic leader in CPSP until his health began failing him recently. He founded one of the first CPSP Chapters in Kentucky, and assisted other Chapters to start up both in Kentucky and later in Maryland. For most of the early years of CPSP Ben was the Secretary of the Governing Council.

Ben was the kind of person who was not embarrassed to express a minority opinion, nor was he afraid to ruffle feathers. He was undaunted at finding himself in a minority position. The CPSP community has lost a strong and individuated voice with Ben’s passing. We hope his memory will inspire others to follow his strong example. -Raymond J. Lawrence, CPSP General Secretary

The following is the obituary of Benjamin Preston Bogia:

Benjamin Preston Bogia, 75, died at home in Princess Anne, MD, on November 19, 2009, of complications from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease). A patient of both Coastal Hospice and the ALS Clinic at the University of Maryland, he experienced the onset of the disease in early 2008, and was diagnosed in October, 2008.

Born in Wilmington, DE, on June 1, 1934, he was the son of the late Elva and Ben Bogia, and grew up with two younger brothers, Norman Bogia of Wilmington, DE, and Allison Bogia of Chicopee, MA, both of whom survive him. He attended Conrad High school, where he was active in music and drama.

He earned Bachelors, Masters, and PhD degrees at Maryville College, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Kentucky. Ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church in 1959, he served in congregations and as an institutional Chaplain in Kansas, Kentucky and Maryland. As a Supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education, he had direct influence on the lives of almost 900 students over the course of his career.

Married in 1956 to the former Lois Tinklenberg, he became the father of two sons, Richard Bogia of Topeka, KS and Douglas Bogia of Forest Grove, OR, all of whom survive him. That marriage ended in divorce in 1986, and he married again in 1987 to the former Geraldine Kay Myers of Princess Ann, MD, who also survives him.
After retirement from the University of Kentucky in 2000, he continued his education and became certified as a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Clinical Hypnotherapist, conducting a small private practice for the next 10 years.

His body will be cremated, with a memorial service to be held December 1, 2009 at Wicomico Presbyterian Church, Salisbury, MD. Clergy are invited to wear red stoles. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the ALS Association DC/MD/VA Chapter, Coastal Hospice, Salisbury, MD and/or the Mission Unit, New Castle Presbytery, 256 Chapman Road, Suite 205, Newark, Delaware 19702.

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 6:15 PM

November 17, 2009

Raymond Lawrence Represents CPSP at the Society for Biblical Literature Conference

The Society for Biblical Literature will hold its annual meeting in New Orleans November 20-24, 2009

Raymond Lawrence, CPSP General Secretary, will represent CPSP as a panelist on two different book review sessions at the SBL Annual Meeting in New Orleans next week. The first book review session is on Donald Capps, Jesus as Village Psychiatrist (2008), and the second session is on Peter Jeffery's The Secret Gospel of Mark Unveiled: Imagined Rituals of Sex, Death, and Madness in Biblical Forgery (2007). Both Capps and Jeffery are Princeton Seminary professors.

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 11:29 PM

Chapter Input and CPSP Leadership by Mary Davis


CPSP, as per our Covenant, commits to “being mutually responsible to one another for our professional work and direction”.

All CPSP chapters have an opportunity at this time to take responsibility for the future direction of CPSP as we prepare to appoint the next CPSP President-Elect, who would take leadership of CPSP at the 2012 Plenary. The By-Laws of CPSP (Section 5.02) note that “chapter input will be sought in the selection of future nominations for President.” The Executive Committee of CPSP receives the names of these suggested future leaders, presents the names at the Annual Plenary, and the Governing Council (made up of leaders and chapter conveners/representatives of all chapters) appoints the next President-Elect.

We urge all chapters to dialogue and discern together to submit names of persons who could serve in this most important leadership role for our future.

Some questions to be considered by the chapters or those who are being suggested for this role are: Are you willing to service in this role, and if so, what is your interest in doing so? What gifts do you bring to leadership for CPSP? How do you envision CPSP in two/three years?

Please submit names for consideration to Raymond Lawrence and Francine Angel (outgoing President) by December 31, 2009.
Mary D. Davis
Manager, Spiritual Care, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital -City Centre and
Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Care

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 5:56 PM

November 16, 2009



Barbara McGuire, LMSW was featured in an article that appeared in NURSE.COM on November 2. 2009. The article focused on the vital work of the Hospice Care Network. The program provides services to sick children and their families through Network's hospice and bereavement programs. Within the service provided is the unique dimension of providing care and counseling for pregnant mothers who carry their unborn babies to term who might be still born or who have a terminal illness.

McGuire is quoted extensively throughout the article:

We journey through the entire process with them. So the counselor stays with the family throughout the entire pregnancy, as well as when they bring in pastoral care, and are with them during the birth, if [the families] want,” McGuire says. “I don’t know many hospice programs that offer as extensive a bereavement program as we do. A lot of hospices mandated by Medicare provide bereavement up to 13 months after the patient dies. However, most bereavement is letters and possibly a phone call from a volunteer. In our bereavement department, we have trained professionals and a large staff, and we treat our clients individually and run groups... We’ve found that even having a diagnosis in utero of a terminal illness of a child is a tremendous grief,” McGuire says. “The loss of that child can go on for decades. The message that I would want people to hear is: Don’t go through this alone.

Barbara McGuire is the CPSP Registrar, a Board Certified Clinical Chaplain and Pastoral Counselor.

To read the complete article, click here.

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:06 PM

FROM THE EDITOR: CPSP Little Rock, Arkansas Chapter Blog


The PR ran across the Little Rock, AR Chapter Blog that is published by George Hull. The blog stimulated a couple of thoughts.

First, the latest post on the blog is a notice about the Free Medical Clinic that will be held in that community November 21, 2009 with the request for volunteers to serve the thousands who will attend the free medical clinic because they have no or inadequate health care. Most who will attend this free clinic are the working poor. It is estimated that 45,000 people will die within a year as a direct result of their not being able to afford health care. It's a national and moral and tragedy that this situation exist.

The post also suggests that the Little Rock Chapter understands that as a group it is grounded in their geographical community with a commitment to serve that community as a part of its mission. CPSP at its best is about ministry and service to those who are in need. One of my wishes is that all CPSP Chapters take a look around to see how their Chapter might respond to human need beyond the boundaries of its clinical training programs and service institutions represented by its Chapter members.

Finally, I was impressed by the fact that the Little Rock CPSP Chapter has an active blog that provides important information about CPSP as well as the clinical pastoral field. In this linked world, there is the necessity for all CPSP Chapters to have a website to help promote the vital CPSP mission of "...Recovery of Soul in the Clinical Pastoral Movement..."

-Perry Miller, Editor

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 9:34 PM

November 1, 2009

“I want to get tight with him” – by Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D.

<img Upon entering 7 West, I was greeted by the Unit Secretary who said, “Rev. Alberts, the patient in Room 16A wants to talk to you.” An example of the importance of a chaplain’s visibility on patient floors meeting the need of immediate availability. As I headed for 16A, the patient’s nurse approached and informed me, “The patient has cancer that’s spread throughout his body. And, at his request, he was just made DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) and DNI (Do Not Intubate). He’s just coming to terms with what they mean.” I entered the 80-year-old black man’s room, introduced myself and stated “You wanted to see me.” “Yes,” he answered. “I want to get tight with him.”

The word “tight” had a human ring. Impressed by his street language, I assumed whom he probably meant by “him,” but wanted the patient to identify “him” in his own words. So, I asked, “You want to get tight with whom?” He replied, “With God. I’m a believer, but not a good Christian.” “What is a good Christian?” I asked. “One who goes to church,” he replied. That is what he was taught, like so many people. Being a “good Christian” is equated with attending church. The church salesmanship pitch of many a pastor and priest and their denominational leaders. The institution as an end in itself, rather than a means of affirming and enabling everyone’s worth and rights—a contradiction of Jesus’ teaching (and giving of himself) that the Sabbath was made for people not people for the Sabbath.

Around age 13, the patient thought about being really “tight with God” by becoming a minister—evidently influenced by his devout and caring 90-year-old grandmother. But he did not pursue this calling. “At that time [in Atlanta, Georgia and everywhere else]” he said, “there was segregation, and I didn’t think I could get the education needed to become a minister.” A commentary here is that, in his youth, he made “light” of his grandmother’s urgings that he attend school. The ambition and hopes of a black youth “segregated” and suffocated. He made “light” of “segregated” education and restricted opportunity that he believed led nowhere. Still, today he called himself a “jerk” for being a “jokester” in the face of his grandmother’s pleadings for him to attend school. This grandson, who grew up with eight sisters, all now deceased, but with nephews and nieces who are nearby and visit him.

The cancer-riddled, bone-thin patient’s story was occasionally and sharply interrupted by his intense struggle to cough up phlegm. “I’m so weak,” he said, coughing. “Hit me on the back,” which I did. “More. Harder!” He finally coughed up and spit out a glob in a container.

Being a “jerk” is part of growing up, I told him. “I was a jerk at times. Everyone has been.” At different points during the visit, I told him that “God loves all of us very much—in church or out.” That “God loves you very much.” That “Jesus touched the lives of all kinds of people to reveal that God is ‘tight’ with everyone.” He said that he believed God loved him. But, in the face of death, it was about him being “tight with God.”

The patient was receptive to my offer of prayer—so much so that he held my right hand very, very tight throughout the prayer, and far beyond—a prayer that affirmed him and god’s love for him. We had become “tight.” I listened to his story, understood something of the struggle of an 80-year-old cancer-stricken black man growing up in a “segregated,” and still white-controlled and favored society. A black man whose faith in an eternally loving god seemed to be reaffirmed. At the end of the visit, he held up his fist for me to tap with my fist, and, as I did, he repeated, “I feel much stronger now.” “Good. You’re a good man,” I replied. It was about him being “tight” with another human being who represented that which is believed to be forever lovingly “tight” with everyone.
Bill Alberts is a hospital chaplain at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Alberts is a nationally
known writer and an occasional contributor to Counterpunch. In addition, he is convener of the New England Chapter of CPSP. He can be reached at

Posted by Perry Miller, Editor at 10:55 AM