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Religious Endorsing Bodies Open Letter to ACPE & CPSP

"We are also concerned about the face of pastoral care that is presented to our institutions and endorsees"

Association of Religious Endorsing BodiesP.O. Box 340007, Nashville, TN 37203-007
January 11, 2010

To: CPSP and ACPEFrom: Association of Religious Endorsing Bodies (AREBS)

Dear Colleagues in Pastoral Care Ministry,
We have been fortunate to be in conversation with all of the cognate groups in Nashville.

These meetings have helped us to clarify our identity as endorsers. That search for identity continues to drive us to more clarity and to deepen our relationships with all the cognate groups. We thank you for your patience with us as we have learned about your organizations, your organizational requirements, and also, your help in clarifying our understanding of your identity.

What we have discovered is that we share one thing in common and that is our dedication to the goal of providing the best in pastoral care. We all strive for excellence in that process and we understand your dedication in training and certifying our constituents. We have ironed out some of the difficulties and removed some of the obstacles to provide excellence in pastoral care.

One of the public issues that deeply concerns us is the chasm between CPSP and ACPE. We are working to understand the history of each of your organizations so that we can understand some of the identity issues that you face. As Miroslov Volf says in his early work, “Exclusion and Embrace”, the establishment of identity gives a kind of confidence that allows us to look at otherness and at others without the fear of losing our own identity. Volf says that an exploration of identity issues and otherness issues are prerequisite of reconciliation. We have prayed that reconciliation might happen between your two organizations because we feel that some of our constituents are suffering due to the rift between your organizations. We are troubled when our people become vulnerable to this rift. We are also concerned about the face of pastoral care that is presented to our institutions and endorsees.

We confess to being somewhat protective of our constituents, but our major concern is that we remove barriers to a pursuit of our shared goal of excellence in pastoral care. It is important that we find ways to be transparent and to seek each others’ healing. In the meanwhile, we, as endorsers have covenanted to be in prayer for reconciliation.

Prayerfully Yours,
Susan GalassoAREB Chairperson

This Letter was published in the Pastoral Report the online Journal of the College of Pastoral Supervision & Pschotherapy

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