David and Mary Kuck are ELCA missionaries in Jamaica. They teach at the United Theological College of the West Indies in Kingston. To support the Kucks, or another of the ELCA’s over 200 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.
Yesterday we attended the graduation ceremony of the second group of students who have completed the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program that United Theological College (UTC) has just begun to offer. In the past, our Lutheran students have been able to participate in a CPE program through Wartburg Seminary, but other students at our college have never had this opportunity.
The graduating group was seven men, some already pastors and some not yet assigned, led by the Rev. Brenda Wallace of the Care and Counseling Center of Georgia. We sat completely absorbed as one man after the other testified to the transformation that this program had made in his life. Several discussed finally dealing with serious family issues they had thought were behind them, and how the process freed them to be able to listen to others without carrying that personal baggage. All of them learned, sometimes painfully, that it is OK for men to cry. It was really heartening to see how, through the difficult work of examining their souls, they had formed a supportive group, in a culture where men often feel isolated from and in constant competition with each other. This fledgling program has begun in spite of severe financial constraints that the college is experiencing, and we are praying that somehow it can continue to be funded.
Just so you know that it is not all work and no play, we did have a lovely vacation in the U.S, visiting our children and grandchildren, and attending a family reunion/niece’s wedding shower in Torch Lake, Mich.
Please pray for a productive academic year, for the financial resources to support it at UTC, for the faculty and the students, and for us. Thank you, as always, for your continuing support.
Mary and David