Chaplain Carl J. Caffrey, director of Spirituality at Signature HealthCARE of Cleveland, welcomed 17 members of the Chaplain Advisory Board to the quarterly meeting held at noon on Sept. 4 at the healthcare facility, 2750 Executive Park.
Guest speaker was the Rev. Rickie Moore, who began his discourse with Caffrey’s identifying Scripture, Malachi 4:6: “... And He shall turn the hearts of the elders to the children and the hearts of the children to their elders.”
Moore said the deepest conviction of his heart was God’s desire for generations to come together. In God’s “Top Ten,” he related the commandment to “Honor they father and thy mother.”
Moore attended Lee University and then moved to Nashville to further his education at Vanderbilt to equip himself for his chosen ministry. He said it was a struggle in the school — not just studying Hebrew — but where he had to “carry faith by myself.” Too, he said he experienced loneliness in that time.
For his dissertation at Vanderbilt, he related the three stories of Elisha found in 2 Kings: When Naaman came to him for healing (2 Kings 5); When a heavenly army was revealed to his servant (2 Kings 6); and the four lepers at the gate of Samaria (2 Kings 7).
But, he said he skipped the part of 2 Kings 6:1-7 — swimming of the iron — which now has come to define his ministry.
He compared the two generations: Elijah as the old man and Elisha the young; and then Elisha the old and the sons of the prophets the young. The parallel stories actually happened at the same river. Both included the “Bless me” request with the answer, “You’ve asked a hard thing.”
Moore noted the initiative came from the younger. So, he said, the young need to ask the elder and grace says, “Go for it — go find the future.”
“Will you go with us?”
“Yes, I’ll go with you.”
To the younger generation as they are progressing — “Did you lose your cutting edge? Where did you lose it?” (referring to the story of the ax head swimming).
“God knows all about it,” Moore said. “And generations see the need for one another.”
The ax head was borrowed, he explained, “but redefined, our resurrected tools are not borrowed any more.”
The Scripture does not say the house got built, but only “take it up.”
Caffrey told the group as he asked for comments, “While you come together ... there is a sense of partnership, and we’re grateful for your sharing.”
Larry Cockerham said that on both sides, sons are pursuing fathers. “Elisha pursued and was pursued.”
The group agreed that older role models are out there. The problem is how to get them together. A spiritual relationship is taking place, but there are hindrances, such as cultural, the fatherless and pride.
Brenda Hughes of Bradley Initiative for Church and Community introduced “Transitions,” a program to help strengthen family relationship. The program is directed by Kerri Clouse and will offer 7- or 14-sessions tracks to be facilitated by group leaders certified in the Strengthening Families Program curriculum. SFP is rated an exemplary evidence-based program by the U.S. Dept. of Education, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and other federal agencies. A family meal will be served at each of the sessions; childcare will be provided for children under age 6; a graduation completion award will be given; and there is no cost to participate. For more information, go to www.bicc-inc.org.
For more information about the chaplaincy program at Signature HealthCARE of Cleveland, email Caffrey at email@example.com.