UTS Grad Completes CPE Residency

Kenji Toyomura graduated from UTS in May, 2009, and completed his one-year chaplaincy residency in Phoenix, Arizona, in September. He and his wife, Kyoka, have two young daughters, Mieko and Suzuna.

kenjitoyomuraKenji ToyomuraBanner Good Samaritan Medical Center is a twelve story, 676-bed hospital that includes 12 ICU's, a 28-bed inpatient behavioral health unit and a 62-bed rehabilitation hospital. It is the largest hospital in Arizona. U.S. News and World Report has named in among the best American hospitals for successive years. I was involved in all clinical areas of the hospital while on-call, including being a team member working with cardiac arrest and trauma. My main clinical assignments were neurological ICU's, Medical/Surgical floors, Rehabilitation, Emergency Department and Trauma.

Clinical Pastoral Education is a theological and professional education for ministry. It is a method of learning pastoral practice in a clinical setting under supervision, implementing clinical work with case study and didactic teaching seminars. I spent over 200 hours in resident group educational and spiritual formation activities and over 600 hours providing patient care as I fulfilled two units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).

I had five peers in my resident group, one man and four women. All were ordained clergy, including an Episcopalian, a Baptist, an Episcopalian, a Roman Catholic and a Swedenborgian. Three peers and I remained until the end of the residency program. We became a solid team and developed strong friendship.

The most meaningful lesson I learned was about my emotional self-awareness. Looking back on my life, I was not accustomed to share my emotions with others. I believe I grew the most in my ability to sense my own emotions and that through this I gained the ability to provide pastoral care, which requires paying attention to the emotional needs of the other person.

In conclusion to this brief reflection, I would like to share with you a poem I wrote at the end of the program.

Heart Washing

Deep inside,
My heart was crying.
My heart was broken.
My heart was vulnerable.
I am scared.

 

I cannot let it be exposed. I cannot let it be exposed.
I am a man. I am a mature man.

 

"Whose voice is that?"
I know for sure it's not mine.
"I don't cry, people!" but I am lying.
I envy those who are crying, who are angry with God, who are sad.

 

I want to set my heart free. Let my emotion be exposed and be felt.
Each of us has a fountain deep inside. The fountain is filled with water.
I am carefully and slowly letting the water come out...
With friends whom I trust, I found my fountain.

 

I couldn't contain the water inside of me.
The fountain was bigger and richer than I expected.
It splashed and spilled all over my face, my heart and my soul.
"Let it flow." I let it flow.

 

My heart was washed. I felt hopeful. The future is bright.
I believe I will be stronger. I will be more outgoing. I will be happier.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This webpage contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of recent trends in faith and culture for the purpose of promoting interfaith understanding.

We understand this constitutes a 'fair use' of such material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.