Amy has had a variety of ministry experiences including the opportunity to serve as a PC U.S.A. missionary through the Amity foundation in Fujian, China P.R.C. where she taught English starting in 1993 until 1997. Amy was able to experience history in the making as she travelled through Hong Kong during the changeover to Chinese rule on her way to summer Greek classes at Princeton Theological Seminary starting her educational career there three days late due to the chaos in the airports.
Summer languages were highlights of Amy’s Princeton experience as she met the future Rev. Dr. Edward Goode and her future husband in summer Hebrew class. Amy graduated in 2000 with her M.Div. and she and Ed married a month later in the same chapel where they each graduated from seminary.
Pastoral Care and chaplaincy became a clear calling to Amy during her first unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E.) while in seminary, and following graduation she chose to pursue further education in C.P.E. and board certification with the Association of Professional Chaplains in order to make this a career. During this two-year educational process Amy pastored a small church for 10 months and then went on to serve as a chaplain in a nursing home and assisted living center. Upon completion of her training she accepted a full time staff chaplain position at the largest trauma one hospital in the state of South Dakota where she served until moving to Cincinnati.
As a staff chaplain Amy worked primarily on the cardiac and intensive care units with a special focus on her role as chaplain with the palliative care team. Assisting families as they wrestled with issues of ‘aggressive treatment or comfort care?’ and ‘what would be the best decision for my loved one?’, and ‘how do I use my theology and what I believe to make these decisions?’ were some of the times when Amy felt that she was most able to help families with her theological and pastoral training. “It is easy to think about faith when everything is going well, but when there is a crisis – that is where the rubber hits the road as far as faith is concerned.” says Amy.
Sioux Valley Hospital was asked to put together a team to help improve organ donation outcomes as a part of a national collaborative implemented by HRSA. The goal was to pull hospitals together so they could learn from each other’s best practices in order to improve outcomes for the thousands of patients on donor waiting lists. Amy was invited to be the chaplain on Sioux Valley’s team and it was during this time at a number of national events that Amy began working collaboratively with some of the chaplains at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She feels that even years ago, God was working to pave the way for her transition to Cincinnati. Though Amy was urged by her chaplain colleagues at Children’s to apply for a number of staff positions, she has declined and serves only part-time as an on-call chaplain to stay in the game, so to speak.
The reason for her decision? Amy and her husband Ed are busy raising their three children: twins Zachary and Zoe age 8 and son Zephan age 7. Amy feels very strongly about her calling to raise her children and her vocation as a married person. She juggles the three distinct calls God has placed on her life and does not feel that the call to ordained ministry trumps either of the other two. “I may serve many churches or hospitals in my lifetime,” she says,” but I will only ever have this one family and I’d better take care of them!” Like many working parents she is not alone in this juggling act.
Amy has a heart for being present with those in crisis, a passion for teaching about pastoral care and she looks forward to partnering with Nicholas, the Deacons and the entire congregation of PRPC to implement a comprehensive system of pastoral care.