Recent Grads Reflect

Pastor Stephanie Rice ’15 serves the United Methodist Church of La Mirada, CA.

How is advent celebrated at your church?

We celebrate Advent every Sunday in our worship through singing, scripture reading, and candle lighting.

What is your favorite part of the season?

My favorite part of the Advent season is the preparation for Christmas day. The anticipation and preparation are exciting. They remind me of the importance of what we are waiting for, the miracle of God coming to the earth to redeem all people. I also love Christmas music, decorations, and parties!

Rev. Lorraine Ceniceros ’12 is the Director of the Spiritual Care at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.

How is advent celebrated at the hospital?

During the 4 weeks of Advent two of the nuns from the original founding order of the hospital hold  short Advent services in the Main lobby.  These 10 minute services are announced hospital wide to allow caregivers (employees) and patient families to participate.

What are the hard parts of the season for patients?

There are many difficulties patients experience during the Season of Advent and Christmas. Those difficulties can include being away from loves ones during a time that is often spent with family,  missing the rituals of the season, whether religious or secular, that often provide grounding for the patients during the holidays and the prospect of facing their own mortality during this Season of Good Cheer.

How did CST  prepare you for your work today?
CST prepared me for much more than Advent Season as a Chaplain. Through the ministerial internship as well as CPE, CST provided me with the opportunities and support to find my gifts and hone them into skills. It is through those experiences that I found myself well prepared for congregational ministry as well as Chaplaincy.

What is your favorite part of the season?
My favorite part of the Advent Season is the lighting of the candles each Sunday morning. I love the meditative centering the candle lighting and liturgy provides. The call to slow down and reflect during this season helps to offset the business and the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.