Dear Friends, Readers, Family, Everyone:
This summer I am embarking on an exciting adventure, a summer of Clinical Pastoral Education with the Night Ministry, a phenomenal non-profit that travels the City of Chicago in a bus, at night, to provide health care, community, and some food assistance to people living in homelessness. I am thoroughly excited about this opportunity, because it will be immensely challenging for me. I have not worked for extended periods of time with this population, and I imagine that my mind will be opened in frightening and unexpected ways. CPE is about learning how one deals with caregiving, and how one’s emotional life reacts to this experience, so it can be very difficult mentally. I will also be learning how to live extremely frugally. Let me explain.
Most CPE programs are unpaid units, which charge a tuition. A CPE program lasts roughly three months, and it is full-time work. Participants are highly discouraged from taking a second job. Luckily, the Divinity School pays my tuition for CPE while I am enrolled as an MDiv, and they also pay me a stipend of $1,500 dollars.
I am planning to live on this income for the three months in which I am enrolled in the program. However, I’m going to be honest with you all. That just isn’t enough.
I will be moving into an apartment in June which costs $535 a month plus a few utilities. For three months, my stipend will not even cover all of my rent. So, I am asking for support from my friends, family, and readers who enjoy my artwork. Here is what I am planning to do.
Because CPE has a lot to do with becoming aware of oneself and opening up emotionally, I am planning to keep an artistic journal, to help me process this experience: the things I see, the things I learn, the crises I encounter, the people I meet, and the friends I make. They will be just like my regular marker art, and I will be selling the originals in order to support myself as I do this work.
For each week of my CPE program, (it is 11 weeks long) I am asking someone to commit to buying one of my “journal entries” from me. Essentially, you would sponsor me for one week of my program by purchasing a piece of artwork from me. You would be free to do whatever you like with the drawing itself–frame it and show it to your friends, give it as a gift, or auction it at another nonprofit fundraiser.
I suggest that each one of these drawings would be worth between 25 and 75 dollars. Since I know not everyone has large quantities of money to purchase artwork, I leave that decision to your discretion. Each drawing will help me supplement my stipend, and each drawing can really be helpful to me, no matter how much one commits to buying it for.
Let me explain how helpful that cash could be to me during this process.
In Hyde Park, we do not have a generic grocery store. I usually spend $50 per week on groceries between the ritsy Treasure Island, the inexpensive produce store Hyde Park Produce (where produce is half price and everything else is double price), and Trader Joes in the South Loop. My public transportation to and from my CPE site will cost between 10 and 15 dollars a week. So, purchasing a drawing from me at $50 will give me grocery money for one week. Purchasing a drawing from me at $25 will help me get to-and-from work for two weeks.
It is my goal to have someone sign up to purchase my artwork journal for each week of my program. This will help me focus on my CPE and the work that I do there, rather than attempting to find a second job or taking out large loans to cover those months. One thing that I’ve learned about trying to have a part time job when it is “highly discouraged” by the powers that be is that it’s “highly discouraged” for a reason: you’ll go insane. But, I will do my artwork anyway. It will help me to process my wealth of experiences with CPE this summer, and in order to not go hungry, I can supplement my income by selling these works to you.
You can sign up to do this by sending me an email. I am happy to post or include any information on this site about you, your organization, or any interests you may want readership for. When you email me, let me know which week you would like (1 through 11), and how much you would like to purchase for.
Basically: Buy my artwork so that I can do good work and eat at the same time.