Author: Drexel Rayford

Drexel has been senior pastor of four churches in Kentucky and Virginia, a psychiatric ward chaplain, denominational bureaucrat, and an erstwhile indie singer/songwriter/story-teller and seeker of authentic human vocation. Currently, Drexel is working at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center in the capacity of The Support Team Network manager, a hospital-based community partnership aimed at nurturing healing communities for discharged patients. He loves kayaking, road cycling, hiking, and all kinds of photography, but he loves his wife Vicki and his daughter Melissa more. He got a Ph.D. in the Psychology of Religion mainly because he had a lot of self-examination to do.

“I Disappear!”

I was reminded recently of the movie “Billy Eliot.”  The story tells about the unlikely path of a pre-adolescent boy in a northern English coal mining town.  While the majority of his mates take up boxing, a “manly” activity, Billy Eliot feels drawn to ballet.  The boy’s friends look at him askance and the girls…

I’ll Manage!

It came to my attention the other day that my name doesn’t appear anywhere as the “manager” of the Support Team Network.  I’d like to say that’s because I’m an incredibly humble guy and don’t care a thing about getting credit for anything.  Alas, that isn’t the case.  It boils down to simple incompetence: I…

Come Have Lunch with Us!! Seriously – You’re Invited!

Here at the UAB Support Team Network, we’ve begun a new lunch series. It’s called “Community is Medicine.” Isn’t that cool?! Now, you’re not only being invited to read these columns but you can come and get something tasty to eat, hobnob with others who feel called to make a difference in their community, and…

Our Best Practices in Spanish (Mejores procedimientos para un grupo de apoyo en Español)

A couple of weeks ago, Corey Agricola and Jeff Woods, two of our chaplains, traveled to Gadsden, Alabama and with the able assistance of Elder Juan Tinillo, established a Support Team at Ebenezer Seventh Day Adventist Church.  Corey and Jeff needed Elder Tinillo because the entire team speaks Spanish and Juan did a great job…

Separation is an Illusion

“Separation is an Illusion”  All the Christian spiritual masters say this: in God’s world, we’re all connected.  Interestingly, Buddhists and quantum physicists say it, too, along with Hindu gurus and Muslim Sufis.  Separation is an illusion. This statement still startles me. The fact is, I like to think that I’m separate. I like to hold…

A Memory of Andy Lester

When the phone rang on a February morning in 1989, I thought I had an idea of who’d be calling me. I was the pastor of a small town Kentucky church and church members called me about almost anything at almost anytime. I received this particular call sitting in the pastor’s study while working on…