Does science always have to be intellectual and faith spiritual, emotional, and intuitive? When navigating these divides in the practical world, through caring for others in pastoral, caregiver and chaplain roles, these binaries rapidly collapse, becoming no longer helpful. Answering difficult questions about the world and comforting people in a time of need requires the best wisdom from both religion and science. Sometimes this means approaching knowledge with a different disposition than you might expect.

As part of Sinai and Synapses’ series “More Light, Less Heat,” Sinai and Synapses Fellow Reverend Zack Jackson and Reverend Casey Bien-Aimé discuss how they have used this flexibility in their work.

The Reverend Zachary Jackson is the pastor of Community United Church of Christ in Reading PA as well as an adjunct professor of theology at Palmer Theological Seminary. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Ancient Languages from Wheaton College and a Masters of Divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary. As a child, Zack dreamed of being a rocket scientist, but after being accepted to several engineering schools, he felt an unmistakable call to ministry instead. Throughout Zack’s ministry, he seeks to explore how scientific inquiry and the scientific method can inform a more humble, reverent, and honest faith in God. To that end, Zack writes a science and faith blog (http://musicalspheres.blog) and is one of the organizers for the United Church of Christ’s Science and Technology Network. He is also on the UCC’s Environmental Justice Team and is particularly passionate about how climate change and environmental damage disproportionately impact the poor and underrepresented in our world.
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Rev. Casey Bien-Aimé is the Spiritual Care Coordinator and Endowed Chair of Pastoral Care at Lankenau Medical Center. From a very young age Casey knew she wanted to work in the hospital, but it would take a few more years to realize that chaplaincy was the perfect mix of her desire to serve in medical and spiritual capacities. She received her Bachelors Degree in Religious Studies and Biology from Drew University in Northern New Jersey and then spent three years at Palmer Theological Seminary earning her Masters of Divinity.
After receiving her MDiv, Casey started Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, completing eleven units of CPE over the course of four years. She has worked closely with high risk maternity, pediatrics, the acute rehabilitation unit, telemetry, Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, palliative care, and the family medicine clerkship in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College.
After her residencies at TJUH, an opportunity arose to begin a Chaplaincy program to Lankenau Medical Center. During the past three years Casey has served the Lankenau Community, bringing awareness to the need for spirituality in healthcare. Casey counts herself blessed to have found a career that melds two of her greatest passions.
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