Called to Serve Recap—The Rev. Dr. Charles R. Millikan
The Reverend Doctor Charles R. Millikan was our Called to Serve guest on August 14. Dale Jones (Managing Director of Education and Plan Services) led a lively discussion as Rev. Millikan shared his story of mission and ministry.
Ordained at 18, Rev. Millikan is a fourth-generation United Methodist pastor who graduated from Southwestern University (Texas) and went on to post-graduate work at Southern Methodist University and Drew Theological School. He has had a varied ministerial career—from serving as a parish pastor to membership in the Bishop’s Cabinet overseeing the Houston South District with 45,000 members—and everything in between.
He is now Vice President for Spiritual Care and Values Integration for the Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center. Rev. Millikan oversees the Institute’s efforts to integrate spirituality and Methodist values into modern medicine. In its five hospitals with15,000 employees, Rev. Millikan never has an ordinary day—from chairing a research committee that’s advancing Nano-technology to ministering to sick patients. “I can’t get to the office fast enough in the morning,” he said. “I feel empowered by my ordination; it’s an exciting time here, to see how God and medicine are coming together so beautifully is incredible.” And it’s truly a “marriage made in heaven,” as Rev. Millikan originally had aspirations to become a doctor before receiving his calling as a teen. Now as head of the Institute of Spirituality and Health, it has all come full circle. “What a sense of humor God has, bringing me back to medicine!” he said.
When asked what the biggest issue facing clergy today is, Rev. Millikan didn’t hesitate, answering health. “The best thing you can do for yourself is NOT to use the hospital,” he joked. But then he turned more serious urging everyone to take responsibility for their own health. “It’s as easy as getting out and walking or exercising 30 minutes each day.” A philosophy he lives daily through regular exercise; recently losing 50 pounds with the help of WeightWatchers. The hospital system also supports this philosophy through biometric health screenings, smoking cessation programs and full-service medical care for all appointed Texas Annual Conference clergy.
Rev. Millikan closed his presentation by thanking employees for all they do for clergy across the connection. “There’s nothing scarier than an angry minister,” he said. “Be patient with us, you usually talk to us at our worst—when we’re scared and unsure.” He also made mention of how our retirement benefits have grown since his father was a preacher—earning only $100 for every year of service.
Click here for more information about Dr. Millikan and the Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center.
Posted September 9, 2013