Marriage Education (ME) is touching the lives of couples, families and children across the country. “I Am ME” profiles people teaching relationship, fatherhood and marriage education classes in their local communities.
“I encourage my staff to have dreams and visions and try to give them resources they need to do their job.”
~ Chaplain Sue Cross, Hampton VA Medical Center
Chaplain Susan Cross has been married for 23 years. She is the Chief of Chaplains at the VA Medical Center in Hampton, Virginia.
She says, “I tend administrative things, supervise students, encourage my staff to have dreams and visions, and try to give them the resources they need to do their job. I have two kids, 18 and 20, both adopted overseas. My life is nothing that I could have dreamed up on my own. I think that my faith choices as an adult have made more things possible than I could dream or imagine. In the early days of my career I taught music in the public schools. I loved that too but ministry was too powerful a call. I grew up in a small town outside Detroit that was not even incorporated as a village. The first president that I have memory of is Eisenhower. That will date me. I can remember my father saying that his 92 years were good. He saw us fly the first planes and then set men on the moon. He had seen enough. I deeply appreciate all the history that I have had a chance to watch and remember. He loved learning and I got that from him too.”
Chaplain Cross will be hosting a PAIRS Professional Training in Hampton, VA from September 19-22. Learn more at vasdhs.pairs.com.
1. What led you to want to teach marriage enrichment classes?
I work at a VA Medical Center. I am very practical and I knew that this would be valuable to veterans and their spouses.
2. What are some of the unique challenges facing couples/families today?
Like the world, lives are busy and complicated. Some folks recommend getting rid of your calendar. If that is not an option, knowing how to make an emotional connection that provides closeness in the middle of a fast moving life is crucial. It keeps life good and it keeps life going.
3. How has PAIRS training affected your life/family?
I was reminded powerfully that if I need support I have to share in a way that communicates that. Sometimes we share things with our spouses without really telling them that we need support and we get advice instead. I now remember to say that I really need support or encouragement when I am sharing things that are important.
4. What are some favorite hobbies you enjoy as a couple/ family?
We enjoy the mountains, quiet, reading, traveling, projects, out of doors, photography, talking time, beach, cooking and sleeping.
5. What qualities would you like friends/family to most admire about you?
That I have stayed in love with my spouse all these years, that I am funny, capable, and that doing the right thing is important.
A. Susan Cross, D.Min.
VA Medical Center
Chaplain Service, 125
100 Emancipation Drive
Hampton, VA 23667
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