Friday, July 05, 2013

Chaplaincy everywhere

I like the sound of Chaplaincy Everywhere. It is mentioned on a recent post on Sanctus 1, a fresh expression in the UK, in which they are placing chaplains in shopping centres.

So this is more than historic notions of chaplains as at hospital or prison. We need ways to empower people to see themselves as chaplains in their streets, communities and workplaces. It is what we worked toward at Opawa Baptist at one point, calling them community chaplains, and we appointed three into the local community.

I suspect it requires another understanding of ecclesiology, in which the local church commissions and nurtures, rather than the wider (synod).

One of our DMin students at Uniting College is exploring a theology of street chaplaincy, based on his experiences over years as a Main Street chaplain. Plus there is the fabulous chapter in Darren Cronshaws book on ministry models in Australia, including Michael Leunig as a chaplain to the culture.

All by way of saying, I wonder what a Chaplaincy Everywhere course at Uniting College would look like?

Posted by steve at 07:16 PM


  1. Does the use of “chaplain” raise or lower bar of accessibility, for “normal” followers of Jesus, how does this move into all people’s lives. What would “Chaplaincy Everyone” look like?

    Comment by Martyn — July 6, 2013 @ 10:28 am

  2. Good questions Martyn . I suspect it both raises and lowers at the same time. I think there’s a time for a church to say, you represent us

    Comment by steve — July 6, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

  3. There is a congregation in the north of Sydney that has sold its building and are very close to embarking on a community chaplain model of ministry. So, very interested in the post from Sanctus 1. It does raise questions about the nurturing and ecclesiological oversight. I wonder if the shift in SA UCA to a one presbytery one synod model makes a difference here as opposed to being linked to an existing congregation all be it in a different form and a presbytery that has close links? It has long accrued to me that the shopping mall and the weekend markets are the new social engagement spots of our time. It would be here that Jesus would be talking to people and telling stories of life, faith and the kingdom of God drawing near. Where’s the people of God?

    Comment by Geoff — July 8, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

  4. Yes Geoff. Which church in Sydney? I’m still thinking through the polity one trying to process my baptist roots and my current SA immersion and how structures shape missional. My sense is that all structures offer hope somewhere yet also have hostage points

    I did a presentation a few months ago on festival spirituality and I’m starting to collect local examples



    Comment by steve — July 9, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

  5. Hi Steve, yes I saw your post on the festival, which influenced my thinking recently when visiting Bellingen market, lots of ideas there. Maybe I’ll catch you at some stage either over here in NSW or SA can tell you about the congregation but might be a bit soon to start talking about them on cyber space. The issue you raised about training and formation through remains an issue for this congregation as well. Where and who is the leader with the gifts and calling for such a position. Even how our structures discern such a calling when they are so locked into a traditional frame. Could it be that a new candidate is the one God is calling? But I’m convinced God is doing something here so looking forward to seeing what emerges.

    Comment by Geoff — July 9, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

  6. Geoff

    One on fascinating effects of shift in our training at Uniting College has been numbers discerning deacons with focus on chaplaincy


    Comment by steve — July 10, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

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