Newsletter 4th May 2020

4th May 2020

 

Dear Friends

It has been a very wonderful experience in the past few weeks to be able to engage with many of you more individually through our Prayer Room and also our Friday Coffee and Cake.  You have been a source of encouragement to me through these events and I trust that you have all found such times of hope and inspiration as the weeks have progressed.

I was reminded recently of the Chinese word for ‘Crisis’ (this has certainly been and continues to be such a time). However, I have also been challenged that my hitherto acceptance of the translation is somewhat lacking in veracity! To be honest I think I find the more accurate translation even more powerful!

The two words/characters that comprise the Chinese word for ‘Crisis’ mean ‘danger’ and ‘changing point’.  Perhaps like me you have had some time for personal reflection over the past few weeks. If so, then perhaps it has allowed for you too to recognise ways in which we have been brought to a ‘changing point’ in our lives. I do not mean that this has to be a time of huge change (although several people I know have discovered the opportunity to reflect has resulted in their changing direction in work/ministry quite radically!). Sometimes it is changing the small things that produce significant change in the coming weeks… just as a small alteration in the direction of the rudder of a large ship has a major impact on its direction.

In these uncertain times, we have been praying (in our prayer room and other contexts) that you may know wisdom, the prompting and creativity of the Holy Spirit and opportunities to bring God’s truth to those whom you serve.

Jeremiah, when faced with a huge ‘ask’ from God, was told:
‘I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord,  ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and  a future’.

May you know His presence, peace and prompting this coming week and in the weeks ahead.

So what have I been up to?

Last week I was delighted to be joined on Zoom, by several chaplains (FE College /Church School and non- church school and primary school) to record some ideas they have found have worked with staff and students in the past few weeks. Do take a look (the links are both on our website and below). ‘Chats with Chaplains’ 1 and 2 are around 15-20 minutes long. These videos emerged from discussions with St Peter’s & Saltley Trust, the Free Churches Group, Chaplaincy Central, the Methodist Church and the Church of England and I am grateful for their interest and continued partnership.

Additionally, Toni Coulton (Chaplaincy Central) joined me to share some thoughts about the usage of metaphors to frame conversations about this time of pandemic, as well as some lessons we might learn from chaplains who have been in extreme situations. In this recording we were delighted to include some pupils from Abbey Grange Church of England Academy in Leeds, who told us what they would like to say to their chaplain and something they would like their chaplain to do for them. Powerful stuff in ‘Moving through the Maelstrom’.

 

 Managing the Maelstrom

 

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/_ON0Du367FxIEoXv2BiESpYaL6HbT6a8hyRN86FYzkzzhq6F_ZQeqkhCWWyAdhcY               Password: 7G%&?=^#

 

 

Chatting with Chaplains 1

 

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/5vBLNY_XqlpJbIXO2WXRVJ8tMZm6X6a82iRP8vtemR1WnCtUD78A95bkehpzvdpV                Password: 3J$E86?$ 

 

Chatting with Chaplains 2


https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/99I2Eq-z6UdJc5HHzUjdHekCQLzMX6a8gykf-_UJn0woNbftjJ2-1uMR6kInkbTc                    Password: 5K?.RhQS

We have also been gifted the privilege of being a partner organization with the Church of England, in their recently launched initiative: #Faithathome. This really exciting collaboration involves a diverse range of organisations who are all working on supporting families, schools and churches by delivering high quality resources and opportunities for exploring faith at home. We are facilitating the Chaplains Stream of this and will be letting you know what is planned as soon as possible. Do investigate #faithathome resources if you have not done so already.

https://www.churchofengland.org/faith-action/faith-home

I am also pleased to say that our vision for developing ecumenical regional hubs for chaplains is still moving forwards. The first meeting of those with some oversight/purview of chaplaincy in London is happening on Wednesday of this week. Please pray for us as we meet that we might hear from God and develop even more effective ways of supporting you all both now and into the future.

AS we begin another week, may you know the presence of God our Father, the love of Christ and the empowering of the Holy Spirit in all you do.

God bless you,

Maggie & all at CCE

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