Newsletter 18th June 2020

18th June 2020

 

Dear Friends,

I continue to be so encouraged and inspired by you. Wherever I connect with school and college chaplains, the stories you tell me of how schools and colleges have been impacted by your ministry are truly amazing and challenging. It is such a pleasure and privilege to be part of your journey, even if only for a glimpse into all you are doing and becoming in these challenging days.

Coming up:                                                                                

July 14th is the 3rd #Faithathome Chaplains’ Gathering. We will be reflecting on ‘Building God’s Kingdom in freedom and hope’. Do join us.  

Zoom link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEsdOuurjwrGtZZaHxq-i1-JKlfrS7SM7i_

 

‘Retreat’: We are thinking about the possibility of running an online ‘Retreat’ Day towards the end of the summer. If this is something you would be interested in, please can you let us know@ info@c4ce.co.uk    

                                                  

 Resources:

If you work in a primary school (or know someone who does) this resource, created by Mike Harrowing, CEO of Spinnaker, is really helpful as schools re-engage with pupils:

https://www.spinnaker.org.uk/resources/care-in-the-classroom  

 

Additionally, David O’Malley (Salesian Schools) has recorded a very useful video to support staff as schools begin to welcome pupils back: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11iyyhzQOBUYjnI7bCIzvqM9WnMoWPRj5/view?usp=sharing

There are many resources and ideas to support you (and I am sure you have accessed many others too over the past months). Tisca, https://tisca.org.uk/resources/ 

 #faithathomewww.churchofengland.org/faith-action/faith-home.    

And others continue to offer ideas and suggestions as we move out of lockdown. Head to our website https://centreforchaplaincyineducation.co.uk/ and discover more.

 

#BlackLivesMatter:                                             

I believe that God is challenging us in CCE to sharpen our focus on serving those who do not have a voice, who are ignored and abused and do not receive true justice in our world.

In the past couple of weeks, I have tried to listen, to learn, have made mistakes, have cried; and I am utterly convinced that we are called by God to:

‘..proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[
a]
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joyinstead of mourning,
and a garment of praise  instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord
 for the display of his splendour.

 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.’ (Isaiah 61)

#BLM is a hugely important movement and as God’s people, we are all called to seek justice and righteousness. How can we see more people experience real freedom to be themselves? How might we work with God in bringing justice to those who are downtrodden?

I believe this passage speaks of the present and the future: a future of which Malcolm Luther King Jr spoke:

‘Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.’ (‘I have a dream’

I continue to want to listen and learn and see how we can join together to see God’s Kingdom come and His will being done, on earth as it is in heaven. Please feel free to get in touch and let’s talk about how we can do that together.

The past couple of weeks:

It was an enormous privilege to share, alongside Rev Sarah Brush, in welcoming so many of you to ‘Rainbows and Remembrance’ where she led us in thinking about liturgy and how to create one to use in school/college when we return to face to face engagement. Rainbows and Remembrance and the videos we released just after Easter https://centreforchaplaincyineducation.co.uk/img/resources/icons/doc-big.png  were possible because of our collaboration with Toni Coulton (Chaplaincy Central), Ian Jones and Phil Metcalf (St Peter’s Saltley Trust), Susan Elderfield (Archdiocese of Southwark), Miriam Kearney (Chaplain in Wakefield) and Mike Haslam (Diocese of Bath & Wells), Sarah Lane Cawte (Free Churches Group) and Barbara Easton and Meg Prowting (Methodist church). Partnership is such a blessing and I am truly encouraged and excited about future resources and support we hope to bring you.

The recent Chaplains’ Gathering on ‘Loss’ was enriched by another partnership, with #Faithathome www.churchofengland.org/faith-action/faith-home.  It gave insight into the losses experienced by chaplains, pupils and a headteacher. It was a time to reflect on our own losses and see what we may learn from them to take into the future.   

What will you be taking with you? What will you wish to release to God? How have you been changed as a result of this time? Worth taking some time to reflect perhaps….?

Personally:                        

I will be taking with me a deeper understanding of myself: I mentioned in an earlier email that busyness can prevent us from really facing ourselves. Yes, I have been busy but truthfully, I have been blessed with being able to walk in beautiful countryside and take that time to be and receive from God. Stopping and reflecting has strengthened my understanding of who I am and I am grateful for that.

I will also be taking with me some positive habits! Increasing the exercise I do, (walking still but who knows what may develop!) has helped me improve my work-life balance immensely. Praying every morning in our Prayer Room has given me a greater awareness of the power of daily consistent prayer. I am grateful to 3 chaplains who join me regularly to do so (as well as many who drop in when they can) and we are, (well I am at least!) a living example of a new habit becoming automatic! This is a real joy and blessing to me as someone who has often struggled with setting a time and pattern for daily prayer.

The use of technology we have all seen and experienced it to be a genuine blessing over the past 12 weeks. New friendships, stronger collaborative relationships and fun with people across the world have all been possible via Zoom and the internet. Even I have improved my hitherto rather shaky skill-set in this area. So many ways it can serve us as we build the kingdom of God here on earth.

Every blessing to you as you continue to serve your communities in these days of challenge and hope,

 

Maggie & the CCE Team

 

 

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