Reflections from the Chair - May

18th May 2021

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In our countdown to the conference - Rev Mike Haslam reflects on Hope in May's Reflections from the Chair.
When shops were briefly open and I was doing Christmas shopping in ASDA I met a former student by the cheese aisle, we’ll call him Joe.
Joe told me, with evident pride, that he had just finished his first term at University and that I was one of the people who had helped him believe that he could get there. Throughout his time at school he had struggled to believe that he was worth anything.
A huge part of chaplaincy ministry is to inspire each and every person to believe that they are loved and of immense value. Thank God that Joe heard part of this. I hope that others also heard and hear that message.
  • I hope that the young people I am accompanying and all students will get the grades they deserve from this summer’s assessments after a crazy year.
  • I hope that staff and lecturers will be trusted to give fair results.
  • I hope that we will all find our way through the return to 3D education and life and the pandemic of mental ill-health.
  • I hope that people around the world, perhaps especially the poorest and most vulnerable will be offered vaccines.
  • I hope that the amidst all of the challenges of life we will appreciate the little things, each sunrise, each smile.
  • I hope that the right people will apply for the primary school chaplaincy vacancies that I am advertising and that I will secure the funding we need for secondary school and FE college chaplaincies.
  • I hope, on a personally level, that I will continue to survive the depression that I live with, to some extent, every day.
  • I hope that I will respond to each of the ‘million’ messages and emails that I receive sensitively and wisely.
  • I hope that the national education chaplaincy conference informs, inspires, connects and challenges us. I hope that the tech and all of the other details go well.
  • I hope that you have booked into the conference. If you haven’t, why on earth not? Do it now!
  • I hope that, even in amidst situations that are almost certain to continue to get darker, we may see glimpses of light.
  • I hope that COP26 will be an opportunity for the leaders of our world to respond wisely to the climate emergency.
  • I hope that each of us may live life in all its fullness.
  • I hope that you may hear this message of hope.
Those are just a few of my hopes, they sustain and inspire me each day. What are your hopes?
Of course, I don’t just hope.There is a shed load of effort, work, blood, sweat, and sometimes tears, behind each of my hopes; there is the courage and discipline to keep going and the faith to continue to believe.
Sometimes my hopes are, give or take, in my control; I can choose how to answer an email or write this reflection and I hope that I get it right. Sometimes they are far beyond any of us, but not, I believe, beyond our prayers, or beyond God. But I do hope and I pray, and that puts even simple, ordinary and extraordinary things into the hands and context of God. Sometimes our hopes are fulfilled in a time-frame that we can comprehend, sometimes we continue to watch and wait and pray, amidst the changing times, even if we don’t understand.
I believe that all of our hopes, all of our longings, all of our prayers, for our schools and colleges, for our communities and lives, for our world, are held within the love of God, who dies that we may life, who lives among us that we may have life in all its fullness, who loves that we may continue to hope. Keep hopeful.
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