It comes as no surprise how much more quickly time seems to pass as we grow older. As I join you, the community chaplaincy is approaching its ninth year.
I’ve been welcomed with open arms at tables long and wide as I begin my time with you as Community Chaplain. Days of celebration have inevitably given way to the task at hand… and no two days seem the same. How wonderful! There is a true community spirit in Lane Cove, where people watch out for each other. This is something my predecessor Karen Paull was keen to cultivate at the community chaplaincy and I in turn am committed to nurturing. Thanks to a committed group of volunteers, my time is freed up to walk alongside others as much as lead them and this creates space to explore new possibilities in a spirit of service.
There are many groups the community chaplaincy hosts –including bush-walking groups, a meditation group which meets on Zoom and an outdoor Sacred Space gathering. There’s also a Book Club, and we hold a weekly coffee group at Two Brothers Café which offers a point of connection for many. These activities give my time some structure, but with people and their lives as my main focus, flexibility is needed.
We recently marked Volunteer Week –a celebration of volunteers and acts of service to others. According to the 2021 National Church Life Survey Some forty-six per cent of Australian church attenders (across 20+ denominations) participate in community groups that aren’t connected with their churches. Of those, involvement in community service, care or welfare groups form the majority.
Whatever your motivation we add our thanks to all those who volunteer in various ways from day-to-day. What a difference a day makes, indeed… when the difference is you.
Being the Community Chaplain keeps me busy but there’s always time for acts of service. Perhaps you have some thoughts of your own? I’d love to hear them. And do say, ‘Hello’ when you see me out and about.