Chaplaincy is a vital and vibrant ministry of the Uniting Church. Chaplaincy is a ‘ministry of presence’ in our communities and institutions, serving people of Christian faith, different faiths or of no faith. As lay and ordained ministers of the Uniting Church, our chaplains are qualified and skilled practitioners. On behalf of the Church, they bear witness to the hope and healing of Christ, in a wide variety of contexts. These include health, education, aged-care, welfare, prisons, Defence and emergency services.
If you would like to know more, please contact Adrian Pyle, Relationships & Connections director on 0408 550 491 or Rev Lauren Mosso, Chaplaincy Coordinator, on 0400 569 330.
As Synod Chaplaincy Coordinator Lauren is responsible for convening the Synod Chaplaincy Roundtable; promoting chaplaincy, professional standards and continuing education for chaplains; collaborating in creating effective systems for oversight and mutual accountability; encouraging availability of chaplains for various roles; and developing innovative training opportunities.
With chaplaincy in every adult prison in Victoria, including privately-run prisons, this is a clear example of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action, working with our most marginalised people and social outcasts. Jesus spent much of His life with people who were social rejects, so those in prison chaplaincy feel privileged to continue His work.
In many ways we see our work in prisons as working with real people – those who have no need for superficialities or pretence. It is not just prisoners, we also work with their families and with prison staff.
We work with people of faith or no faith, talking about what gives real meaning to their lives. We remind people they are human beings. In many instances we’re the only face to remind prisoners that God loves them and that there is hope. Sadly for some, we bring compassion into their lives for the first time.
All of our prison chaplains have theological qualifications and clinical pastoral education, with many having experience in ministry. To be a good chaplain requires empathy and high interpersonal skills to connect with people of all walks of life. To work in prisons also requires the ability to work in complex and harsh environments.
For further information, contact our Senior Prison Chaplain, Craig Madden [email protected]
Hospital chaplaincy focuses on delivering compassionate pastoral care. Within the hospital environment, pastoral practitioners are part of the wider allied health team and there is a special emphasis on transitioning in life and end of life.
The requirements to be a hospital chaplain are the same as those of a prison chaplain, but must also include Clinical Pastoral Education units and a minimum of five years’ experience. To work at the Royal Children’s Hospital requires a skill set which could almost be regarded as a gift.
For more information, or to find a UCA Minister to visit a patient in hospital, contact Lauren Mosso on 0400 569 330 or at [email protected]
We have 13 chaplains providing services in schools associated with the Synod. As well as providing pastoral care to students and staff, there is great value to the Church in learning from young people, including what’s important to them, how they see the world and how they might change it. Chaplaincy allows this to be fed back into the wider church.
One example is social justice. Working with our Social Justice team, our Chaplaincy program hosts annual forums for year 9 students based on the social justice issues which are most important to them.
School chaplains can be ordained or lay ministers, some have experience from other churches and some come from teaching backgrounds.
Tertiary chaplaincy works across the challenging fields of education, pastoral care, crisis management and interfaith groups. Sometimes a tertiary chaplain is the only spiritual practitioner on campus, sometimes they are part of a multi-faith team.
Tertiary chaplains are generally not employed by the University but are funded through congregations, joint funding with other groups or whatever funding combination can be achieved.
All tertiary chaplains must be accredited to be on campus through the Council of Chaplains in Tertiary Institutions (www.cctivictoria.org). This involves an interview process, gifts and skills for delivering pastoral care, tertiary qualifications as well as theological study.
For more information, contact Rev Jay Robinson at [email protected]