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Coping with COVID-19: Rev Beth Bear

In the third part of this ongoing series, we speak with Rev Beth Bear, chaplain at The Scots School, Albury.

How has your work been affected by the lockdown?

For the past few weeks, our school has moved to online learning. The positive side is that there is still a community who spend most of their day engaged, it hasn’t dissolved.

And the downside?

The extra activities of the school, like chapel, don’t have a clear model. In normal times, my chaplaincy MO is loitering with intent. That model is impossible in an online community, so I have to be a lot more intentional and structured. That has certainly been the biggest challenge (that and balancing work and kids at home). My priority is staying connected with the students and providing comforting rituals.

How have you responded?

I’ve created “Chapel bites” in the form of short videos with me praying or telling a story or singing a song. Of course there are better quality videos available, but I figure it’s about continued relationships with the students and staff. I want them to know I am praying for them.

Great idea. What technology are you using?

I email or use Teams to video call students for pastoral care, and digital classrooms (Google Classrooms or Seesaw) for uploading content. iMovie has become my friend, too.

Do you have a personal message or faith reflection that you would like to share?

In managing our way through this crisis, like everything in chaplaincy, I am constantly reminding myself that the Holy Spirit works alongside and through us. We won’t do it perfectly, but we are never alone.

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