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Chaplains Update

Posted: 27-May-2011

Chaplains' Update

I'm often impressed with what I read from principals about what our chaplains do week by week. Thank you for making a real difference to kids' lives (and parents and teachers!)

 When I talk to different ones of you about what you're doing it's great to be reminded of what the coal-face of ministry is about. Real people with all life's joys, challenges, difficulties and successes. Thank you for acting out God's generous love in all those little (and sometimes not so little) ways.

The High Court Challenge to Federal Chaplaincy Funding

As you may have heard the high court hearing originally set for next week has been put back to August. The defendants have asked for more time to prepare. Good to know they are taking it absolutely seriously! Lawyers I've spoken to think the challenge won't get up, but it's not always easy to tell, and we must prepare for contingencies. Being in August we don't expect a ruling until the new year at the earliest. By when the new program will already be up and running, and if unfavourable to chaplaincy we might still have to wait for an appeal and who knows how long that will be!

 I've heard of schools being reluctant to look at chaplaincy until they know the outcome. That's not a good idea as if the funding continues they will have missed out for the next three years. We have to proceed on the assumption that the promised program will unfold more or less according to the government's promise last August, which was based on what Genr8 with the other members of the National School Chaplaincy Association asked them for in July ( yes, we do work hard at advocating for you and the schools and the kids.)

Funding for 2012

We are really hanging out to hear from Peter Garrett about the rules of the new NSCP now that the funding has been announced.

 What is absolutely certain from talking with the other members of the National School Chaplaincy Association (NSCA), no one can run a two day chaplaincy on $20,000 without raising more from local sources. GenR8 is about to propose a model for chaplaincies from next year that takes these challenges on board and develops the local buy-in of churches and combined church school ministry committees and boards to support and promote the local chaplaincy. This will bring GenR8's chaplaincies into line with the other states in having a local support arrangement. The invitation to churches to express interest in partnering with us and local schools is going out this week.
We expect that generally funding will continue for existing positions, though they too will need topping up.

Sitting on a GOLD MINE.

Yep. You are. I'm really thinking about the good news stories you are involved in. All the things you could write up in a paragraph or two and share (without giving names or identifying details.) From my years involved in supporting schools ministry I know the stories are what tap right into the motivation of supporters to pray and to share their commitment with others, and to give. It's what keeps us interested more than anything. Like we always listen in a sermon when there's a story. Again, real stories of real people having real life changes through the ministry of the people of God.

 Don't sit on the treasure, share it around. We crave good stories to share from here at the office, and to tell our supporters who want your ministries to flourish and to see more set up. As we plan to develop properly organised local support and promotion for you ministry for the next three years, local committees will be fired up and energized by your stories. Its the best communication you and we have. Maybe you've always written some stuff to share with a few friends or prayer partners – shoot them this way too. It doesn't matter if they are a year or two old. Stories have a great way of staying fresh.

Important Information about your 2011 funding

DEEWR is now calling on all service providers (for all Genr8 chaplains – we are your service provider) to make sure the funding is all spent by December 31 2011. For some of you this may mean you need to do a few extra hours, spend some money on some resources for the school or even reduce your workload by an hour or two each week so that your funding doesn’t run out before the end of the year (this will be relevant in schools that started early with their chaplaincies).

We will be sending each Genr8 chaplain an email with the specifics of where your funding lies early next week. Please ensure you read this carefully and respond to the email so we know you have received it.

Thanks again for your great work in schools ministry.

Every blessing, Peter 

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