It is with pleasure that I welcome you to our new and improved website! I hope this message finds you and those you love and care for safe and well at this time.
As many of you are aware, this website has been recently updated, allowing us to maintain strong and supportive connections with our members. If you are less familiar with the role of the School Chaplain and our organisation, you are more than welcome to begin your discovery here. Indeed, if you are new to chaplaincy details of how to join the SCA are also located here and I would strongly encourage you to do so. You will find information about the practical aspects and experiences of School Chaplains as well as the historical pathway of this association. You will learn about the people that work in a voluntary capacity on the Executive to ensure that we have diaries, newsletters, regular emails, social media, and other supports including links and resources available at essential times throughout the academic year. The members-only log-in area is alive with excellent material that will ensure you are never stuck and we encourage the addition of new resources to keep this section updated and refreshed. I wish to thank JDK Design, members of the Executive and all who shared resources for our website appearance and structure.
One of the highlights for the SCA is indeed our Annual Conference. We have just returned from what I can only suggest, has been the most significant conference to date. It was a return to an in-person gathering for the first time in three years. People need people; we relished the opportunity to sit side by side once again and to be with each other sharing experiences, understanding, warmth and nourishment through prayer, personal and professional input.
Conference 2022 speakers provided us with an energy of love and purpose. Maria Garvey through her presentation of deep listening and what it means to “Let Go and Let God” taught us to reflect on what it really means “to be.” When I ask myself the question, “When I walk into a room, what would I like to say comes into that room with me?” My answer is quite different from what I think I need to do or have, to be the person that I want to be.
Rob Carley shared a message that brings us back to the foundational belief that love is all we need. He affirmed that each one of us is created in the image of God and with this truth must recognise that: “I am lovely, I am loveable, and I am loved.” I pray this powerful message lands safely in the depths of your heart, and that you find ways to remind yourself of that as often as is necessary.
I wish to sincerely thank Bishop Tom Deenihen for his address and support of School Chaplains, recognising our unique role and valuable faith presence in our schools, urging us to stay strong in our identity and reminding us that support is there for us in our Diocese.
We also thank John Irwin ACCS and David Duffy TUI who joined us and continue to support us.
Inspired by the scripture passage “to do justice, to love kindly and walk humbly”, I, in my new role as Chairperson together with a strong Executive team are committed to working on your behalf by continuing to strengthen links and lines of communication for the future of our association. I feel both honoured and humbled to be trusted with the task and I thank each of the Executive and SCA members for their support.
So, as we go forward from here, back to our schools, communities, homes, and families, let us believe that we can always “Begin again!” Each day offers new possibilities. In our ministry we are often tempted to or tasked with moving mountains! I invite you in the spirit of gentle presence and self-compassion, remember what it means to Let Go and Let God and perhaps simply… “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” (Martin Luther King Jr)
Chairperson, SCA Executive Committee