Baptist chaplains gather for online event
More than 120 people involved in chaplaincy gathered from across Baptists Together for an online chaplains’ day in January.
The aim was to give our chaplains a place to connect with each other, be recognised by the wider Baptist movement and reflect on the practical and theological realities of their ministry.
Pictured (clockwise, from top left) Baptist chaplains during the afternoon session: Stephen Heap, Michael Peat, Julie Aylward, Jackie Bone, Simon D'Albertanson, Amanda Pink
Every chaplaincy sector was represented, from health, prisons and higher education, to the military, police, sport and other workplace settings.
In the first of three sessions, nine chaplains shared two-minute stories of what how they had seen God at work in the recent season. Time was then spent in small groups in breakout rooms, listening to the stories of chaplaincy colleagues and praying for each other.
In the afternoon session, an interview with Lynn Green was followed by a webinar titled ‘Witnessing to Christ as chaplains’. Six chaplains grappled with how they fulfil the expectation expressed in the Baptist Union’s Declaration of Principle to “bear personal witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to take part in the evangelisation of the world,” when their context often prohibits them from overt evangelism.
In the evening session, Rosa Hunt, co-principal of Cardiff Baptist College, gave a keynote address on ‘Desire and disorientation.’ This explored those moments when the innate spirituality of people becomes apparent even in what might otherwise be considered secular space. Baptist Union president Geoff Colmer led a reflection at the beginning of each session and at the end of the last.
Tim Fergusson, who worked with the Baptists Together Chaplaincy Forum to organise the day, said, 'I was delighted with both the numbers attending and their depth of engagement with the day.
'Chaplains are on the frontline of where the gospel meets the world, no more so than during the pandemic, and it was inspiring to hear their stories and deliberations on their service in the name of Jesus.'