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THE PROMISE OF CHAPLAINCY Harriet Mowat key note 3 practical theology 1.

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Presentation on theme: "THE PROMISE OF CHAPLAINCY Harriet Mowat key note 3 practical theology 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE PROMISE OF CHAPLAINCY Harriet Mowat key note 3 practical theology 1

2 The promise of Chaplaincy Key Note 1: Inside chaplaincy: what do chaplains do? Key Note 2: Outside chaplaincy: what influences chaplaincy? Key Note 3: Identity and Practice: chaplaincy as practical theology Workshop 1 Stories of Chaplaincy Day 1Day 2Day 3 Workshop 2 The challenges of chaplaincy key note 3 practical theology 2


4 Challenges for the 21st Century Education Description Position in the organisation Funding naming Retaining liminality working in a clinical environment disposition Relationship with traditions volunteers Mis- understanding Publicity/ clarity Using research to describe

5 Practical Theology and Chaplaincy Practical Theology is critical, theological reflection on the practices of the church as they interact with the practices of the world, with a view to ensuring and enabling faithful living. key note 3 practical theology 5

6 The identity of Chaplaincy is characterised by Attending to human experience – listens and acts Entering the world of the other – on the edge, unlikeness Attempting to be fully human with others – interpathy, presence, walking with Trying to embody the presence of God – values based reflective practice Interpreting human feelings and actions in the light of those values – working with fragments and links key note 3 practical theology 6

7 The 21 st century imperatives which shape the identity of chaplaincy Multi cultural communities : multiple realities Psychologically minded thinking: rise in interest in psychoanalytic perspectives Changing nature of institutions Public theology: engaging in politics Professionalisation and Leadership :from being there to being aware Inevitable change and the need for resilience research as the basis for action Reconciliation and restitution journeys key note 3 practical theology 7

8 THE PRACTICE OF CHAPLAINCY A vehicle for 21 st Century reconciliation and restitution. key note 3 practical theology 8

9 Reconciliation and restitution in the 21 st Century Sarah Hills – Train theology Bicycle Theology Two way restitution Reconciliation includes restitution and perhaps forgiveness Deliberate acts of restitution key note 3 practical theology 9

10 10 Train Theology Bicycle Restitution

11 The road to reconciliation:always incomplete: always partial: always evolving Forgiveness restitution Truth space actions pilgrimage fellowship process Spirituality

12 MHA CHAPLAINS STUDY MHA Chaplains support and build ‘reluctant communities’ : “making connections but living with fractures” Chaplains enact deliberate acts of restitution as part off the reconciliation journey: journey into residential living and ageing. 12 key note 3 practical theology

13 Data collected: Telephone interviews with chaplains 15 Visits – observer participation 10 sites for two days each Interviews with staff Informal interviews with residents Survey of chaplains – 56 accounts of a four hour period with reflective questions (100,000 words) key note 3 practical theology 13

14 Residents Staff Relatives Friends Family volunteers Chaplain Presence prayer Struggles with meaning making Family complexities Fear of Ageing and disability Relationships Support accceptance The ordinary as sacramental Chat, story telling listening Struggling with daily life A reluctant community Embodiment A journey of reconciliation and restitution key note 3 practical theology 14

15 THE COMMUNITY IS “RELUCTANT” So often when older people move into a care home they withdraw into themselves as they are trying to cope with feelings of grief and loss and often find it difficult to make new relationships with the strangers around them. ……. resident’s memory and ability to communicate is often diminished and so they need help to relate to others. 13/4 15 key note 3 practical theology

16 Building a “reluctant” community For many people the experience of coming into a care home is one of great loss. There is the loss of their own home and with it their possessions, their memories, their sense of identity. For the most part people would not choose to live in a care home and be surrounded by strangers. 13/6 However pleasant the surroundings, and however kind the carers, this move can be devastating. 47/2 16 key note 3 practical theology

17 Restitutive acts that help build the community Prayer as a starting and finishing point Chat Lunch Helping out Specific activities Staff Care Settling in work Encouraging residents Visiting Sharing stories Spiritual guidance and Worship 17 key note 3 practical theology

18 Restitutive acts Settling in Work generally speaking, they move in because they have to, or are told that they have to. They are in a situation as they see it, of being taken away from their home, that they have lived in for a number of years. Much of their life, they have to leave behind, and instead of relying to a large extent on themselves, have to rely on carers, who they don’t know, It can be very confusing for them, and if they have been very active in their lives, can make it very hard to settle. …..…………Eventually, they all settle in fairly well, and I feel that this is a key part to Chaplaincy. 12/10 Helping Out Feeding gives me the opportunity to speak with them and at the same time make valuable contact by touch and eye contact; it also helps them to become familiar with your voice which is very important. I usually try to help with breakfasts or dinner when I can, so that it builds up my relationship with those residents who are unable communicate in the usual way. 46/1 18 key note 3 practical theology

19 Two way grace! Courage and Grace of Residents The quite unselfish attitude of Resident D to his son who had formerly lived near to the Home and so was able to visit, now having moved to the other side of the world with no idea when a physical visit may happen again, causes me to wonder how I might feel in the same situation and whether I might be more resentful of this. 24/5 Getting support from residents I have been surprised (no just in this survey) by the amount of insight shown by older members in the context of their own lives (currently) and present social situations. At times I feel that I have been given support rather than seeking to give it 55/3 19 key note 3 practical theology

20 CCL AS A VEHICLE FOR RECONCILIATION Honouring the story key note 3 practical theology 20

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22 Why does chaplaincy survive? Encourages resilience Challenges empiricism Metaphor for present but invisible values and beliefs Gives permission for unscientific and “unspeakable” emotions and feelings Love in strangeness Peace in change Hope and Joy in suffering Provides links Honours stories Allows difference Encourages reconciliation and restitution Takes the past into the future to create something new Embodies the values that we all aspire to Is potentially transformative key note 3 practical theology 22

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24 G AELIC B LESSING May the road rise up to meet you May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm on your face And the rain fall soft upon your fields And until we meet again May your God keep you in the Hollow of his hand. key note 3 practical theology 24

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