Our church is surrounded by Primary and High schools, public and private. I wonder how we could best contribute to our local schools?
Our local Unley Ministers Fellowship (UMF) takes a shared responsibility for our local public schools. Our focus is on the Chaplaincy program run in schools with ‘Schools Ministry Group’ (SMG). SMG have around 300 Christian chaplains in public schools across our state. They administer the employment of chaplains and coordinate the ministry with local churches. Unley High School is currently looking for a Pastoral Care Worker (often known as chaplains). SMG work with the school in shaping the role. The UMF and school work together to raise finances. Interviews are done with SMG, UMF and school representatives. Hopefully someone great is hired! I am on this interview panel, and sadly we are into our 3rd round of recruiting. We have not yet been able to hire the right person. Please do pray for us.
Chaplains can build bridges between churches and schools. I know our local schools are keen (outside of Covid restrictions) for churches to provide mentors, volunteers for groundswork, lunchtime programs. There are certainly more opportunities than we have people for! Chaplains have also facilitated churches supporting vulnerable kids financially.
An area of challenge is in running Easter and Christmas programs. There has been a small team over years which has done this, but with a change of coordinator, it appears the future is uncertain. Schools have also been increasingly reluctant to run these kinds of programs.
Less and less children are familiar with Christian faith. Less and less people have positive interactions with the church. This can fuel a suspicion of Christians and diminish gospel opportunities. Don’t you believe our church, in partnership with others, should do our best to change this?
Jason (Photo https://smg.asn.au/)