The chaplaincy love feast

Scripture Union Queensland

Sorry about the grainy photo. It's all I've got for now.

I’ve just come back from an enjoyable whirlwind trip to the two QCCC sites that I don’t live at (and punctuated it with an even quicker flying visit to the QB Head Office mega-complex.

Last night QCCC Tamborine sponsored a dinner as a fundraiser for the Scripture Union chaplains on Mount Tamborine.  There are four chaplains on the mountain, spread across three schools.  Each year QCCC puts on a meal for Scripture Union and last night 140 people showed up for a night of entertainment and food.  It kinda resembled the love feast I talked about a few weeks ago!

We were entertained by the local school orchestra and later a band, watched some great video of the work of the chaplains on the mountain and heard from some of the kids given hope in dire situations by the chaplaincy service. There was a fairly bouyant mood in the room after the announcement this week from the ALP that if elected they will extend a further three years funding to chaplaincy in schools.  The Liberal Party have already made a similar commitment, so for the short term there’s bi-partisan support and a bit of certainty and stability.

Listening to the stories and watching the video, it’s striking that on the surface of things the benefits of chaplaincy is hard to quantify.  There’s a lot of talk about “hanging out with kids” and “being for there”, which sounds a bit vague until it breaks down into the real life stories of what “being there” for people really means.

QCCC Tamborine

Looking west from Tamborine Mountain

It’s not uncommon for teenagers to get themselves into some fairly dire situations (it’s been happening for centuries I guess) and often the chaplains are the first, or perhaps only, person they can turn to.  The economist in me can’t help but do the cost/benefit and ripple effect analysis, knowing that the “being there” for one kid can have profound lasting impact on that person, and their wider extended networks.

I don’t reckon “hanging out” would be my forte, but I have nothing but admiration for these chaplains who have the gift to do it.  Their availability is a precious gift to our schools.

I took quite a few photos this trip.  Some of the spectacular Tamborine sunsets, and others of our facilities with a view to what improvements we’re going to make over the next few years.  Suffice to say a lot of what we’d like to improve revolves around making our dining rooms …..

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