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The Aged Care Chaplains provide a service of holistic pastoral care in each of our 29 residential aged care services in Queensland and Victoria. During this last year, further progress was made in extending our pastoral care services to clients in the Retirement Living and Community Care services. A significant amount of work was also done in the development of a model of pastoral care that is specifically appropriate for palliative care facilities.
A group of volunteers attend the Mental health Ward at the Nambour General Hospital, the Sunshine Coast University hospital, and the Continuing Care Unit at Mountain Creek every week. They take a coffee machine and serve patients and staff with coffee and care. Through hospitality, listening and just being present, patients and staff feel loved and valued. This team of chaplains have been serving in this way since October 2008 and are warmly welcomed as part of the hospital team.
Our Housing chaplaincy program also extends to the provision of pastoral care and community development within our affordable housing sites. This provides our tenants with physical, emotional and spiritual support, and opportunity to reach personal and community goals.
A vital part of outworking the mission and vision of Churches of Christ in Queensland is to maintain a cooperative and collaborative partnership between our churches, care services and other like-minded community stakeholders. This is achieved through the formation of Strategic Action Leadership Teams and the establishment of Kingdom Access Places, all of which is led by our Regional Engagement Partners.
We have six regional clusters around Queensland. Each cluster contains a number of Strategic Action Leadership Teams (SALTs) whose members include leaders from our local churches, care services and the broader community in that area who have some passion for bringing more of the light of Christ into their communities.
SALTs gather regularly for strategic conversation around what it looks like to bring the light of Christ into their particular community. The key question they ask themselves is “When we pool our collective resources, energy and thinking what are the things which would most impact the common good in our local community?” Out of that conversation, a Mission Action Strategy is developed. Each Mission Action Strategy will have a number of Strategic Priorities which together define the mission in the communities linked with the SALT. The SALT, led by the REP, is responsible for developing a plan for the implementation of each Strategic Priority through research, networking, resource generation, and conversations in their community and with decision makers within CofCQ.
To lead the work of the SALTs and help bring the Strategic Priorities on the Mission Action Strategy to life, we have six Regional Engagement Partners located around Queensland. As senior ministering persons, our REPs are apostolic in their role – they are looking for where God is at work and for where the collective opportunities to forward our mission and vision in the community lie, and they invite others into and propel them forward on this journey.
The work of the REPs is based on relationship and networking and they particularly seek to support leaders in our churches and services, helping nurture a Kingdom culture and the CofCQ values and ways of working. They look for creative and innovative ways to resource, to equip and to increase the impact of our work with the vulnerable and marginalised.
Our SALTs and their associated Mission Action Strategies present our churches and services with opportunities to contribute to something that CofCQ is doing beyond their area of work and to help further the transformational work being championed by CofCQ and others to bring light and uplift to the communities in which we serve.
A Kingdom Access Place exists where a community of people:
Can access physical, social, emotional or spiritual care that is true to Jesus (access something of the Kingdom), and
Know someone who can introduce them to Jesus (having personal faith in the King).
Many of the Strategic Priorities on our Mission Action Strategies lead to the establishment of new Kingdom Access Places.
A Kingdom Access Place is a Group or Active Network:
Of people who connect with an identifiable rhythm and regularity; daily, monthly or quarterly;
That contains at least 3 people who would self-identify as members of the CofCQ Mission Workforce and serve in our network of churches, services and communities;
That was designed in order to give people in the community access to the Kingdom of God; and all Christ brings to bear in his mission as described in Luke 4:18-19