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Thursday
Dec132012

Understanding Chaplaincy

Recently a group challenged the starting of a police chaplaincy program in McPherson, Kansas (article linked here). The challenge to the police chaplaincy program was the thought that the the state (city of McPherson) was establishing a religion, and well as forcing religious counselors on the people and officers of the city of McPherson. 

As I looked at the article to me the issue is not the establishment of religion it is a misunderstanding of chaplaincy, unfortunately a  misunderstanding that is not always helped by some that identify themselves as chaplains. The call or art of chaplaincy is not about explaining your faith to others it is living it out in presence. Many people have used the role of chaplain as a point of access to talk with people about their faith, this practice makes it harder for the true call of chaplaincy of being present to others.

To be a chaplain it is not about sharing your faith, it is not theological arguments or winning someone over to your belief. My hope is that through the process of establishing this specific chaplain program the true purpose and practice of chaplaincy will come through. To provide support and care to others as we are called to.

With hope,

John

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