Friday, 30 July 2010

Disaster Recovery Uniting Church Style

It is without doubt that none of us wish for disasters be they natural or not in our lives. We all know that disasters can and do strike at any time and often unexpectedly.

For these reasons the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and the ACT have put in place strategies to aid in  effective and rapid recovery from disasters when they strike. It is impossible to to predict where and when disasters might happen and yet being prepared is one of the key strategies to creating resilient communities.

Briefly the approach we have taken is to oversee the creation of a network of interfaith Chaplains who minister in Disaster Recovery Centers, provide peer support for ministers who are working directly in a disaster zone and putting in place a system of disaster plans within our Presbyteries that cover the whole of NSW.

This week the Presbytery representatives and the peer support team gathered in Sydney to be trained and updated on our strategic response.

It was everybody's hope that we will never be called into action.

Kel Hodge

Ian Tucker's Induction

The 7th of June saw Julie and myself in Cobar for Ian Tucker's induction into the Uniting Church Congregations of Cobar and Nyngan as well as a Patrol ministry around the the Cobar region.

This was an historic event for the Uniting Church as New South Wales welcomed the presence of Frontier Services within the state borders for the first time.

Frontier Services is an arm of the national Uniting Church that has provided ministry in a variety of forms to the people of remote Australia. Frontier Services has funded Ian Tucker's ministry on a half time basis with the Macquarie-Darling Presbytery.

The brief Ian has been given is to service the congregations in Nyngan and Cobar as well as being a Patrol Padre to the people living on remote stations in the area.

Ian brings many gifts with a life time of experience to this ministry. A full church welcomed Ian to the area and the local representatives sated that they were looking forward to supporting Ian in his new ministry.

Kel Hodge

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Illabo Health Day

I was pleased to be asked to facilitate a health day at Illabo recently. I certainly do not profess to have health care credentials. My field of expertise is practical theology. The day was focusing on the ability of one's mind, body and spirit to adapt to the many and often stressful aspects of change in our lives.

It seems that the tools available to assist with caring for ourselves and one another intersect the boundaries of health care and theology. That is to say in a generalist sense both disciplines at their core point towards healthy and wholesome living.

The day was marked with avid participation, laughter and a focus on what is important to us all, that is leading healthy, productive and happy lives.

The weather was cold at Illabo that day although I must say the hospitality was warm and friendly.

Kel Hodge


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