chaplains


Walking with people on their journeys


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What's a chaplain? Your community info doesn't make it clear, even after I visited the links.
corset binding
snuck wrote in chaplains

I had this question on another community, and I struggled to answer. Here's what I put together, and I'd be interested in where you think we could expand the definition of a Chaplain, or how Chaplains serve in your local areas:



I've found many different descriptions of chaplains over the years.

Wikipedia is the most generic one I've found:
A chaplain is typically a priest, pastor, ordained deacon, rabbi, imam or other member of the clergy serving a group of people who are not organised as a mission or church, or who are unable to attend church for various reasons; such as health, confinement, or military or civil duties; lay chaplains are also found in other settings such as universities. For example a chaplain is often attached to a military unit (where he or she is often referred to as padre), a private chapel, a ship, a prison, a hospital, a high school, college or especially boarding school, even a parliamentary assembly and so on. Though originally chaplain was a Christian term it is also now applied to people in other religions filling the same role. In recent years many non-ordained persons have received professional training in chaplaincy and are now appointed as chaplains in schools, hospitals, universities, prisons and elsewhere to work alongside or instead of ordained chaplains.


Another definition I've seen is simply:
a chaplain is a spiritual caregiver

Usually Chaplains role descriptions include at least the following:

- Pastoral and spiritual advice and support to the community they are appointed to.
- Advise on religious/cultural factors that may affect the community's operation.
- Have the support of and be endorsed by their local church.
- Some areas/ministries require formal qualifications, some differentiate between Pastors and Assistant Chaplains.
- May provide spiritual sacraments if supported by their church to do so.
- Support in critical or difficult situations.
- May be asked to provide support for alternative religious beliefs. (eg. military chaplains support across a range of beliefs)
- Serve as liason with other clergy.

Not all Chaplains are the same - and I've probably omitted many variations. Chaplains are usually a less formal face of the church out and about in the community and various organisations (here in Australia we have school chaplains, military chaplains, emergency service, prison, sport team and hospital to name a few) and reach out with the support of churches in semi or formally organised ways to walk with people within various community settings.

A chaplain is not necessarily an ordained minister, but usually works closely with other clergy.

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