Dear Friends and Colleagues
'If you must be in a hurry, then let be according to the old adage, and hasten slowly." Saint Vincent de Paul.
As I was travelling to New York for the recent board meeting and having time not to do very much, it dawned on me as I looked at the details of the flight on the media screen, just how fast the speed of the plane was taking me to my destination. We now live in a world where everything is carried out at speed, there are organisations that organise speed dating, on the roads people drive at excessive speeds, we look to have faster broadband to enable us to communicate more quickly, it appears that speed seems to be, or has to be, the order of the day.
Most religions of the world call on their followers to treat others in the same way as we would treat ourselves. Consider the similarities in the following principles from various faith groups:
Christianity: Love your neighbour as you love yourself.
Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. That is the entire law; all the rest is complimentary.
Taoism: Regard your neighbour's gain as your own gain, and your neighbour's loss as your own loss.
Brahmanism: this is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.
Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
Confucianism: Is there one maxim which ought to be acted upon throughout one's whole life? Surely it is the maxim of loving kindness: Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.
Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
Make sure you have noted the date for our annual conference in your diary and plan to join us in New York on 6th-10th October 2015. Our hosts at JFK have been able to arrange special international air fare rates for the conference. This is only available for international flights. Delegates can fly Delta, KLM, Air France or Alitalia to JFK, LaGuardia or Newark Airports. Travel must be between the 25th September and 25th October 2015. Reservations and ticketing can be made at www.delta.com. When booking, select Meeting Event Code and enter NMJKN in the box provided on the Search Flight page. Please consider using Delta when choosing an airline to come to the conference. Conference invitations will be emailed to all chaplains at the beginning of May as well as all details being on the website. The closing date for registration will be the 1st September.
Thank you to all who have offered prayers for those lost on Germanwings Flight 4U9525. To our colleagues in Germany, France and Spain, be assured you are also in our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time.
We join with our colleagues in Nairobi to grieve the terrible tragedy that took place at Garissa University and pray for those who lost their lives because of their faith. They had also sent a message conveying their grief and sadness over the loss of Germanwings Flight 4U9525. They are remembering the families and the nations where the losses have been felt the hardest. They pray that the God of Creation will intervene and comfort those who mourn.
Manchester Airport will be host to the meeting of the British Isles and Ireland Network to be held on April 28th. A very interesting program has been planned. The keynote speaker will be Professor Elaine Graham, Grosvenor Research Professor of Practical Theology and Canon Theologian, Chester Cathedral, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Chester. Her topic will be "Religion as a political and cultural force in public life, in the context of a "post-secular" society - and its implications for chaplaincy". During the day there will be a dedication of a memorial to Mike Vincer, former Senior Chaplain of Manchester Airport - and a brief observance of Workers' Memorial Day. Election of a new Network Coordinator will also take place at the meeting.
Religious Thinktank Theos, in partnership with the Cardiff-based Centre for Chaplaincy Studies, has recently published a report into the scope and impact of chaplaincy. Rev. George Lane was asked to comment on it on Radio Manchester in relation to the work of the Manchester Airport Chaplaincy Team. The document seems to represent a significant moment in the impact of chaplaincy in the public psyche.
You can download it HERE>> A Very Modern Ministry: Chaplaincy in the UK
Planning is well in hand for our annual conference to be held in New York from the 6th to 10th October this year. Make sure you have the date in your diary to attend. Our host chaplain, Rev Romeo Dabee, and his team are working hard to ensure costs are kept as low as possible whilst still maintaining high standards of comfort and care. The theme of this year's conference is "Bridging The World". New York is often described as one of the most diverse cities of the world with people from many countries, cultures, languages and religions exist side by side. Airports can also be described as diverse environments where people working there have to detach themselves from what they know, understand and believe to serve people whose customs are often quite different and sometimes quite challenging from their own. This requires the development of a level of sensitivity. Presentations during the conference will attempt to explore this diversity and multiculturalism.
One of the strengths of IACAC is the breadth of its membership with each chaplaincy bringing different experiences and, through our collective sharing, the understandings of all members are widened. Please encourage all members of your chaplaincy team to join IACAC either as active or associate members. If each of us encouraged at least one other member of our chaplaincy to join IACAC our collective knowledge and skills will grow even more. Let us adopt as our motto "Each One Bring One"
We have so much we can learn together from each other
Annual membership subscriptions are due on the 1st January 2015 and the financial year is from 1st January to the 31st December 2015. Payment of the membership subscription should be made through the IACAC website. Annual membership for active members is US$60. The membership subscription for Associate members is $30 with no voting rights for those who would like it. Please continue to support your Association by paying your annual subscription as soon as you are able. Thank you to those members who have already paid, either at the Amsterdam conference or through the website.
Do not wait for other people to be loving, giving, compassionate, grateful, forgiving, generous or friendly... lead the way.