Went out to coffee with a colleague this morning. He mentioned that this afternoon he was heading off to the Helensvale State High School Local Chaplaincy Committee (LCC). And that he was not going to accept nomination as chairperson. So… what did I do? I turned up myself and got voted on as the new chairperson.
Basically the role involves chairing monthly meetings of the LCC on Wednesday afternoons. It involves providing pastoral support for the chaplains at Helensvale State High School, Pacific Pines State High School and Upper Coomera State High School. And in the event of losing one of those people, finding a replacement. Graeme Eastwell, from Helensvale Presbyterian, has just finished six years in the position.
Long Bradley has been employed as chaplain at Helensvale State High School since 2000 and works three days a week. His web page is included in the school web site. He provides pastoral care for students, especially in times of grief and loss. He also connects students with appropriate support groups and agencies. As well as this, he attends excursions, camps and other events, runs a lunchtime games-based program, coordinates the Religious Education program, and provides a link between the school, community and churches.
The chaplaincy in schools is coordinated by Scripture Union in Queensland.
One of the big challenges of the year will be getting new churches on board in the new housing areas of Pacific Pines and Coomera. The churches there are all in their fledgling stages and are not in a strong position to contribute financially. But the need is great. Pacific Pines High School had a chaplain last year and are in the process of appointing someone new for a day a week. Upper Coomera State College are in the process of appointing a voluntary chaplain.
Helensvale State High opened just over twenty years ago and is known as one of the biggest high schools in Queensland. Pacific Pines State High started in 2000. Upper Coomera State College has opened in the last year.