Partnering with Churches

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Partnering with Churches

This year has seen the ongoing strengthening of partnerships with Baptist Churches, including collaborative activity around domestic violence awareness, grants, pastoral care training, consultancy advice and supporting one another through a variety of activities that reinforce our relationship.

This infographic shows the details of this partnership, including 111 Baptist Churches registered nation-wide with our domestic violence awareness campaign, and more than 2,000 downloads of the awareness resources, which we provided in association with the Public Engagement Group (PEG).

Our Church Relationships Manager role, commenced in January 2018, is co-located between BaptistCare and the Baptist Association. The part time nature of this role sees much of the work around building relationships both at Baptist Ministry Centre and with Regional Ministers while strengthening some of the collaborative activities already in place. This has resulted in a noticeable increase in cross referrals between both organisations and adding values to each other’s endeavours.

The Baptist Gathering in May 2019 was also an opportunity to trial partnership in the way we developed the resources for the BaptistCare expo stand, themed 75 years of partnership, and as we connected with Pastors and Baptist Association staff who assisting us by telling their stories around partnership.

Pastoral carers provide comfort

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Pastoral carers provide comfort

Since September 2014, we have partnered with churches across NSW to support the delivery of volunteer training in pastoral care.

In less than five years, over 50 courses have been delivered by BaptistCare as a trusted care provider, with a further 21 churches now equipped as pastoral care trainers through the scheme.

“The impact of the training in spiritual care has been profound on both the participants and the recipients of the care,” said Suzanne Wilson, BaptistCare Chaplaincy Manager Central.

“It has been a busy and exciting few years, with around 350 people trained through Baptist churches and well over a third of them going on to serve as Pastoral Care Volunteers with BaptistCare, visiting our customers and residents on a regular basis,” said Suzanne.

This year, the Pastoral Care Volunteer team grew to 164 volunteers and together these volunteers extend the work of our Chaplaincy teams, and provide support to our customers who are living in aged care centres and in their own homes.

Chaplaincy welfare fund

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Chaplaincy welfare fund

BaptistCare Chaplains have provided our clients with close to $20,000 over the 12 months through  “acts of kindness” for people who are in need and with access to limited finances.

Our Welfare Fund provides Chaplains with discretionary funds to support victims and family members in Australia of natural disasters, accidents, illnesses or disease, or people who are experiencing distress. Funds were provided from the Fred McMaster Chaplaincy Support Trust and from donations made to BaptistCare.

This year alone, an Illawarra-based pharmacy and petrol station were provided with funds, enabling BaptistCare’s homeless clients to afford their prescription medications and purchase petrol to drive their cars they may be living in.

Funds were also provided to the family of one of our staff member, who tragically passed away, to assist with day to day living expenses as they hosted family who had travelled from overseas for the funeral.

The fund enables our Chaplains to enhance their chaplaincy work as they minister to and share the love of Jesus with people who are in need through practical care and support.

The courses have been designed to deliver both foundational Chaplaincy skills as well as upskilling those already working as spiritual carers.

Dedication Services acknowledge First Nation’s People

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There to unveil the painting was special guest, Uncle Robby Bell, Wiradjuri man, Aboriginal elder, artist and poet. He is one of six Christian Aboriginal artists who collaborated on the piece.

Dedication Services acknowledge First Nation’s People

Hearts and hands were united through reconciliation at BaptistCare in February 2019, with the unveiling of a new piece of artwork created by the ministry team from Macarthur Indigenous Church, led by Pastor Michael Duckett.

Commissioned by BaptistCare, ‘Hope’ is an original Aboriginal artwork combining traditional symbols and contemporary elements.

A print of the finished piece was provided to all BaptistCare sites for unveiling at our annual Staff & Volunteer Dedication Services, where our local teams come together to commit the year ahead to Jesus, to our customers and to each other.

Inspired by the BaptistCare purpose of transforming lives through expressing the love of Christ, the painting also symbolises God’s sovereignty and the hope for reconciliation for all His children. It shares the message of inclusiveness and welcome to all who seek refuge and support through BaptistCare services.

“We do our paintings to bring glory to God,” said Pastor Michael Duckett. “When any of our mob walk into BaptistCare and see this painting, they will know they are welcome, and what excites me is that they also have a chance to see what God is about,” he shared.

The painting and an Acknowledgement plaque are now displayed at all BaptistCare sites as a symbol of reconciliation and a message of welcome to all First Nation’s People.

The original group training model saw participants attend sessions facilitated and led by a BaptistCare Chaplain in local communities.  We are now partnering with local Baptist Churches, enabling trained local pastoral care practitioners to run the program.  We have also developed an online option for volunteers who are keen to complete the training but do not have a local program available close by.

We now have 139 Pastoral Care Volunteers who have been trained, have graduated and are now active BaptistCare volunteers in our aged care communities.