Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing is enhancing its focus on the spiritual health of its employees.
The Seventh-day Adventist owned company has appointed Gilbert Cangy in the newly created role of pastoral services manager, based at the Berkeley Vale (NSW) head office. One of his core responsibilities is overseeing the work of newly appointed chaplains Elia Crevar in Australia and Keira Bullock in New Zealand.
“There are two key words that are incorporated in the mission statement of Sanitarium—they are health and hope,” Pastor Cangy said.
“And it is part of the brief of the chaplains and the pastoral services manager to look at health as a doorway to hope.”
Prior to joining Sanitarium, Pastor Cangy was the Adventist Church’s world youth director, based at the General Conference. He has a wealth of experience in pastoral and youth ministry.
He is now working on strategies to improve Sanitarium’s spiritual wellbeing initiatives, which include a daily morning reflection time known as Life Matters.
“There can be sometimes the perception that Life Matters is for Adventists or committed Christians and one of my goals is to reimage it so that it becomes a ‘normal’ part of the culture of Sanitarium,” he said.
“We are also looking at ways in which we can make Life Matters more accessible. Many of the workers, particularly mums who drop their kids at school, find that 8:15am is not the most accessible time, so as a trial we held a week of Life Matters during an extended lunch time. People brought their lunch; we provided some special treats and hot drinks as well as unplugged music. A presentation covering engaging topics led to open discussions around their tables. Our daily attendance more than doubled and what our people valued the most was the opportunity for community building.”
While Life Matters is a 15-minute daily event, the company also recognises that the development of a person’s spirituality is pervasive and informs all aspects of life.
“We have another initiative we would like to further develop called Care Matters—we trust that the significant events in the lives of our people will not go unnoticed and they will not face the cross-roads and challenges of life on their own. We want to provide a safety net for them where they can experience support.
“We are also looking at establishing a prayer network, Prayer Matters, at every company site.”
Pastor Cangy said employees of Sanitarium know that when they join the company there are certain values they embrace.
“They know it’s a church-owned organisation and that in itself creates a platform for conversation about spirituality,” he said. “There’s a place for greater awareness, providing some significant opportunities for pointing our people to the ultimate Hope.”