More than 100 chaplains from across Australia gathered at Kingscliff Adventist Church (NSW) for the Australian Union Conference (AUC) Chaplains’ Convention from October 16 to 20—the first since COVID-19. Amongst the attendees were two special guests from Trans Pacific Union Mission (TPUM)—ministerial secretary Pastor Linray Tutuo and Education Director Mere Vaihola—who were keen to gain insights into chaplaincy services provided within the Australian context.
The event included prayer and worship programs, inspiring presentations, and workshops. Chaplains had the opportunity to connect, share and be encouraged. Joshua Carnie, a chaplain for the Greater Sydney Conference (GSC), said, “I have never been to a convention where I have left so fired up and equipped for mission in my context.”
A blessing was given to Dr Jean Carter as the new Adventist Schools Australia (ASA) director. Those in attendance laid hands on Dr Carter as they all sang her favourite hymn—It is Well With My Soul.
An additional key focus of the convention was discussions about the priorities of busy chaplains, which concluded with a renewed emphasis on nurturing the lives of school leaders as top priority, followed by staff and students.
Dr Mel Lemke, who passed away in July, was honoured at the convention with chaplains who have served in schools for 10 or more years receiving the Mel Lemke Medal for Service. Several members of the Lemke family presented the medals to each of the recipients.
Nicholas Kross, a chaplain for GSC, said, “I think I can speak on behalf of all us chaplains who came, that we were lifted up.”
“I especially loved the singing and praying over people like Jean and the new chaplains. They will never forget that moment of sending and blessing.” Mr Kross concluded