my first experience as a university chaplain

Had a really nice 90 minutes in Pret the other evening with my chaplaincy group. Here we are just before they were locking up to go home:

hot chocolate, coffee and good conversation

hot chocolate, coffee and good conversation

This is a relatively new initiative, the idea started by William Haines  and Matthew Huish and our FFWPU Youth Ministry. As other faith groups offer a chaplaincy service for their students when studying at university we felt it would be good to support our youth more, and give them an opportunity to meet up with someone in the role of a chaplain who they can have lunch with and experience fellowship.

With a growing mobile membership (people between the age of 18 – 30 mainly) who move around geographically quite frequently, we are faced with the challenge of successfully pastoring to our members, and responding to their circumstances.

Back in the day when I was studying law and was responsible for our student group (CARP) and we had a relatively small student population with the CARP houses we probably focused too much on ‘activity’ and not enough on appreciating people for who they were. I guess we put the cart before the horse a bit…you live and learn.

Over all as a whole FFWPU community in the UK in 2009 we have been putting a consistent emphasis on small group fellowship. I personally feel that if we continue to create opportunities for more intimate fellowship God will be more present in our lives and our faith will develop, and deepen:

“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Matthew 18.

Going back to my groups first meeting: we basically had a really good chat. I liked them and I got the impression they could relate to me ok, and we could discuss a whole range of topics. Young people have got so much positive energy, and of course youth is a state of mind 😉

( If you are a student and you want information about our Unificationist student chaplaincy write to youthministry@familyfireplace.org )

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About simoncooper

working at 43LG church community in West London

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