Hi, I'm Mark and I am the College Chaplain here at Concordia.
What is a chaplain and what do they do?
The first thing to say is, I am not a Pastor – everyone asks, so I'm just putting that to rest. I do however work with two Pastors, and most wonderful ones at that! This is a new role here at Concordia, put in place to support the College Pastor (Ps Dale) and to work with the Pastor (Ps Andrew) of our partner church, St John's Lutheran Church, Unley. It is a varied role, but the most fundamental part is to support and encourage staff, students and parents in the involvement and understanding of the spiritual life and Christian culture of the school. The role includes working across the College, but for me, most of this work occurs in the ELC and Primary School (Ps Dale works more at the Middle and Senior School). I lead and coordinate the Chapel and devotion life for the ELC and Primary School, and I also assist teachers to be resourced to lead their classes in spiritually focused activities. This year has certainly presented several challenges in that space, firstly not having a large indoor area while the building program is happening and then the COVID-19 curveballs which have meant we haven’t been able to meet as a school. Pre-recorded Chapels have been the order of the day!
In my role as Chaplain I also support new staff coming into the school by helping them formally through professional development, but also informally in helping them understand how a Lutheran school ticks, i.e. what we value and how we live together in community. The other significant part of this role includes coordinating service-learning projects across the College. This involves helping students understand the importance of service and compassion to one another, but also extending that to supporting people in need through various local and global agencies such as Australian Lutheran World Service. Some of these projects are campus-specific and others are spread across the College.
If you would like to know more about the spiritual life of the College or how service learning occurs, please contact me anytime.