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Chaplaincy updates: April 2020

(By Paul Trebilco, Trust Board Chairperson)

Friends of the Chaplaincy will probably be aware that Rev Greg Hughson retired in November 2019 after almost 20 years of outstanding service as a Chaplain at the University of Otago. We had a wonderful farewell for Greg on 5 November where many, many people paid tribute to Greg’s faithful ministry over so many years.

Greg Hughson at his farewell
The Board has been able to make new appointments, and we are delighted that Rev Olivia Dawson is becoming full-time (having worked half-time as a Chaplain since June 2018), and Rev Jordan Redding has become a half-time Chaplain.
We’ve also been really fortunate to have Rev Anne Thomson and Rev Selwyn Yeoman as Acting Chaplains from July 2019 until early April this year. They have both done a wonderful job, and we’re really grateful to them for all their work.
Obviously, the lock-down has changed the shape of Tertiary Chaplaincy at Otago. As a Board, we are concerned that our Chaplains stay well. We’ve also been talking about Chaplaincy in a virtual context. Steve Downey reflects below on their current chaplaincy initiatives.

Chaplaincy under lock-down

(By Steve Downey, Ecumenical Chaplain)

We are encouraged that amidst every challenge lies an opportunity.  Our chaplains have been busily adjusting to doing chaplaincy beyond the luxury of face-to-face connections.  We have begun a daily devotion which is made available to a wide audience via Facebook and email. Our Māori chaplain, Whaea Helen (who introduces herself below), has also delved into the world of Facebook as she offers morning and evening karakia to our University and Polytechnic communities. 

In addition to this, we’re reaching out to particular people and departments within the University who might be experiencing heightened pressure during this time.  We now have most of our pastoral meetings via Zoom in the “comfort” of our homes, which certainly presents some challenges.  Also, stay tuned for a new-look website in a couple of months which we’re just now making plans to radically overhaul. 

Please let us know if there are any needs which chaplaincy might be able to support during this unique time we’re in.

Introducing Helen

(By Helen Papuni, Māori Chaplain)

Kia ora Whanau and Friends of Chaplaincy,

Ko Hikuranga toku maunga –My mountain is Hikurangi
Ko Waiapu toku awa – My river is the Waiapu
Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi – My people are the Ngāti Porou
Ko Rangitūkia te kaenga – My ancestral home is Rangitukia around the corner from the North Island’s East Cape.
Helen Papuni
I’m Helen, the second Māori Chaplain, having taken over the role from the Rev Wayne Te Kaawa last year. I have been here now for 10 months and am slowly acclimatising to Dunedin’s mercurial weather and the amazingly frigid winds that blow from all over.

Thank you for continuing to support Māori chaplaincy on both the University and the Polytechnic campuses.

My ministry is based on Sir Mason Durie's Te Whare Tapawha model of Māori health, where te taha wairua/spiritual health is one of four factors directly contributing to Māori success and well-being, alongside te taha tinana/physical health, te taha whanau/family health and te taha hinengaro/mental health. As part of the ecumenical team, I journey with people of all faiths and no faith to help strengthen spiritual awareness from a uniquely Māori perspective. 

The role of Māori Chaplain is hugely complex and busy and I am very grateful for the support that I continue to receive from the Chaplaincy Team, the Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Trust Board, the two campus Māori Centres, students and staff and of course, yourselves. One of my most favourite chaplain activities is having coffee and korero/talking with anyone and everyone, so please feel free to drop me a line or a text if you feel like having a chat. Please stay safe in this time of COVID-19 heightened awareness and let us know if there is anything we can do for you.  
Ngā mihi kia koutou katoa,

Dr Helen Papuni (PhD, DSciEd)
E: or
M: 0277894516
Copyright © 2020 Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Trust Board (OTCTB), All rights reserved.

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