|Dear *|FNAME|*, |
The month of December is a time set aside by many to celebrate and enjoy time with family, friends, and colleagues but I simply couldn't let this season pass without taking the opportunity to thank you for all you do for our officers, staff, volunteers and police families. Each and every day you are giving up your time to visit police stations and offices across the UK and I want to assure you that your work doesn't go unnoticed and you are making a difference to people's lives. There are over 450 chaplains registered with Police Chaplaincy UK and the majority of you are volunteers, I am amazed at the time that chaplains are giving out of their already busy schedules and I as the Chair of Police Chaplaincy UK want to thank you
As this year draws to a close I hope you may get the opportunity to stop and reflect on the difference you are making and have made this year, but I also know that for many of you 2022 will have been a difficult year personally and this time of year can also be tough. All I can say to you is a thank you as well. Thank you for continuing to serve in the way you do. If Christmas time is hard for you, remind yourself that you’re not alone with how you’re feeling; and that you’ve survived every single holiday season in your life.. you will survive this one too.
However you are feeling this year I think we can all agree that with the present turmoil in our world, faith groups, friendship groups, colleagues, and chaplains can encourage us and renew hope - and that is what you are doing daily.
For me, at this time of year I will be celebrating Christmas and the birth of Jesus 2000 years ago. I celebrate and remember that the God of many names, of many faces, the source and ground of all being became part of creation, part of humanity. The God of justice and love came in a way that not only we could understand, but that also meant God shared and shares in our struggles, really understood and understands, first hand, the struggles and tears, the joy and the laughter of being human. 2000 years ago, the lives of ordinary people, just like us now, were filled with tribulation, controversial politics, war, injustice, disease, the exiled and the migrant. Yet through the humble birth of the Christmas child, his nonviolent life of resistance against war and empire, and his subsequent brutal death, the inclusive, and compassionate, justice and peace seeking Jesus, changed history.
Every day, you as chaplains change history for one person, two, a shift, a station, and I thank you for what you do each and every day.
A blessing for a pastor’s (Chaplain's) heart
by Nadia Bolz-Weber
May God bless the parts of your heart that receive their stories so openly, and comfort their sufferings so compassionately, and share their joys so thoroughly.
And may God also heal the parts of your heart that have been wounded by the very people whose stories you receive and whose sufferings you comfort and whose joys you share.
And may God revive the parts of your heart that have grown protectively cold.
And may God protect the parts of your heart that are well-loved by those who know you best.
And may God gently place God’s own heart right behind yours so that the sorrow of those in your care can move your heart but find a landing place in God’s.
And may God gently place God’s own heart right behind yours so that the love you give in this work can come through you but doesn’t have to come from you.
And as the love of God moves from God’s heart through your own to those in your care, may your heart soak up all it needs in the process.
Because your heart is a human one too, and it deserves to be well tended to.