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A Thought from a Chaplain

A series of thoughts and reflections from the Chaplains and Trustees of KWM

Wednesday 11th September 2019

Gary - memorial

Gary Colville, KWM Lead Chaplain

Hope takes hard work- WHAT IF LIVING WITH HOPE IN A BROKEN WORLD REQUIRES EXPERIENCE

'A colleague recently shared that some of the young people in his ministry have become uninterested in talking about joy and hope. They tell him there is too much despair and brokenness; it is just too hard to try to hope. For some, hope in the face of oppression and evil seems like foolhardy denial that is profoundly useless.

This rattled me. I do my best to tell young people in every way I know how that they are not the future; Jesus Christ is. Yet I also realize that at some point in my ministry I formed an assumption that young people are constitutionally disposed toward hope. I assumed that youthful hopefulness was enough to drive out cynicism and despair. In fact, I was counting on it.

The problem with this assumption is that it misses the source -- and the hard work -- of hope. Hope that relies on the vitality of youth risks becoming baseless optimism. And this kind of optimism demands that the young offer me and others something they are not prepared to offer.'

Alaina Kleinbeck Director, Thriving in Ministry Coordination Program- Duke Divinity USA

As I reflected on this article I wandered off into my own theological reflection on what keeps me hopeful in Chaplaincy, I was of course drawn to scripture that keeps me hopeful like 1 Corinthians 13:7 'Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.' I wonder what helps you to keep hopeful?

As I spent the summer trying to reconnect with our many KWM Chaplains of vast experience, around Kent and beyond, I was kept hopeful by the amazing perseverance that has been given to Chaplaincy over so many years by you all.

Despite stories also of trial and tribulation, of joys and sadness, it seems to me that Chaplains embody the article headline that took me off into this exploration of hope and yes it does take hard work and requires experience to live with hope today and in truth always has.

Our personal stories of remaining hopeful are the treasure of faithful lives that can genuinely change baseless optimism into real substantive hope.

Of course this is the Hope that lives between Faith and Love and thanks be to God for its eternal quality and quantity.

Thank you to you all for keeping me hopeful and I can only hope that this is a two way street!

Peace and Good

Gary

interimcolville@hotmail.com