Chaplain Newsletter 1

Chaplain Newsletter 1

Category : News and Events

Chaplain Newsletter Vol 1, no. 1 Aug 2019

Hi Folks…I thought this would be a great way to keep in touch with our St Joe’s Supper Table Summer Project and keep you updated on our renewal and policies and vision as well as input from people like you—our volunteers and friends!

First, some of you might ask ‘what is a Chaplain?’ Well, it can mean a few things as someone trained in the art of caring like a hospital, or prison Chaplain and originally that person was usually an ordained clergy, but not so much today. And we even minister in homeless shelters like I’ve done in the past at Labre House in Montreal or the Salvation Army a couple of years ago. And as many of you know already, I’m helping out now at St Joe’s and the Supper Table to provide that special listening and supportive presence.

Next, what I’d like to do is remind you of our Project to look at our vision and policies and procedures and offer you an avenue of input to look at all the things (big and small) that go into running our little jewel we call St Joe’s Supper Table. And there’s a lot as you know. Especially new people are arriving all the time and educating and supporting each other is so essential to keep it running. Even our managers come and go so we have to be aware and find ways to help them too with all the different hats they have to wear in this demanding job. Each meal team has various responsibilities inspite of the different character of the volunteers who make them up and the length of time they’ve been doing it, which I’ll touch on in future issues of the Chaplain Newsletter.

I’ll like to mention some different things that we need to be aware of, or address and new ones are popping up all the time. So if we can all be on the same page info wise, that would be great!
I will also include some interesting other tidbits about an organizations like ours and the clients we serve in each issue to again inform and educate ourselves (a function of we Chaplains do also in caring organizations too).

We’re all about building team and team work here at St Joe’s so here’s Three Great Needs of every Team Member from Bill Butterworths’, Building Successful Teams (2006). Psychologist from different schools of thought all agree that when it comes to basic needs of individuals (and especially volunteers) they are: a sense of belonging, a sense of worth, and a sense of competence (or making a contribution). And that’s something we should all strive for as staff, volunteers and friends of St Joe’s. Maybe you can think about some creative ways to do that. (don’t forget to either note it in our blue input notebook in Ryan our Managers Office or email me at

Here’s a good one—do you know you’re Conflict Management Style? According to Speed Leas we have a preference for one of these six types of conflict managing styles given our personalities and temperament experiences: Persuading, Compelling, Avoiding/Accommodating, Collaborating, Negotiating, and Supporting. We certainly can overlap these styles but we tend to have a preference especially when stressed. So if we’re aware of this then we can adapt or compensate in healthier ways given the situation we find ourselves in. If you’d like to do the test or get more info then contact me or track down the book.

Finally, how about some of the necessary characteristics of a Manager of a place like St Joe’s Supper Table according to Bruce Powers’ Church Administration Handbook (1997): an outgoing personality; ability to work in harmony with others; emotional maturity under stress; ability to communicate; interest and experience in kitchen management; understanding of food service purposes; dependable and energetic. Boy, sounds like that person has to be a superman/woman! Remember though, a good team always compliments its leaders strengths and weaknesses. That’s what learning about supportive teamwork is all about!

Thanks…that’s it for now

Chaplain Rick

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