Free Resources Nov 2017
Welcome! I hope you enjoy these original resources I have created to help nourish your heart and spirit as you go about your work. These can be used for your personal wellbeing or public ministry (please acknowledge that I am the creator if using in public).
Enjoy this free 6 minute guided meditation and visualisation to help you decompress and be nourished for your day. Feel free to share with colleagues and personal friends and family too.
Here is a short animation I created to demonstrate the hospitality of Jesus and how simply eating with others can be a chance to show warmth and encouragement and restore dignity and joy.
Here is an article I wrote to encourage a streamlined approach to messaging across the pastoral and spiritual care themes presented to students. I hope it helps and if you would like to discuss this more with me, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Align Messaging Across Pastoral Care
By Donna Power
One of the points of difference of a Catholic school education most valued by parents and the wider community is the whole person education. The school-wide pastoral care approach meets the spiritual, mental, emotional and social wellbeing needs of the students so they can reach their potential.
An effective communications strategy for a proactive school-wide pastoral approach is a powerful tool to improve student wellbeing outcomes and positive school culture.
However, school staff tend to operate within their own departmental silos, protecting their own priorities for their piece of the pastoral puzzle. This often leads to students receiving disconnected messaging regarding their wellbeing education.
For instance, whilst the APRE, Campus Minister and Religion Teachers focus on sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and nourishing the spirituality of the staff and students, the Year Level Pastoral Coordinators, House Coordinators and Counsellor focus on the wide and varied social, mental and emotional needs of the students.
Their various messaging often comes across to students and staff across as separated as if one is irrelevant to the other. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whole person wellbeing integrates all aspects of the human and an effective pastoral communications strategy does the same.
A strong communication front can go a long way when building your reputation with parents and students alike. By aligning the messaging between across all pastoral care areas, staff are more likely to widen the reach and deepen the impact of their connections with students.
Your students will become more respectful and resilient as they feel a deeper sense of being cared for by the community of teachers watching over them each day. This in turn will help strengthen you whole school culture and your reputation amongst parents and in the wider community.
Two Practical Tools
1) Shared Messaging Calendar
- Identify the main pastoral and spiritual outcomes for students across your whole school
- Identify the specific age-appropriate pastoral and spiritual outcomes for each year level
- Identify proactive, whole-person wellbeing themes for the whole school and each year level
- Integrate Biblical storytelling into these themes to demonstrate the values and link to Jesus Christ in a relevant and empowering way.
2) Meet and Map
- The APRE and Campus Minister join with the Pastoral Care Team (House and Year Level Coordinators, Counsellor etc) and map out each term’s communications priorities
- This team identifies needs arising amongst students and messaging changes required.
- This team monitors the effectiveness of the communication as perceived by students, staff and parents by way of anecdotal and survey evidence and makes recommendations for improvements.
“Communication is about finding the correct way to engage an audience with values, strategy or products. Whether internally (to your own team) or externally (to customers, clients or the general public), the general message should be the same.
Internal and external comms should be porous and interchangeable. After all, mixed messages are one of the biggest causes of disengagement.” Rachel Miller 2 November 2014 All Things IC
“Organizations and their leaders spend a lot of time communicating what they do and how they do it but little to no time on WHY they exist. Without establishing the “why” it is difficult to build and protect a great organizational culture designed to instil specific beliefs that drive actions and ultimately results.
When a leadership team is truly aligned on the company’s vision it enables the entire organization to have something to get behind. Employees need to feel connected to something bigger. They need to know that their work matters and is having a positive impact.”
Brent Gleeson. Forbes Magazine Aug 29 2016
“Pastoral care is an ancient model of emotional and spiritual support that can be found in all cultures and traditions. Pastoral carers relate gently and skilfully with the inner world of individuals from all walks of life, and the elements that make up a person’s sense of self, their inner resources, resilience and capacity to cope. They are not counsellors or therapists. They are personal relators operating under a positive motivation that has no strings attached.
Spirit means breath of life. Sometimes pastoral care workers are called spiritual companions and travel beside a person on their journey.”
Excerpts from The University of Canberra’s webpage on Spiritual Pastoral Care