For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 27 Oct 2013.
Working alongside firefighters and other emergency service workers at the front line of the tragic bushfires that have swept through communities in various parts of NSW this past week are specially trained clergy from the NSW Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network.
When people are dislocated and traumatised, they may be affected physically, emotionally and spiritually. The nature of disaster is that local capacity to cope is overwhelmed in the face of great and sudden need. This includes the capacity of local faith community leaders. Disaster Recovery chaplains are available in times of major crisis for pastoral care, working cooperatively and with clear accountability, to help disaster-affected people and equip local faith leaders in their care within a traumatised community.
Disaster Recovery chaplains complement existing services to disaster-affected people within evacuation and recovery centres: they’re available for conversation, pastoral care, understanding and, where practicable, creating some space for quiet, mediation or prayer.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.