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Four Diocesan Chaplaincy Grants Awarded

Four Diocesan Chaplaincy Grants Awarded

Three ecumenical university chaplaincies (Brock University, McMaster University, and the University of Guelph) as well as The Mission to Seafarers of Southern Ontario have received funding from the diocese to support their unique ministries on local campuses and at the Port of Hamilton.

"Without the support of the Anglican Church, many key services provided to students, especially related to counselling and mentorship, simply would not exist; the largest and most successful program in the chaplaincy called the Big Questions Club is directly due to the Diocese of Niagara believing and supporting that vision,” said Brock’s Ecumenical Chaplain David Galston.

University chaplaincies are an excellent example of ecumenical cooperation between Anglican, United and Presbyterian churches, allowing chaplains to undertake ministry in a way that none of the denominations could offer alone. Each chaplaincy is rooted in the context of its campus community, but all provide personal support, a variety of programs that range from social justice to faith formation in addition to opportunities for theological reflection and worship.  

“There is great need for a tenable, intellectually responsible, expression of Christianity not only at Brock but in society as a whole,” said Galston. “With consistent support and encouragement, the Diocese of Niagara is helping the chaplaincy bring this vision to reality."

For Mission to Seafarers Chaplains Ronda Ploughman and Dan Phannenhour, ministry at Canada’s third largest port differs a bit from on campus, with a focus on hospitality and care. “The human element of their work is where their hearts are,” said the Reverend Judith Altree, executive director of the Mission to Seafarers of Southern Ontario. “‘How can we help you?’ are their first words when meeting the seafarers on arrival in Hamilton.” Last year chaplains visited every ship that arrived in port.

Chaplaincy grants are awarded for a two-year period to a maximum of $8,500 per year. Created in 2014, $30,000 has been disbursed to support the core work of these chaplaincy ministries, including program expenses, salary and ministry-related capital costs. Funding is made possible through the Survive and Thrive Outreach Endowment Fund.

"The Chaplaincy depends on the generosity of supporting denominations,” said Galston.