Building relationships seen as key

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Building relationships with people is an essential part of the pastoral care model, chaplain Ray Bloomfield says.

Ecumenical Chaplain at Rotorua Hospital for the past 25 years, Mr Bloomfield is the guest speaker at a Because You Care course at the end of this month.

He has taught extensively about caring for people.

Mr Bloomfield said it was important to make connections with people who needed care.

“The only thing that gives a person the right to get involved in another person’s life is relationship – it’s not a title, it’s not a position.

with people and to create a safe environment for them.

“You have to have a heart for people,” Mr Bloomfield said.

In his chaplaincy work it was about practising a “ministry of presence”.

“It’s about being there for people, having a non-judgemental attitude and its being there for whatever a person wants to talk to you about.”

Often he would find people would talk about superficial topics before sharing their problems with him.

“While the person is talking to me they are actually checking me out to see if I am a safe person to talk to.”

He believed that people did not need him to tell them what to do.

“I believe people have the ability to find the answers to their problems themselves and it’s so by listening .. and asking the appropriate questions that causes a person to gain insight and make the appropriate decision for them.”

Topics Mr Bloomfield would cover on the Because You Care course included the difference between a social and a pastoral visit, question asking techniques, offering appropriate prayer and active listening skills.

GUEST SPEAKERS

Hospital Ecumenical Chaplain Ray Bloomfield, Otago Southland Presbyterian Synod mission adviser Erin Pendreigh, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa moderator Richard Dawson and Calvin Community Church members Alex and June Moody.

Mr Bloomfield will be the main speaker.

Topics included biblical compassion, the value of prayer in compassion, grief and risky loving.

The course would be a mixture of theoretical and practical.

“It means you won’t be stuck in the classroom all day.”

To register for Because You Care phone John Gullick 21 128 8264. The course cost is $125.The course is to be hosted by the Riversdale Waikaia Presbyterian Church at The Hub Riversdale, from January 23 to 26.