President’s Letter | January 2021

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It would be fair to say that 2020 has been a year in which many of the things we took granted have been challenged and, maybe for many, became out of reach. It has been time calling for patience, courage and sacrifice in a way we may not have been asked to do before.  There has been a profound sense of loss in all walks of life. But there has been an up side. There have been opportunities to find new ways of doing things. Who would have thought that so many of us would become so proficient at attending meetings, going to church, socialising and sharing family celebrations through the medium of online apps. Our computers or smart phones have become our best friends.

Our world is shrinking. Within minutes of it happening social media, the press, TV and radio bring graphic details of disasters from all around the world. We are instantly able to share the horrors, the highs and lows of what is happening with those who are suffering. This is clearly illustrated by the constant updates we receive about the spread of the corona virus and the development of vaccines which we can only hope and pray that  will help bring relief from this terrible pandemic.

Continue reading “President’s Letter | January 2021”

News from our chaplaincies

As the chaplains at Newcastle Airport in the UK, Fiona Usher and Alan Meighan were keen to reach out to the staff across the airport. They put together a December Reflection and a small film clip which went out with some suggestions on how to cope with distressing situations. Here are some of them:

“2020   has   been   a  difficult   year   in  so   many ways.  We have suffered with uncertainty, anxiety, isolation and challenges with our financial situation, health or relationships. One thing that can hold us together and help us get through is kindness. Although we can’t change our situation, we can choose to respond to others (and ourselves) with kindness. And when we’re kind, everything goes better. We help others, we help ourselves and we encourage others to be kinder too.

Continue reading “News from our chaplaincies”

President’s Letter | December 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The season of giving and receiving is almost upon us. For those of the christian tradition we know this time of the year as Christmas – a time for family, a time for sharing, a time for giving and receiving and a time for caring about each other. Christian chaplains are celebrating at this time the birth of the baby Jesus who comes to us as Emmanuel, God with us on earth. Born, the Prince of Peace.

At some time each year all faith traditions have similar festivals with a strong focus on the importance of giving to and caring for others. December 11th was the start of the Jewish Feast of Chanukah or Hanukah, the eight day festival of light which celebrates the Triumph of Light over Darkness. Earlier in the month on December the 8th, the Buddhists celebrated Bodhi day. Gautama’s attainment of Enlightenment on this day under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, North India.

The pressing need to give to those less fortunate than ourselves has recently been dramatically highlighted for every citizen of the world by the graphic photographs of the victims and survivors of the COVID 19 Pandemic. The world is now a global village and every event is beamed into our homes by satellite, so each of us felt the horror and helplessness of watching the effects the virus has had in every country of the world. Yet the human spirit is indomitable and the will to live incredible. So many acts of kindness, the oh so many attempts to raise the spirits of people are a testament to the determination of each community to rise above the despair so often felt.

IACAC is a Multi Faith Organisation and that brings such a richness to our organisation. We celebrate our unity and honour each other as human beings. As Chaplains, we strive to help all people as they come to worship in our Prayer Rooms and chapels and to fly from our Airports.

As the end of the year approaches and brings with it the festival of Christmas, the Board would like to take this opportunity thank you all for the work you and your team do in your chaplaincies. Your presence in and around the airport helps to give comfort and support to airport workers and travellers alike. Travel for many, especially at this time is very restricted and is very stressful for families unable to be together for the festive season. Sadly some of those travellers are in need of compassion and support.

Yes, the season for giving and receiving is upon us. May this time of goodwill bring peace, joy and happiness to you and comfort to all those in need of the gift of hope.

Rev Pierre de Mareuil
Paris-CDG

HOLY DAYS FOR JANUARY
1ST Mary, Mother of God – Catholic Christian
Feast Day of St Basil – Orthodox Christian
Shogatsu/Gantan-sai (New Years) – Shinto
Baptism of the Lord Jesus – Christian


5TH Twelfth Night – Christian
Guru Gobindh Singh birthday – Sikh


6TH Epiphany – Christian Dia de los Reyes (Three
Kings Day)
Feast of the Epiphany (Theophany) – Orthodox
Christian

7TH Feast of the Nativity – Orthodox Christian


13TH Maghi – Sikh

17TH Blessing of the Animals – Hispanic Catholic
Christian


18TH Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins –
Christian

19TH Timkat – Ethiopoian Christian


25th Conversion of St. Paul – Christian

28th Tu B’Shvat – Jewish

News from our Chaplaincies


Hi my Dear Friends,
We want to share some amazing news from Melbourne. A contract has been signed today for chaplaincy to continue in the airport for the next five years. I have been offered the full time role as Coordinating Chaplain and the whole team will be moving across to the new provider. Unfortunately I have to resign as a Salvation Army Officer but I am okay with this because I am so excited about the new chapter that is about to start.
Blessings to all in what has and is such strange times and yet we have this awesone privilege to journey with people who are doing it so tough.
Major Martyn Scrimshaw.


Dear friends and Colleagues!
Tomorrow is my last day as an Airport Chaplain at Göteborg Landvetter
Airport. I´m so glad and thankful for IACAC NEWSLETTER almost 20 years. I´m also a little bit sad that I need to finish, but I can´t find out how to work with all the changes my vicar made. But God is good and I´ve found and got another nice job as a director and priest
in the Moravian Church in Göteborg. I will start the 1st of January.
As some of you know I had hip surgery on 4th of September. I´ve recovered very well and got a lot of help from our youngest daughter Klara. She has soon finished her education to be a physiotherapist. Thank for friendship, support and prayers! I´m also thankful for all years as a member of IACAC. My new e-mail address: mats@ebfgbg.se and new mobile +46 (0)708 261655
I wish you all a graceful Advent!
Mats


Dear IACAC Chaplains
On behalf of the Gatwick Airport Chaplaincy team, I want to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hopefully, in the New Year, a revival of our aviation industry worldwide? Just thought you might like to see this short Gatwick Airport Christmas ad, which I was asked to help with. Hopefully it’s a bit of fun to brighten up your day?
Many Congratulations to Martyn and Mary, and the Melbourne Chaplaincy Team, for the wonderful news of your new 5 year future. What an answer to prayer and all your hard work has been valued and justified.
God Bless everyone.
Canon Jonathan Baldwin SMMS


From Fr Gabriel Feyisetan in Lagos: How are you all doing and Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year, we thank God for his love and protection and especially at this delicate time. May God protect you and guide you all and the coming year be glorious and gracious and may God help us to put an end to the Corona virus pandemic in our world and grant us peace in the world. Greetings to everyone. God bless you all

Chers amis,
En cette période de Noël, nous souhaitons exprimer nos meilleurs voeux à chacun d’entre vous pour le travail que vous menez dans les aumôneries des aéroports. Soyez assurés de notre souvenir dans la prière dans un temps qui nous reconduit vers ce qui est vraiment important. Nous sommes en effet appelés à témoigner de la Vie accomplie dans un Enfant, qui ne naît pas comme un Dieu venu à résoudre tous nos problèmes mais qui vient à aimer chacun de nous et à être aimé.
Mgr. Segundo Tejado Muñoz, Sous-Secrétaire –
Section Personne et Société
Mme Alessandra Silvi, Officier, Section Personne et
Société – Vulnérabilité et Mobilité


Dear Friends,
During this Christmas season, we wish to express our best wishes to each one of you for the work that you are carrying out at your airport chaplaincies. Be assured of our prayerful wishes during a time which brings us back to what is truly important. We are in fact called to give witness to the real Fulfillment of life, offered us in a Baby, who is not born as a God solving all of our problems but who comes to love each one of us and to be loved.
Msgr. Segundo Tejado Muñoz, Undersecretary –
Person and Society Section
Ms. Alessandra Silvi, Officer, Person and Society
Section – Vulnerability and Mobility Area

President’s Letter | October/November 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

What a tremendous time we had together on October 20th for our Online Conference! It felt amazing to be connected with so many colleagues from all over the world (including Asia which is exceptional for our conference). And how good it is to feel enthusiastic about anything in these very dark times. As I have written in a previous letter, one of the very positive things in this crisis is the creativity developed in faith communities to maintain some kind of fellowship despite the impossibility to meet face to face.

This Online Conference was our way of showing this creativity and it has been extremely rewarding. We had many new chaplains and people who are not used to connect to the IACAC and also the opportunity to learn from fascinating speakers from 4 different continents whom each had some extremely interesting things to share with us and have been amazingly encouraging to us. If you hadn’t registered or haven’t had time to view the several videos of this first Online Conference you can access them on our website at https://www.iacac.aero/conf-prep/ which also includes the live presentation we had with Geoffrey Thomas as well as the full interviews used for the videos on the challenges on the aviation industry and the value of airport chaplaincy. In total that’s more than 4 hours of quality presentations, interviews and interactions with our special guests so take the time to watch them.

Reflecting on this unique experience and the privilege it was for me to supervise this Conference I realized that there was one thing missing: a deeper spiritual time. There was a lot of spirituality in what each of our guest shared and I think Kathy Malcom Hall’s session was particularly deep in that sense, but we could have thought of a more specifically spiritual time.

Let me make it up to you by sharing some personal thoughts on the spiritual dimension of ministry and airport chaplaincy. I was deeply inspired those past days by the thoughts of a French pastor who wrote an article on being a pastor in lockdown. In a very short summary James Woody says that after having put much energy in reorganizing the church services and meetings in order, as I mentioned earlier, to maintain some kind of fellowship and beyond being an organizer and a facilitator of the church’s life (a role that could be played by other members) what remains specific to the role of pastors (and we can include airport chaplains as pastors or pastoral agents) is to bring people to a face to face meeting with God. Isn’t this a wonderful definition of our role as chaplains?

 But isn’t it also a great reminder of our mission. Maybe you are like me and sometimes the passion for the airport, the people who live through it, with it or in it makes you forget that you are an ambassador of the Creator in this specific place and spirituality is limited to specific times, services, celebrations or request of prayer. How do you and I help people of so many faiths, spiritualities, convictions come to that intimate encounter with God? I believe this question becomes particularly accurate in this difficult time when so many things we used to take for granted such as life, health, work… etc. suddenly become so vulnerable and thus so valued. There are many ways in which we can help those whom our paths come across and I’m sure you would have a thousand examples (and I’d love you to share them) but I believe it all starts within each one of us and how we connect to our Creator and reflect this connection around us.

May we feel renewed in this connection in the coming weeks which will be a time of spiritual awaiting and longing for many of us who will soon enter into Advent. Then will come the time of Hanuka and Christmas which are both celebrations of a miracle of God’s presence among his people and celebrations of awaited and finally answered prayers.

Pierre de Mareuil, President
Paris-CDG

Holy Days Of The Month – Sharing and Celebrating Our Traditions

November

24th – Martyrdom of Gru Tegh Bahadur Sahib. Sikh

26th – Thanksgiving USA

29th – First Sunday of Advent. Christian

30th – St Andrews Day. Christian

30th – guru Nanak Birthday. Sikh

30th – Kartik Poornima.  Hindu

December

6th St Nicholas Day. Christian

8th –  Bodhi Day. Buddhist

11th – Hanukkah begins. Jewish

15th – Dhanu Sankranti. Hindu

18th – Hanakkuh ends. Jewish

24th – Christmas Eve. Christian

25th – Christmas Day. Christian

25th – Geeta Jayanti. Hindu

26th – Stephen’s Day. Christian

28th – Holy Innocents. Christian

31st – Watch Night. Christian