I’m not officially a chaplain at Victoria University just yet. I’ve got some more paperwork to fill in, a staff number to have assigned to me and the key to the chaplaincy office to be cut and handed over. That process could take a few more weeks.
My journey to become a chaplain started with an application to the Council for Chaplains in Tertiary Institutions in June 2016. I contacted Victoria University in July and they whole process has been quite drawn out. In large part because I left Australia for 3 months.
My attitude during this time has been quite interesting. I haven’t had any sense of frustration or desire to speed things along. I thought I might be on campus next week but it could be a few more weeks still and that missed expectation doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
I think I know why. I’m planning to be at Victoria University for the long haul. If I remain a chaplain until retirement, that’s potentially 25+ years of serving and encouraging students in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne. A key component to societal transformation is serving in the one location for an extended period of time.
A one year process to be planted at Vic Uni is nothing after 19 years of campus ministry in light of a potential 25 years of voluntary service as a chaplain. And 25 years is a small price to pay for the glory of God in the transformation of an entire region in Melbourne.To be clear, I haven’t signed any contracts obliging me to be at Vic Uni for 25 years. But I have settled in my heart that I am here to stay for as long as God calls and that this position isn’t a stepping stone to bigger and better things. What could be better than serving generation after generation of students to make all things new in Melbourne’s west?