Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Where do your loyalties lie? As a Christian, my first response to that question is to think of two (or possibly four) quotations from Jesus' own words in scripture on the subject of loyalty: "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" Matthew 6:21 (and Luke 12:34) and "Whoever is not against us is for us" Mark 9:40 or alternatively, "He who is not with me is against me" Matthew 12:30a. I've been thinking about the conflicts of loyalty, or at least, divided loyalties we may face working in airport chaplaincy.
First of all, conflicts of religious priorities – if we are from faith traditions that seek to make new disciples, to proclaim, convert, initiate new members – or if we come from faith traditions that simply seek to live with integrity, whatever else is going on around them, and merely to continue the faith tradition that they have inherited within their own existing community. Then, perhaps theological, missiological priorities: Is chaplaincy primarily an expression of mission or of ministry or both? Is it pastoral, educative, transformative, evangelistic – or an expression of our shared humanity?
On the 24th, 25th and 26th January the IACAC Board met in Uppsala, Sweden to discuss outcomes from the Paris Annual Business Meeting and to work with our Swedish host chaplains, Rev Unni Franck and Rev Lars Johannson, in planning our 50th anniversary year conference. The theme of this year's conference is "Facing the Future" and all it means to us as chaplains. Our host chaplains have been working hard to set up an interesting and varied program and the Board has offered them as much support as possible for their preparations.
Information on the conference program, the conference centre and, of course, most importantly, the final costs for both the conference and post conference tour will be available early in March when bookings will also open. Please be aware that this year there is a change in the close of booking dates. The deadline for booking and paying in full for the conference will be the 1st June. This is a requirement of the conference centre who want confirmation of numbers and payment some months in advance. Thank you to those chaplaincies who sent their stories for inclusion in the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Book. It is a wonderful collection from across the world.
Now we need photographs – of your Chapels or Prayer Rooms, your teams, conferences, locations. Please ensure the photos are your own and they must be of 300 dpi quality for printing. A selection of the photos sent will be used in the book and others for a digital presentation during the conference.
1st March – Photos sent to Rev Unni Franck for inclusion in the book and for the digital presentation
Early March - Conference Information and the opening of registrations
15th May - Application must have been made to the President for a conference subsidy.
1st June - Deadline for registering and paying for the conference
10th -15th September – Conference
15th -19th September Post-Conference Tour
The first recorded meeting of airport chaplains was in Brussels in 1967 and the 50th year of planned meetings is to be in Stockholm this year. Over those 50 years the annual conference has been held in cities on every continent except South America. However, the 1985 conference was scheduled to be held in Rio De Janeiro but was unavoidably cancelled for local reasons. Some cities have hosted or co-hosted the conference more than once.
Preparation and planning are well under way for our 2017 conference in Stockholm. This conference will celebrate the 50th anniversary of IACAC and is from the 10th to 15th September and the post conference tour is the 15th September to the 19th September. Make sure you put the dates in your diary for next year and join us in Stockholm. IACAC conferences always remind us how much Airport chaplaincy is appreciated by host airports, their managers and colleagues. Next year we will be celebrating 50 years of airport chaplains meeting together to support one another. The theme of the conference will be "Facing the Future", and, despite an apparent resurgence of isolationism and return of nationalism, our global interconnectedness can only continue to increase, and the role of airports and of airport chaplaincy become more important and significant than ever. Visit HERE>> for more information - and book early!
The Rev Howie Adan from London Heathrow is very interested in receiving copies of any Memorandums of Understandings or Agreements chaplaincies may have with their airports to provide chaplaincy services within the airport. He is hoping to write a paper and construct an organisational chart on how chaplaincy works.
Elections for the position of President, Vice President, Secretary and Media Officer will be held at the 2017 Conference to be held in Stockholm next September.
The following nominations were received at the Paris Business meeting for these positions:
Much discussion took place within the Business Meeting as to whether this position should be one of appointment rather than election. The Board was asked to discuss this matter and make a recommendation to the Association.
Mark the date in your diary now. The 2017 IACAC Conference will be held in Stockholm on the 10th to the 15th September. The theme of the conference will be" Facing The Future" This will be a very important occasion as it marks the 50th anniversary of the IACAC and many preparations are underway to celebrate our Golden Jubliee. One such activity will be the compilation of stories of 50 years chaplaincy in airports around the world. A book was also produced to celebrate the 25th anniversary and that will be reproduced in the first half of 50th anniversary book.
Chaplains are invited to send a good short story and photos if possible, about experiences within your chaplaincies. The Rev Unni Franck from Stockholm, who is compiling this commemorative book, asks for the following:
You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
James D Miles