Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The conversations that we have as we go around our airports cover many things from the family, sport and work. Especially at present are the conversations, not only in the airport but with other people, about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. This disaster has affected communities across the world most especially the families, friends and colleagues of those who lives have been lost and who will need all the support that can be given to them as will the management and staff of Malaysia Airlines. We also cannot forget the flight crews who have been working above and beyond the call of duty, flying from Pearce Airbase south, of Perth off the coast of south west Australia, as the operation to recover MH370 moves onto the recovery stage. Our thoughts and prayers have to be with them as they work in difficult and testing circumstances. It is at these times that community is most important as it comes together to wrap its caring heart and hands around all those who have lost loved ones along with all those involved in this unprecedented disaster and therefore, I invite us as a community, to hold them in our thoughts and prayers at this time and in succeeding days.
This year our annual conference will be held in Amsterdam and our colleagues at Schiphol Airport will be our hosts. The conference is in August, earlier than in past years so please make a note of the date. This year's program promises to be very interesting so plan to join us in Amsterdam.
Conference Date: 19th – 23rd August 2014 [5 nights]
Post Conference Tour: 24th - 27th August 2014 [4 nights]
The theme of this year's conference is "The Added value of Chaplaincy to an Airport". There will also be a follow up session from The Delta Care Team and the opportunity to further explore the role airports play in human trafficking. More information and registration forms will be available on the website very soon.
For many of us, life could be described as a series of crises with brief interludes of relative calm. In our busy, competitive and complex world, it can seem that every decision we face is crucial, every action we take causes conflict and every interpersonal relationship requires high level negotiation. It is as if we are carrying on a global strategy at a personal level and so often we can feel inadequate to handle the crises that come our way. These are the times that we should turn to prayer.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Christiane Fisher from Cote D'Azur Airport, Nice (NCE) whose husband passed away at on Saturday 22nd March. He had been unwell for some time. His funeral was held on Thursday 27th March in the Protestant Church in Antibes, Nice. Christiane is well remembered at conferences for her translation of presentations from English into French for her French speaking colleagues.
On the 12th April Fr Jose Pena, chaplain at Lester Pearson Airport, Toronto (YYZ) will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his ordination. He was ordained on the April 12, 1989 by the Most Rev. Jose C. Sorra, D.D., and Bishop of the Diocese of Virac, at the Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Church, Viga, Catanduanes in Philippines. A solemn Thanksgiving Mass will be held this coming April 12, 2014, at the Our Lady of the Airway Catholic Church in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The Holy Mass will be at 12 noon, and then a reception will follow. Our very best wishes to Fr. Jose on this very important anniversary.
You can read about Fr. Pena's ministry at the Catholic Register's Airport chaplaincy provides solace for travellers, workers alike
Rev Bob White from Minneapolis/St Paul (MSP) sent the following notice of their May 4-7th "Peer Assistance Training" for those chaplains who focus their ministry with the aviation industrial mission:
"The MSP Chaplaincy has been heavily involved in providing training to employees who wish to provide their assistance to fellow employees and their family members. Employees from various airlines who are involved in trauma, addiction, wellness, family issues, grief and bereavement, etc. have participated in our program. Brian Murray, who is an Episcopal Priest, and a Family Therapist like myself has been our presenter at all of our trainings. Brian counsels, provides training to pilots, flight attendants and many others in Canada and the United States. We will also have participation from the FAA this year as they are in the process of developing a "Peer Program" for air traffic controllers. Would you please pass this on to those chaplains who primarily focus their chaplaincy work in industrial mission within the aviation community. If they are interested in joining us they can contact me."
Susan Cook, from Atlanta (ATL) has asked for prayers for her father Jerry as he begins his journey on the long road to recovery after more than a month in hospital, 24 days of those in ICU. We ask that God grant him strength for the fight ahead to regain his health. Susan is very grateful for the friendship, love, prayers and support shown to her and her family at this time.
The iAM Hotel Amsterdam will be our base for the 47th Annual Conference, organized by the chaplaincy at Schiphol Airport. The hotel is located on the A4 highway, south from the airport. There are two hotels connected within: Van Der Valk Hotel Schiphol A4 at the front of parking lot and iAM Hotel at the back. You can walk through the Van Der Valk hotel to iAM Hotel, and if you are driving, just go around the hotel to the back, where the main entrance to the iAM Hotel is located. There is a rest stop on both sides of the highway with several restaurants (KFC, sushi, steakhouse, buffet and diner). There are also two gas stations in the neighborhood, both offering soft drinks.
Only love can be divided endlessly and still not diminish.
- Anne Morrow Lindebergh
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