Multifaith Project

Outline

The program was developed and conducted by David Oliphant. Report compiled by Geoffrey Hunter and David Oliphant. It is based on observations during the Program and Trainee Evaluations. It was presented at the Inauguration of the Pastoral Care Board of the ACT on the 28th February 2007 at the Australian Center for Christianity and Culture.

The Multifaith Training Project: “Caring Together”
This report is about the initial outcome of the second objective of the Search Conference. The first objective is already a reality, with the inception of the Pastoral Care Board of the ACT, and the NSW Greater Southern Area Health Service Pastoral Care Advisory Committee.

The Project was developed around an introductory unit of Clinical Pastoral Education that was appropriately adapted to explore the multifaith aspect of the group and a common commitment to pastoral care. As a pilot project it was to test a philosophy of pastoral care entitled Intentional Friendship: A Philosophy of Pastoral Care developed by David Oliphant, a Clinical Pastoral Educator working out of The Canberra Hospital.

Report Chapters

  1. Discovering the faith perspective of others
  2. Intentional Friendship“: A Philosophy of Pastoral Care
  3. The uniqueness of pastoral care
  4. Pastoral skill building activities

During August to November 2006, the 10 day training program was led by David Oliphant, with the assistance of Mary Waterford, both supervisors in CPE. Geoffrey Hunter was an independent observer with a responsibility to assess and report on the project. There were 10 participants, with at least one person from each major faith tradition.

Objectives
The Project set out to test the following:

The feasibility of training people from different religious traditions together for pastoral care in the community.
The appropriateness and effectiveness as a theoretical basis for multifaith pastoral care of the document Intentional Friendship: A Philosophy of Pastoral Care.

General Affirmation by the Participants
Comments by the participants reflect a general discovery within the course. They affirmed that the provision of mutual multifaith pastoral care is possible. As one person reflected: “I am better able to see others from their perspective and to journey together with them, while remaining true to my beliefs.

Another affirmed that now religion was no longer considered simply as a dogma that could focus on differences or separation from others, but rather is now seeing religion as a context for people to share in “an action with love and caring relationships“.

Perhaps the outcome can be best summed up with this comment: “Despite the baggage of my previous understandings of other faiths, I am now more accepting of other perspectives.

» Next: {Section A} Discovering the faith perspective of others