Spiritual Care Management Network: September 2021 Update

Compassionate patient-care within COVID-19 restrictions, staff seeking support from spiritual care colleagues and self-care are high on our agenda as we check-in with our spiritual care management.

Fifteen members of the Spiritual Care Management Network (SCMN) across the country gathered for one-hour zoom meeting on the 21st Sept. Six sent apologies. The meeting was co-facilitated by Cheryl Holmes, our CEO and Cuong La, Research & Policy Leader. 

The SCMN acknowledged that the road map out of the Covid-19 lockdown in Australia comes with a concern that the health care system is facing increasing pressure and may reveal the greater vulnerabilities of the health care workforce, including spiritual care teams.

The meeting started with a vigil and a reading entitled A Blessing for Caregivers by Kate Bowler (see below) and held our collective thoughts towards our front-line workers and colleagues, and the challenges they are confronting.  The SCMN members spent the majority of the agenda time reflecting on the current situation and exchanged different ways they offer support to their teams. In conclusion, Cheryl kindly requested all SCMN members to contribute ideas for ways that our organisation could support the SCMN members and the spiritual care workforce in the months to come. 

We have reinstated our Covid-19 page to assist managers in their work and to provide links for care of self and care of staff. To view click here.

On the 26th of October, SHA will run a Leadership Workshop for the SCMN members. This is a two-hour workshop that is designed to prepare the Spiritual Care Management Team to: (a) Promote thinking about self (e.g. How do others see you? What do you offer that adds value to the workplace? What is the most significant thing about the service you offer?); (b) Set Expectations of Self and Others; (c) Consider Pain Points (How to utilise finite resources; Gain Clarity and Direction; Integration and training); (d) Adopt Leadership Language (How to have powerful and meaningful conversations & dealing with difficult conversations).

If you manage spiritual care in a health service and would like to join our national network, please contact Christine Hennequin, Quality and Development Leader at development@spiritualhealth.org.au

A Blessing for Caregivers 

by Kate Bowler

Blessed are we

For whom the call to loving action is still strong

Whose every urge is to keep going, keep working,

And not to count the cost


And yet blessed are we

Beginning to notice that we are slowing down, inexplicably,

Or just pausing, staring for no reason, 

Or starting something, 

But then quickly turning to another demand.


Blessed are we,

Realizing that we are beginning to lose the thread


Blessed are we who say

I really can’t keep going like this,

At this pace, under the weight,

And also, the momentum is so strong, I can’t stop.


God, come and be the hands that sit me down

And keep me there long enough

For me to really feel what I feel,

And know what I know


Come and be the wisdom

To find the support system that is broad enough,

Kind enough, effective enough to meet the needs that are here-both mine and theirs.


Come and be the peace that frees me

To let my hands lie gently open a while,

The grace to just receive.

Seek the rest you need, and a little bit more.

It is a sacred space.