Get ready -- this was a JAM PACKED day!
We headed out early this morning to St. James Settlement. The settlement began as a social service ministry in 1949 to meet the needs of the extremely poor and hard pressed -- especially children. Today, in a building about 1 year old, all the social service projects that were begun and built up after the initial start of the settlement are housed in one beautiful building. We were privileged to be able to tour it!
The director met us and acted as our tour guide, inviting the different area managers to address us as we went to their areas. We went to each one of the following areas -- it was whirlwind, but we received a wonderful overview and were able to see clients participating in almost all the programs.
Kin Chi Dementia Care Support Service Center -- They offer day and home care support for persons with cognitive impairment and their family caregivers. Through community education, they strive to increase proper understanding about cognitive impairment.
Jockey Club Green Roof -- There is a large garden on the rooftop of the building, overlooking the old headquarters and, turning around, up a beautiful hill with apartments, this rooftop serves as an ideal open space for gardening, relaxation exercise and horticultural therapy.
Jockey Club Youth Aim High -- This center provides well-developed vocational training to youth with disabilities in innovative ways. They enhance youth employability through experiential games and activities.
Jockey Club Endeavor Workshop -- Since 1973, St. James Settlement has provided rehabilitation services, job training and social activities for persons with mental disabilities to enrich them in work skills and social life.
Jockey Club R3 Integrated Wellness Center (Rehab, Rebuild, Revive) -- A combination of rehabilitation and fitness to help service users to maintain a high level of wellness, this start of the art physiotherapy and physical fitness facilities works with users to achieve their rehabilitation goals.
Albert Wu Rainbow Workshop -- This workshop is especially designed for persons with mental health issues, providing creative job skill training in order to enable them to adapt to work and community life. This workshop works with local artists to take and re-purpose items for resale. So creative!
Jockey Club Wanchai Integrated Services Team -- Provides day and community services to promote social inclusion and keeps up with ways to be responsive to the changing needs of the users of their services to enchance their quality of life.
Career Sparkle: Youth Career Service Center -- This center strives to equip High School students with a deeper understanding of potential future careers and develops their personal strengths through diversified experiential learning programs while helping them with career planning -- they serve over 6,000 students per year.
HUBBA Lab -- Life after retirement should be colorful. Through innovative activities, learning and services, retirees participating in this service find their lives enriched.
Jockey Club Artspiration Academy -- The St. James Settlement provides opportunities for the disabled to develop their potential in arts, ceramics, dance and movement, music and cultural activities in order to facilitate their personal growth, strengthen their communication skills, self confidence and social inclusion.
ZeShan Foundaiton Uncle James Child Development Center -- One-step assessment and treatment services are designed for children with special educational needs, including attention deficit, hyperactivity, autism or developmental delays. The therapy rooms are state of the art and designed to meet the needs of children from age 1 to 13.
SJS Kathleen Mcdouall Kindeergarten & SJS Child Care Center -- This center provides an ideal learning environment and comprehensive education and care for pre-school children.
We then walked over to St. James Church, which, like the center, moved backed into this spot one year ago. The goal with the Center and the Church to have a holistic experience of the gospel. It is a beautiful, new building. The sanctuary can hold slightly over 500 people. When the sliding doors to the parish hall (immediately behind the sanctuary are opened), over 1,000 can be seated in the expanded sanctuary. It is hoped that the space can be used for the growing congregation and for diocesan events.
When this ministry was started in 1949, the then Bishop asked the local temple to let them use a room to have a boys and girls gathering to care for the children in the then very impoverished area. The temple still exists -- and the room where this all started is still there!
We headed in the buses to lunch on the Jumbo Floating restaurant, where we were met by the Archbishop of Hong Kong as well as other clergy and the dean of the seminary and the dean of the Cathedral. It was great to be together! The former dean of CDSP, Donn Morgan, was also there as he has been teaching at the seminary in Hong Kong once per year. The Archbishop, a CDSP graduate and board member, was delighted that we were all there in Hong Kong. I sat next to the Bishop Elect of Eastern Kowloon Diocese, the Rev. Cn. Timothy Kwok. Seated on the other side of the Bishop-elect was the Rt. Rev. Arthur Williams. Between the two of us, we talked with the Bishop-elect about life as a bishop and balancing family and work. It was a delightful conversation. I was also very happy to connect again to my friend the Rev. Kenneth Lau, who is the Assistant Provincial Secretary General, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, and Assistant to the Diocesan Bishop, Hong Kong Island.
We next went to Stanley Market where we did a bit of shopping (meaning we had half an hour). It was crowded in the marketplace, but my well trained Jardine eye lead me to fabrics -- ones that not every-other-shop-had. Thank goodness they are light to pack. It was a BEAUTIFUL drive to there, and back down, past St. James Settlement and to the Cathedral.
At the Cathedral we were greeted with a few more snacks, tea and coffee. There was a presentation on the history and work of the Cathedral. The Dean of the Cathedral, Mathias Ter, offered the bulk of the presentation.
St. John's Cathedral began in 1842 as a colonial parish. Construction began in 1847 and was completed in 1849 -- this past weekend was their 165th anniversary. This was part of the Diocese of Victoria (Hong Kong, China and Japan). St. John's became the see of the Diocese in 1849.
Every Sunday there are 8 services -- 4 in English, 1 in Mandarin, 1 in Cantonese and 2 in Tagalog. They also have healing services, Taize services, and jazz vespers. They also have a Labyrinth service, choral mattins/evensong, blue Christmas, Fresh Expressions. They also take part in many legal services. They also have a very close contact with the local consulates.
They have a variety of ministries -- Pastoral Ministry, Children Ministries, Youth Ministry, Filipino Ministry led by a priest from the PIC. Nurturing Ministries include Genesis, I Believe, EFM and School of Prayer as well as Monthly Bible Study and Weekely Bible Study. In addition there is a monthly young family fellowship in Cantonese. In terms of music ministry, there is a cathedral choir, the cathedral brass, evensong choir, mandarin choir, filipino fellowship choir, children's choir, youth ensemble, drumming group, .
For outreach ministries they offer:
Mission of Migrant Workers (for Filipino and Indonesian as well as others from South Asia, but those two groups are the largest) -- there are more than 350,000 on the island. The ministry helps with crisis intervention and prevention, welfare services and advocacy.
Helpers for Domestic Helpers -- this group was founded 20 years ago and their focus is legal programs. It is a drop in center which makes it exciting and nerve racking at the same time. They negotiate with employers, they brief clients and accompany them to court, and they deal with 2,000 to 3,000 people per year. They are also working for change of approach and for enforcement of the laws.
Professional Counseling Centre, it is a full fledged professional counseling center. They service 6,000 to 20,000 people per MONTH. There are 28 therapists and 11 interns on staff. They are actually housed off campus because it has grown so large. The model comes form the University of Pennsylvania -- positive psychology. They also do all the all the premarital counseling for the cathedral. They are open 7 days a week and deal with crisis management, etc. Challenges are suicides, substance abuse, divorce -- the challenging time in Hong Kong.
HIV Education Center this was established in 1995 due to discrimination and stigma. In Hong Kong there are 400 or 500 new cases every year. This is the only church that deals with this. They work in interfaith for prevention of HIV an AIDS.
St. John's Cathedral Bookstore, the bookstore has more than 70,000 visitors every year, and most of the visitors are from Mainland China -- and when the visitors come they ask questions about Jesus, so the staff has changed their focus to answer these questions and help people on their faith journey as well as selling books and crafts.
Michaelmas Fair is a fundraising event which brings many people onto the grounds.
CLARES, Care Love Action Response Effort Service -- they raise money which supports the Cathedral (25%) and 40 local charities (75%) -- last year they raised over 900,000 USD!
"The Nest" is a joint venture between the cathedral and the Nest Center, which serves English speaking mentally challenged youth -- it is a coffee house which trains and employes these youth. It is housed on the Cathedral grounds.
Prison Ministry. They do have ministry to the prisons, but at times it is difficult to get into the prison. This is something they are working on .
They also have clergy who participate in Radio Ministry.
Things the Cathedral Staff are looking at for future focus -- poverty alleviation, mental health support and reconciliation of peoples.
Last year they celebrated 170 baptisms (half of them were adults) and rejoiced over having an enrollment of 200 in Sunday School.
We then headed down to the pier and enjoyed a meal on the water -- the Seafarer's Ministry arranged for us to have a wonderful Indian dinner on a Junk owned by the Jardine company (yes, really). It was a relaxing end to a very busy day!
I leave you with more pictures from our day.
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