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From radio announcer to media chaplain

Above: Rev Atu Lagi and Josh Couch at Pacific Media Network on Atu’s first day as their chaplain

CBA has spent the last five years breaking new ground as we have established Media Chaplaincy NZ, providing pastoral care for media professionals and the nation’s newsrooms.

We continue to work hard toward our vision for every media organisation in NZ, large or small, to have a dedicated Media Chaplain available to its staff.

One of our chaplains is the Rev Atu Lagi, Assistant National Superintendent of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of NZ and a local church minister. Atu has worked in youth ministry, men’s ministry, counselling, pastoral care, education and coaching – and also as a radio announcer. His media credentials gave him a great point of connection when we introduced him to the team at Pacific Media Network, the premier broadcaster of multimedia Pacific content in NZ.

Atu was quick to forge strong relationships. He’s been invited to lead devotions for the staff and lead them in prayer, and even to pray with the senior leadership team. He’s been embraced as a confidant to many individuals and has been invited to do numerous on-air interviews.

Atu’s support has been particularly welcomed throughout the Covid pandemic: “Journeying alongside them during these difficult times was vital,” says Atu.

CBA’s Media Chaplaincy ministry has experienced increasing demand over the past two years. Reporters and journalists are under enormous pressure and many are regularly confronted by traumatising situations; murders, rapes, violence, the very worst of humanity. They work under the glare of constant public scrutiny, facing fierce criticism, which is often vile and personal, all while making decisions that help shape the opinions and values of our culture and set the tone of our national conversations.

Above: Media chaplains Petra Bagust and Rev Frank Ritchie presenting a webinar on wellbeing

By gifting an overtly Christian service, focused on personal, spiritual and mental well-being, conversations open up that might otherwise never occur. As Atu says, “News networks have a very important place in our everyday lives, communities, and society. By providing pastoral care, it often allows us to offer some balance and perspectives to these conversations.”

The support is appreciated: our Lead Chaplain Rev Frank Ritchie received this message -

“It’s finally the end of the gruellingest of weeks and I am jaded and done. I can’t tell you how good it’s been to see you [in the media and on social media] framing things that I am thinking; allowing me to feel connected, cared for, thought of, and appreciated on some very taxing days and nights. And days that turned into nights. Thank you.”

Media Chaplaincy is a gritty, incarnational ministry which relies on your faithful support of CBA, and we’re truly grateful to you for all it is achieving.

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