WHAT IS CHAPLAINCY?
The UAW is a conglomerate of so many different committees and the chaplaincy is a part of those working committees there to offer help to all UAW members throughout the globe. Many have had questions about the purpose of a chaplain and a chaplaincy committee. I hope to briefly enlighten you to who we are and exactly why we are here.
A little history of the UAW chaplaincy program began in September 1985 at the UAW Local 599 in Flint, Michigan. Chaplain Lowell Lawson, under an agreement between the Home Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and Local 599, directly a highly successful six months demonstration program. From there the growth of the UAW Chaplaincy proceeded forward.
In 1990 the National agreement negotiated an opportunity for chaplains to be appointed under contractual provisions in the workplace. Today they are still standing in full force throughout workplaces in the UAW. Every June they descend upon Black Lake for the UAW International Chaplaincy conference to receive training for the “Caring in the Workplace” program. Recognized UAW Chaplains, International UAW department personnel and nationally recognized experts in Chaplaincy provide leadership for this yearly event.
The chaplains are a valuable resource to those who serve in leadership positions in their respective locals. As members have special needs the chaplains are available to help meet those needs that cannot be met through already existing UAW programs.
The UAW Chaplaincy program provides a wide range of ministries and services which include:
- Visit the sick and disabled in their homes and hospitals and if asked to do so; supply invocations and benedictions when requested.
- Offers counseling to those who desire it in times of bereavement
- Interact with other servicing groups such as E.A.P. Representatives, other committee members, or other servicing representatives in the workplace.
- Respect confidentiality of members and provide adequate space for private conversations
- Restrain from administrating religious beliefs to members
- Respect for all religions
- Cooperate fully with grievance procedures, E. A. P. representative, and -community service committees
- Answer prayer requests
Let me emphasize, the local chaplains serve people of all faiths and respects their faith as well as those who express no particular faith at all. The Chaplain and committee DOES NOT impose their beliefs on others or seek to persuade workers to accept their religion or belief. The Chaplain or committee members DO NOT organize a church within the workplace. Our mission can be summed up by our motto: “Caring in the Workplace.”
On a local level the UAW Local 14 chaplaincy is made up of people who have chosen to share, care, and serve in the workplace.
Our chaplaincy is made up of members, Tracy Payne(3rd shift, RWD), Cecil Bowden (3rd shift, FWD), Marlise O'Neal (2nd shift 6030), Randy Pitney (2nd shift F030) and Felix Gonzales (2nd Shift Eurest Services). All come as volunteers in service to help meet the needs of the membership.
Chaplain Iva Brassfield has been our appointed chaplain since August of 2010. She is available for private counsel in her office located up the escalators FWD right next to the women’s locker room by appointment by calling 419 470-5490 or 419 205-0132. A chapel is also available for use by ALL members 24 hours a day at the top of the escalators FWD right next to the women’s locker room. We only ask that you respect the privacy of others while there.