My name is Brain Handel. I am an ordained Pastor in the Uniting Reformed Church in Cape Town, South Africa.
My full time work Position did not Change after completing the course: MA Diaconic Management. I am serving as a Pastor of two congregations of the Uniting Reformed Church with all the pastoral duties and responsibilities attached these position. Currently I also serve as a Task Team member of two ministries in our Regional Synod (Cape Regional Synod of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa): The Center for Public Witness and witness in an through congregations. I also serve as a board member of Industrial Ministry South Africa.
Centre for Public Witness: The Centre is involved in the following projects:
• Dialogue conversations on racism
• Discussions about the causes and handling of protest Action, violence and murders in South Africa
• The Hope and Reconcilation Trust
Witness in and through congregations: This is a new ministry in our Regional Synod (started in May 2018) an we will Focus amongst others:
• Supporting congregations in developing their missionary character and calling
• Supporting congregations in the development of multi-cultural faith communities with intercultural Expertise and skills, etc.
Industrial Ministry South Africa: is a NPO that supports Christian churches to Minister to and equip all People spiritually in their places of work. This ministry services amongst others:
• All our Harbours in South Africa where counselling Support and advocacy are practised for the communities in and surround the Harbours. The First Thousend Days is a new program with the fishing community at one of our Harbours (Hout Bay). This program focuses on early development from birth to the Age of 2 years assisting mothers to care and nurture their children.
• Ministry in the workplace (Trade and Industry)
• Ministry to the Seafares. We work in Close cooperation with ITF (International Transport Workers Federation) an international Organisation dealing directly with human trafficking, ensuring that employees (fisherman and seaman) are not exploited on the ships.
My experiences with the course of International Diaconic Management:
The professionalization of diaconic work was an inspiration for me. Our church do not have full time deacons (selaried) and this could be a new venture for us to explore.
The theory of the new St Gallen Management Model. This was enlighting to be trained to use and apply a business model with its focus on normative management to church and community transformation and sustainability.
Integrative thinking. To be challenged to think integratively (economics, ethically and management).
Intercultural reflection. I am working in two culturally different congregations. The course has sharpen my intercultural reflection and praxis: to be sensitive to cultural issues in management.
Industrial Ministry South Africa. I am currently formulating a research proposal (PhD9 for our work of Industrial ministry.
Community leadership. Our community has been a war zone in 2017 as criminal gangs were responsible for 32 murders in June – August 2017. As church leaders were hosted the first ever community event (Interfaith Initiative) on Sunday 10 September 2017, highlighting the crises situation and we have together with the University of the Western Cape Psychology Faculty initiated a trauma support for 10 parents who have lost their sons in these three months.
I am busy writing a book of Diaconia to be used for local congregations. The purpose of the book will be to serve as a leadership training manual in diaconia for local congregations.