LCANZ pastor Darren Jaensch has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2022 Honours List. The Director General Chaplaincy – Army since December 2017, Pastor Darren has been made a Member (AM) in the Military Division of the Order of Australia for ‘exceptional performance of duty in chaplaincy leadership and development’.
An Australian Army chaplain in various roles since beginning part-time with the Army Reserve in 1998, he accepted a full-time call with the Army two years later. Released by the LCA to represent the church in that mission context, Pastor Darren will be returning to parish ministry in 2023, having accepted a call to Holy Cross Lutheran Church at Belconnen in the Australian Capital Territory.
Pastor Darren described receiving the AM as ‘a very humbling but wonderful affirmation’. ‘The sad part is that our entire Army chaplaincy team provides amazing ministry that contributes to the recognised achievements, but there is only one recipient of the award’, he said.
‘Our recruiters are backing up our cultural work in broadening the representation and inclusion of faith groups and more women in our chaplaincy. Our Army chaplains are engaged in meaningful human interactions, meeting soldiers (and their families) in the raw realities of their lives and the sacred spaces of their spiritual walk and human existence, most recently in supporting the Australian community through COVID-19 and the floods. All the while, sharing their hardships and dangers. And it is my deep honour to lead them whilst flying the flag for our beloved LCANZ.
‘The affirmation is nice, particularly for my family who bear the cost and are long-suffering, but all glory belongs to God in whom “we live and move and have our being”.’
The citation of his honour reads: ‘Principal Chaplain Jaensch’s exceptional leadership as the Director General Chaplaincy – Army has optimized relevant and effective chaplaincy across Army. His wisdom, persistence and compassion
have progressed the recruiting and integration of gender and culturally diverse, full and part-time and multi-faith chaplains. This diverse but integrated chaplaincy has proved highly effective for Army in recent domestic operations. His leadership is in the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force’ (ADF).
The congratulations of the church are offered to Pastor Darren and any other members honoured with awards.
The LCA is a member of the Associated Protestant Churches Chaplaincy Board (APCCB), which supports the pastoral needs of ADF personnel by identifying and endorsing ordained denominational members to be recruited as Defence chaplains. The APCCB supplies the largest number of chaplains across the ADF. Pastors who are interested in ADF Chaplaincy, either part-time or full-time, can contact the Secretary of the Church, Dr Nigel Long, for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about what our Army and other Australian Defence Force chaplains do, see the following videos: https://youtu.be/RX4ZXLq3ymQ; https://youtu.be/2kFgiOIyGM8 and https://youtu.be/q0WQFdhzI38