Ted Dodd and Maylanne Maybee have been in Ottawa for the past week and a half facilitating the August 2013 Leadership Development Module. As the LDM moves towards its end on Friday, we asked Ted to let us know what’s been happening:
On August 12, nine students – from Newfoundland to Vancouver—began the 2013 Ottawa Leadership Development Module (LDM) as strangers. A week later, they have bonded as a community of colleagues and friends. In class they have built relationships through sharing faith journeys, discovering learning styles, completing personality inventories and worshiping together. Outside of class, many planned excursions: the art gallery, a birthday celebration, a local baseball game, Pride activities, the farmer’s market. The non-competitive, supportive atmosphere encourages respect for differences, honouring of diversity and cooperation in teaming.
The students put in long days. Assignments arise regularly on the schedule: reading discussion seminars, journal summaries, case studies, the “spiral” model, student led sessions. Throughout the course, faith content pieces introduce and discuss pastoral care, education, social ministry, theology and bible. Essential ministry skills – group facilitation, conflict management, making change, empowering others—are explored. The LDM is structured around a combination of hands-on, engaged experiential learning activities and thoughtful, “stand back” moments of debriefing and contemplation. Profound insights of self-awareness and social consciousness emerge for all the participants.
Thanks to St. Paul University for their hospitality. Through fire drills, the noise of roof repairs, and the rerouting due to rennovations we have been treated with good humour and gracious welcome. Special gratitude goes to Kevin Flynn for the warmth he brought to the role of chaplain and his thoughtfulness in providing local arrangements.
Maylanne and I feel deeply honoured to accompany the students on this journey. One year a group asked me if they were the best LDM I had ever taught. I gulped, and luckily, I remembered a line from a mentor: “The best class is the one you are teaching in the present.” Each year this is proven to be true in the power of this model of education. Because we affirm gifts and foster confidence, participants risk stretching their skills and trying out new possibilities. They both broaden their outlook and deepen their wisdom in a learning environment which integrates of heart and head, prayer and play, individual and community.