This week in the Pastoral Care Year fall learning circle has focused on some pretty heavy topics: death and dying, grief and loss, sin, funerals, the biblical tradition of lamentation, etc. But the students remain positive and hopeful. Our regular diaconal ministry students have been joined this week by six people who wanted to learn more about pastoral care in times of grief and transition. The Loss & Lamentation course is essentially the middle week of the fall learning circle, opened up to a wider audience who might want to explore the themes for their own continuing education.
Min-Goo, Cathie, Judy, Karen, Joy, and Christina have all been welcomed into the circle and are bringing wisdom from their own experiences – as an ordained minister, as a lay person carrying pastoral care responsibilities in her parish or congregation, as a care home volunteer, or just as a person with his/her own experiences of dealing with loss. The conversations have been deep, but punctuated with laughter.
The Loss & Lamentation event ends on Friday. The Pastoral Care learning circle continues for another week, with sessions on diaconal history and diaconal perspective on pastoral care as well as student-led sessions on pastoral care with seniors and young people, and issues such as sexuality and shame.