Images from Ministry as Listening 2020

Images from Ministry as Listening 2020

From September 30 to Oct 7, 2020 diaconal ministry students came together online for a spiritual care learning circle on “Ministry as Listening”.

Ministry as Listening 2020

The first day of the circle coincided with “Orange Shirt Day” – a day to remember the impact of residential schools and to stand with survivors.

Orange Shirt Day at the Ministry as Listening learning circle

Over the course of the the week, students spent time in large group, small groups, and personal reflection exploring listening skills, pastoral ethics and boundaries, ministry of presence, prayer, and how to navigate difficult conversations. One afternoon they got to practice their visiting skills by being dropped into “cold call” visits with some volunteer visitees.

On the second last day of the circle students were joined by experienced spiritual care professionals Sherri McConnell, Scott Swanson, Sadekie Little-Forbes, and Annette Hoare, who discussed the differences and overlaps between counselling, therapy, spiritual direction, life coaching, and ministry. (Annette was also our chaplain for the circle, providing a calming presence and a listening ear when needed.)

Counseling and Spiritual Direction panel: Sherri, Scott, Annette, and Sadekie

Despite being separated by distance and by pandemic, students were able to form connections and be present to each other in the circle.

Ministry as Listening – holding each other in care