Images from Relationships 2024

Images from Relationships 2024

The week-long online intensive on spiritual care and relationships finished last week. Four participants and two CCS program staff logged on from Wednesday, May 22 to Wednesday, May 29 for deep conversations about the various kinds of relationships in our lives, and the relational issues that people wrestle with when they seek spiritual care. Two of the participants were Diaconal Ministry students, and two were Designated Lay Ministers taking the learning circle as part of their DLM formation. The conversations were deep. CCS student Lynda Brind-Dickson noted that the discussions, with their mix of new ideas and personal sharing, modelled a level of intimacy the integrates the theme of the circle. Risk, trust, and care characterized the circle. CCS program staff member Janet Ross was impressed with participants’ willingness to look at and integrate their own experiences and family systems.

We explored some different models of spiritual care. (Do you see yourself as a shepherd helping to guide people back on path? Do you see yourself as a wounded healer, sharing their pain and struggle? Do you see yourself as a holy fool, inviting people to look at their situations from a new angle?)

In a session on friendship we played “Phone a friend”, where participants were encouraged to invite one of their friends to join us in the circle for a discussion about the role that friendship plays in our lives. It was fascinating to see people with their friends; it gives you a whole new perspective.

We used elements of Family Systems Theory and tools like genograms to better understand the dynamics that operate in our family, as well as to unpack the intergenerational stories of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar; Isaac, Rachel, Jacob and Esau; Joseph and all his competing brothers.

Our day on sexualities and spousal/intimate relationships was enlightening but also appropriately uncomfortable. We explored the R-rated nature of the Bible and how much of “biblical values” in relation to sex is not biblical at all.

On Monday morning, Roxanne and Corey lead a session exploring weddings and rituals of commitment. Kristie and Lynda lead the session in the afternoon, looking at divorces and break-ups and the spiritual care called for when relationships end.

On Tuesday we looked at the theology of relationships and where ideas about sin and shame fit in, and at the unique kind of relationship that people have with their minister.

“This course exceeded my expectations!” said Corey. “I have gained a fresh perspective on relationships.”

“As much as I love in-person circles,” said Kristie, “it was great to be able to join from the comfort of my own home.”

No Comments

Add your comment