Following the Man of Sorrows | Dr. David Beach | Thursday, Oct. 1, 1:30p.m. EST.

Suffering. Salvation’s conduit. People are often reluctant to talk about suffering, unable to find words. This reluctance usually lasts until, in the midst of crisis, the only way ahead is through suffering. In these crises, people typically reach out to caregivers—pastors and priests, counselors and social workers. However, what if the same reluctance affects these caregivers? What if they, too, are often unable to find adequate words?

Jesus—Man of Sorrows—makes plain the imperative of taking up our cross. How is this accomplished? This presentation offers an answer, a theology of suffering focused on spiritual formation—formation into a suffering God’s image. This formational theology, emerging from lived experiences in valleys of adversity, offers conceptual and practical ways to narrate biographies of adversity, to give sorrow words and grow.

Preaching Wisely in Times of Suffering and Sorrow | Rev. Dr. Kevin Livingston| Thursday, Oct. 1, 1:30p.m. EST.

Preaching with faithfulness, creativity and pastoral wisdom is always a challenging assignment for pastors, but even more so in times of suffering and loss. This workshop will focus on historical examples and contemporary best practices in communicating God’s encouraging and transforming Word to others in times of distress.

Suffering, Formation and Companioning| Wayne MacQueen| Thursday, Oct. 1, 1:30p.m.. EST.

This is a workshop designed to explore the question, ‘How do we accompany those who are experiencing suffering?’  We will start by looking at how you define suffering. Then, consider how the suffering of others impacts our ability to accompany them in ways that reflect the compassion of Christ.  We will provide practical training in the area of how to be deeper empathetic listeners to those around you needing unconditional love & compassion.

The Dark/Obscure Night and Personality| Rev. Clare Loughrige| Thursday, Oct. 1, 6p.m. EST.

In pandemics and protests how do we do we practice the presence of God and people? Reflecting on my work with the “Dark Night of the Soul” and Enneagram Personality Styles. we can understand our struggles, gifts and ways of being during a time of vulnerability, pain and social change. There are spiritual practices that can access our heart affections, gut instincts and intellectual gifts that can bring transformation to ourselves and those we serve in the moment. Let’s explore how our understanding of ourselves and the three instincts can get us off our edge, center ourselves and help serve this generation. For such a time as this.

Soul Care: Our Journey of Suffering| Rev. Peter Cusick | Friday, Oct. 2, 9a.m. EST.

Have you heard of transformative suffering? Suffering is a school master that will lead us into more pain or more freedom.  This morning soul care is planned for you to see your suffering, experience this suffering—and find God in the midst of your suffering!  Why waste a season of suffering when that suffering can bring you right where God needs you be? Instructional materials will be given.

Self Care: Being. Alone. Together.|Mary Reimer, Jan Woltman & Janet Monks | Friday, Oct. 2, 9a.m. EST.

This morning offers space to rest, to breathe and to engage – body, mind, and heart – in practices that invite you to listen and to pray. Bring all that you carry, for yourself and for others, as your offering to the Risen One. In hour #1, the focus will be on scripture and prayer practices that nurture the heart. In the second hour, join my conversation with author Jan Woltmann, and find holy healing and encouragement in her story. Hour #3 welcomes guest, Janet Monk, a Winnipeg therapist, and Spiritual Director, who will teach the meaning and practice of prayer beads as a way of staying present to God, especially in difficult times. For all who choose to make their own set of prayer beads, a list of supplies will be available ahead of time. We will close our time together with an opportunity for questions and responses to the morning.