Community of Hope International: Become a Pastoral Minister

COMMUNITY OF HOPE INTERNATIONAL is a curriculum for pastoral care training especially developed for Episcopal communities by the Reverend Helen Appelberg in1994. A number of churches in the Diocese of Minnesota currently use COHI training to prepare pastoral caregivers for ministry in their parishes. Pastoral ministry is one of the many ways Jesus calls us to discipleship. It serves to show love of neighbor and how we companion, champion, and care for one another.

COHI training is deeply rooted in Benedictine spirituality. It offers opportunities for discernment, formation, and the praxis of pastoral love and service. Pastoral ministers may make visits to homes, care and rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, and at church. They may serve communion to congregants who are homebound. They are spiritual listeners and companions. They pray with people, celebrate the Daily Offices, and read scripture with individuals, their friends, and families in person and sometime by video and on the phone.

Beginning February 24, 2023, Saint David’s and Saint John in the Wilderness churches, and Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in partnership with the Diocese will offer COHI training in person at Saint Mark’s and on Zoom.

Those who complete Community of Hope training will be able to:

  • Actively express Benedictine spirituality in their personal and community relationships.
  • Use spiritual listening to care for and support others.
  • Recognize Christ’s presence in others and show them the gift of Benedictine hospitality; and
  • Experience spiritual growth in a small group guided by The Rule of Saint Benedict.

February 24-25 Retreat (Modules 1-3)Orientation
February 24  Module 1 In personBenedictine Spirituality
February 25  Module 2 In personTheology of Pastoral Care
 Module 3 In personPastoral Identity
March 4 Module 4Listening Skills
March 11  Module 5Prayer, Meditation, and Silence
March 18           Module 6Spiritual Gifts
March 25           Module 7The Pastoral Visit and Boundaries
April 1     Module 8Confidentiality (Visit preparation)1st Practice Visit
April 15  Module 9Family Systems
April 22Module 10Grief
May 6                        Module 11Pastoral Care of Seniors
 Module 122nd Practice Visit
May 20                    Retreat (Modules 11, 13, 14) 
 Module 13 In person               Care for the Caregiver
 Module 14 In personCommitment to Ministry

“It’s about the skills and the practices of spiritual life that prepares each one of us to be open to the other…to believe and trust that the hospitality of the Christian faith is to look for the Christ in the other person, and as we approach them to serve them and in humility provide ministry to them. Our prayer is that the stranger will receive us and look for the Christ in us.”

— Rev. Dr. Helen Appelberg | Community of Hope International Founder

This training is open to all members of ECMN faith communities. Contact to find out more about pastoral ministry.

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