When a Community
of Hope training center is established in a church or other institution,
the rector or administrator appoints lay leaders to facilitate the
14-week, 42-hour training. The training modules focus on helping
trainees discover their spiritual gifts, share their spiritual journey,
practice Christain mediation and silence, and read and reflect on
Holy Scripture (lectio divina).
center chooses their faculty for teaching other modules, which include
Benedictine spirituality, theology of pastoral care, pastoral identity,
listening skills, making a pastoral visit, family systems, grief,
death and loss, confidentiality, debriefing, care for the caregiver,
and commitment to ministry. Six hours of the training include actual
hands-on pastoral visitation.
Lay Chaplains are commissioned
when the training is completed and are sent out two-by-two for ministry.
They serve in any setting where adults, youth, or children are sick,
in crisis, at risk, or underserved - especially the poor, the homeless,
the imprisoned, the elderly and the marginalized.
The Community of Hope
is unique in its balanced focus on growth through Benedictine spirituality
and empowerment of laity for pastoral care ministry. It is intended
to complement and augment, not compete with, any similar lay ministry
training, such as Stephen Ministry.
After their training,
all volunteer lay chaplains become a part of the training center's
Circle of Care where ongoing life of the Community of Hope
is sustained through regular, twice-monthly gatherings. Members
pray, worship, debrief, report their pastoral visits, and receive
Led by lay coordinators,
Circle of Care provides continuing education, quiet days,
retreats, and share gatherings with lay chaplains from other training
centers. In Circle of Care, volunteer lay chaplains continue
to study The Rule of Benedict and strengthen their spirituality
and the bond of community.