In short, Community of Hope International equips lay people to serve in all forms of pastoral care. Pastoral care is when a person is being “present” in a listening, compassionate, non-controlling manner to an individual or group for the purpose of consciously or unconsciously representing God to them and seeking to respond to their spiritual needs.
Through ongoing, spiritual formation and practical lessons on care giving, members learn to match theological insights and spiritual practices with their experiences of ministering to others and giving spiritual guidance.
The fourteen modules used in training cover topics both theoretical and practical, ranging from teaching participants the tenants of Benedictine Spirituality to practical instruction to be used while on a pastoral care visit. It is COHI’s goal that this training awaken participants to God’s call on their lives by discovering and understanding their spiritual gifts for ministry.
Benedictine Spirituality gives Community of Hope its unique emphases:
- to stay true to Jesus’ commandment to care for the sick...“When you do this to the least of these, you do it also unto me”
- growing each participant spiritually, within a nurturing community “because those who are the healthiest spiritually will have the most to give to others in need.”
- Worship together
- Expand their knowledge with continuing education
- Engage in peer supervision
- Report visitation information
- Reflect on pastoral experiences in a debriefing
- Deepen their community