By Rev. Val Kenyon
‘Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another.’
In a number of CBC programs over the past year or so, the topic of loneliness has been getting a lot of attention.
Research shows that long-term loneliness can affect many different aspects of our lives and that while more prevalent among older populations, loneliness can be a problem for people of all ages and situations.
How blessed are we in our churches that if we choose to take advantage of them, opportunities to gather abound, opportunities for meaningful connections as we come together for worship, for study, for fellowship and for service. I would like to suggest that participating in an Education for Ministry group offers yet another such opportunity.
In a recent conversation with Catherine Hall, Director of Education for Ministry, Canada (EfM Canada), she spoke of how over her many years within EfM she had witnessed how central the building up of community is in an EfM group.
It is a common occurrence to hear from participants in various groups that week by week, and month by month, individuals who share a passion and a curiosity for learning, especially learning the art of theological reflection, experience what it is to see developing around them a strong and supportive community of faith within communities of faith.
With mentors committed to intentionally creating environments for open sharing, a free expression of ideas, and space to allow for questions and wondering with others on their faith journeys, a strong and supportive community is able to flourish.
At its essence Education for Ministry represents a valuable opportunity to individuals to stretch into something new in the company of others. As the proverb noted above implies, it is in the company of one another that we grow and develop; it is as we journey together that we are changed.
For more information on EfM or to discuss possibilities, please contact Libi Clifford, the Diocese of Huron EfM Coordinator or myself Val Kenyon at EFM@huron.anglican.ca
Rev. Val Kenyon is EfM Animator in Huron