Community of Hope International

The Community of Hope International is a global network of trained lay pastoral caregivers steeped in Benedictine spirituality who serve others through compassionate listening. St. John’s has now formed three cohorts of COHI-trained lay pastoral ministers: in 2015, 2017, and 2019. Our new cohort of lay pastoral caregivers completed their 14-week curriculum last month; a marvelous spiritual journey which began in late August.

Our newest cohort of 12 lay pastoral caregivers includes Kathy Brown, Joan Cleary (from St. Clement’s Episcopal Church), Richard Day, Tony Grundhauser, Jayan Koshy, Lee Larson, Laura O’Brien Smith, Sheryl Ramstad, Marjorie Rapp, Kevin Seitz-Paquette, Jennifer Tianen, and Jerry Woelfel. We are very grateful for the excellent instruction we received from our guest presenters: Sister Kate Maxwell, O.S.B. who led the Modules on Benedictine Spirituality and Commitment to Ministry; the Rev. Phil rose who led the Modules on Theology of Pastoral Care, the Pastoral Visit and Boundaries, and Pastoral Care for Seniors; Mary E. Johnson who led the Modules on Pastoral Identity; Confidentiality, Debriefing, the First Practice Visit at Episcopal Homes; and Care for the Caregiver; the Rev. Jered Weber-Johnson who led the Module on Listening Skills; Dr. Christine Luna Munger who led the Module on Prayer, Christian Meditation, and Silence; the Rev. Craig Lemming who led the Module on Motivational Spiritual Gifts; the Rev. Susan Moss who led the Module on Understanding Family Systems; the Rev. Joy Caires who led the Module on Grief: Coping with Loss; and the Rev. Jennifer Allred who led the Module on the Second Practice Visit at Episcopal Homes.      

Our new cohort of Community of Hope International lay pastoral caregivers was commissioned during the 10 o’clock Holy Eucharist on Sunday, January 5, 2020. They join our existing Circle of Care community of COHI-trained pastoral caregivers who were formed in 2015 and 2017. We bid your prayers for our pastoral care team as we follow Christ’s call to love and serve one another as we journey through the seasons of life’s joys and sufferings. 

“My COHI experience has been meaningful to me because during these last 14 weeks I have been able to claim my ‘Yes’ to God’s call to pastoral care. This has happened through spiritual nurturing with prayer, liturgy, deeply wise presenters; along with practical tools such as practice, role playing and reading. All of this has been supported with prayer through my COHI community under the compassionate guiding hand of Father Craig Lemming. I am so deeply grateful!”     — Kathy Brown

“COHI  has brought to my awareness the great need we have in our parish to show up and to be spiritually present to those in need, and how God is present in every situation.” — Marjorie Rapp

*Originally published in the January/February 2020 issue of the Evangelist.

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