The Paraklesis Project
On Sunday mornings throughout the world Pastors in their pulpits encourage us with the good news. Come Monday morning there is a need for a different communication, the need to encourage through listening. A friendly ear to listen as we try and integrate the good news into our lives filled with pressure and stress. There is the need for a friend who will sit with us and listen to our soul's struggles.
Our attempt to help meet this need is in training laity as soul friends in what we call the Paraklesis Project. Its primary outcome is the ability to move alongside another follower of Christ to help listen for the voice of God in their life. A participant in this training will have been exposed to the practical theology, tools, skills, and gifts that make for a competent spiritual friend. Their love of others will be enhanced by a form of care and spiritual counsel that enables them to listen with ears that are different and often complement the ears of psychotherapy.
During the course participants will meet Monday evenings for six weekly, 2-hour training sessions, and concludes with a weekend retreat. Each of these gatherings will consist of three components: personal soul care, training, and praxis. Along with the training and retreats optional personal one-on-one spiritual direction appointments will be scheduled (approximately 40 hrs of class time).
The cost of the weekly Paraklesis Project and retreat is $250. This tuition covers the cost of the training sessions, materials (but not outside reading books), retreat expenses of private room and meals for weekend retreat, spiritual direction appointments, and administrative fees.