Listen God speaks to each of us as he makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night. These are the words we dimly hear: You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. Embody me. Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in. Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness. Give me your hand.
This week at CFLC, a new CPE cohort began with five lay trainees and two lay facilitators. The beginning of any new CPE cohort is always exciting. Okay, let’s be honest: the beginning of a new CPE cohort is anxiety provoking. For everyone. Trainees are often anxious about how they might be perceived or if they have the interpersonal and spiritual stamina CPE requires. And supervisors/facilitators are often anxious about the group dynamics yet to unfold.
And yet all of this provocation is the great gift of CPE. It invites trainees into the threshold of their discomfort and challenges them to stay present to their own feelings and examine their own meaning-making. And it is the CPE trainees' willingness to step into the beauty and terror they may experience in themselves, which cultivates their capacity to stay present to the beauty and terror they may find in others. CPE is life-giving, life transforming work.
A new cohort is forming on March 11th. If you’re curious about CPE or lay chaplaincy, join our information session this Thursday at 6:30pm.