“Breathing Under Water”

This group is intended specifically for paid accountable ministry staff of the United Church of Canada.

In his latest book, “Breathing Under Water-The Spirituality of the Twelve Steps” Fr. Richard Rohr offers a Christian take on the 12-Step model’s truly simple and practical path forward into a deeper relationship with God. He includes building healthy community with a solution-oriented process for the daily challenges we face which can thwart the true freedom and peace we seek.

Using this successful model for personal/spiritual growth and community building you are invited to join church leaders and other pilgrims as we engage in: reducing isolation, building community, mutual aid, or to say it another way help each-other to help each-other. We will create a safe container to allow you to be real. There is nothing as grounding, affirming and comforting as having your story heard and honoured. That is a big part of what we will do together.

Do any of these statements resonate with you:

  •  I have fear of being vulnerable, I can’t show any vulnerability to the congregation and have anxiety about being vulnerable with my peers. It’s really hard to be vulnerable to people when I am a minister.
  • I don’t feel as if I was trained for this type of leadership, how do I do this? I don’t feel as if I have the skills for this.
  • I am exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed.
  • Change is happening too fast.
  • I am feeling isolated and long for a deeper communion of peers.
  • Does anyone really understand my work? I’d love a circle of friends who really understands what I do.
  • I continually push myself too hard.
  • I fear being judged, which includes self-judgement as well as judging others.

“I cannot understand my own behaviour. I fail to carry out the very things I want to do, and find myself doing the very things I hate…for although the will to do what is good is in me, the performance is not.”~Romans 7:15,18

I like the way Richard Rohr sums it up in his introduction: ”…the foundational way that I believe Jesus and the Twelve Steps of A.A. are saying the same thing but with different vocabulary:

We suffer to get well.
We surrender to win.
We die to live.
We give it away to keep it.

This counterintuitive wisdom will forever be resisted as true, denied, and avoided, until it is forced upon us – by some reality over which we a powerless – and if we are honest, we are all powerless in the presence of full Reality.”

Please join us as we explore a deep healing journey together in the context of loving community and supportive friendships. We will be launching this group April 18, 2012 at 8pm Eastern time. The gatherings will take place bi-monthly, for 12 sessions beginning April 18 at 8pm EST ending September 5. We will be using the United Church video conferencing technologies. All participants in the beta group will receive a free copy of Richard’s book. This initiative is supported by the United Church of Canada General Council. There is a nominal fee for participation.

I invite you to consider taking this matter to prayer to determine if it is your path. For further information please contact me, kim [at] kimbrandt [dot] ca or 778-552-7579. You must have a computer and high speed internet to participate. If you choose, and have the capacity, you can join with video.

Beginning April 18, 2012 we will gather every two weeks at

8pm EST using the United Church teleconferencing system.

Fee: $200

Registration Link: http://www.edge-ucc.ca/webinars/upcoming-events/?ee=22

Below you will find information regarding community structure and guidelines. I encourage you to contact me if you’d like to have some input on these guidelines.

GUIDELINES FOR SMALL GROUPS
(based on suggestions from Richard Rohr)

  • Be on time. Arrive promptly or contact the host or facilitator to say you will be late. Try to make the meeting dates a priority in your schedule. Your group counts on you. Meetings will be one hour in length. It is possible to join the meeting after it has begun but please do your best to arrive on time but do join us if you find you are late.
  • Fees. $200
  • Holding a Sacred Space. While we are together I feel it is vital to stay present for each other. When we gather my hope is we consciously treat this gathering as a holy encounter avoiding outside distractions.
  • Spiritual Direction. Every participant agrees to be receiving spiritual direction during the time we are meeting, the period of 24 weeks beginning April 18.
  • Time and frequency. Every two weeks beginning April 18 at 8pm EST.
  • Commitment. If, after the first meeting, you feel this is not for you please let me know, however if you choose to continue after our first meeting we ask that you commit to make every effort to complete this process with the entire community. We depend on each other.
  • Be consistent. Establish a routine for each gathering of the group and adhere to it, as best as possible. Start and end each meeting with either a time of meditation or prayer. Being consistent allows people to know what to expect.
  • Prayerful. You are encouraged to remember your group in prayer every day.
  • Be sensitive. Some people in the group may attend because they really need a boost. Begin each session by catching up on what has been going on in one another’s lives since the last time the group met. Check in with members that have been absent.
  • Personal theological views: This is a group created for mutual support and not a forum to promote personal perspectives on God. We come together to engage with our hearts, not leaving our minds behind, but to connect beyond what may be our intellectual comfort zone.
  • Be yourself. Be willing to share what you think, believe, and feel. Bring your common sense and your sense of humor to the meeting.
  • Be open. Hearing the stories and opinions of others in the group may bring insights that you could never have reached on your own.
  • Be respectful. Even if you disagree with someone, let your care and respect for that person govern whether and how you respond.
  • Be fair. Everyone is given a chance to speak but no one will be forced into sharing. Participate but don’t dominate, and curb the urge to interrupt.
  • Be trustworthy. This is vital. Don’t repeat to others outside the group anything that is said within the meeting. A group such as this is built on trust.
  • Be flexible. Discussions may take longer than expected. Outside events may change the focus of the session.
  • Create a buddy system. Participants will be randomly paired then encouraged to connect between meetings.