Spiritual Growth and Care
“My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…” [Galatians 4:19]
We want to see all of our church community transformed, having the character of Christ formed in us. Spiritual Growth is one of our core commitments.
- Pastoral Care: We recognise that life can have many hurts and disappointments. We need others to help us process these knocks. Mostly, good friends and a community around us can create the right environment for our growth. Sometimes, however, talking to someone else is helpful – this kind of pastoral care is available with Community Church.
- Counselling: – At other times, the knocks affect us so much, that we need to skilled helpers to walk with us, to untangle ourselves and find restoration and healing. We have a counselling service who offer this kind of help.
- Prayer Ministry: We also recognise the value of prayer ministry. We believe in a God who is with us, and can help, in the midst of the circumstances of life. Having someone pray for us, and standing with us, can bring real change and healing.
- Spiritual Direction: However, often, we are growing and developing healthily, but would value someone who would offer some kind of mentoring or spiritual direction, to promote that growth especially in our relationship with God.
There are times in our lives when the give and take of friendship isn’t enough, and to have someone present to us, to listen to our story, brings hope and healing. It might be a bereavement, losing your job, tensions in your marriage, feeling anxious or depressed, or any multitude of other situations, it is good to talk.
We know that often people meet others in the church family informally, relationships develop, and help is offered. This kind of informal pastoral care is a valuable source of support in the church.
However, we look to be intentional about pastoral care and alongside this informal style, Ann Symes co-ordinates a team of people, including Chris Hall and Kirsty Hook, who are available to provide support. Please contact Ann, Chris or Kirsty or speak to one of the leaders on a Sunday if you would like to find out more.
We recognise that it is hard to ask for help, so we do try to be aware of everyone in the church. However, in a medium sized church, this isn’t always possible. We suggest that people will find pastoral care in CCE works best within the context of a small or cell group. The small group network acts as a net for pastoral care within the church.
Hope Counselling Service offers individual counselling to people who are struggling to cope with life’s issues and worries or who wish to develop to their full potential. We believe that all human beings have dignity and worth, but that our choices and the choices of others have sometimes marred that dignity. Good counselling can help us recover a greater sense of dignity and worth, and bring hope to our immediate circumstances.
Training is also offered by Hope Counselling Service – to train new counsellors and those helping people in other ways (eg. pastoral, discipleship or professionally) and in CPD (Continual Professional Development) Days.
Hope Counselling Service is a project of Community Church Edinburgh, and is run by Ann Symes.
We believe in the work and power of the Holy Spirit, to bring freedom, healing and help. Sometimes, people can find significant help through prayer – God is at work in people’s lives.
We often put hands on people’s shoulders (often called “laying on of hands”), to show solidarity and because we believe that there is an impartation as we put our hands on others. God moves through people, when we pray with them.
There are opportunities to receive prayer ministry at the end of our Sunday Gatherings. If there is a need for a longer time for prayer, we would arrange that at separate time, with a team of trained people.
Often, as we pray for people, there is a sense of God speaking to us, for the person we are praying for (sometimes called “prophetic words”). These words are often amazingly accurate, which brings hope and light to the person.
Offering an opportunity to reflect on your journey with God in company with a guide, mentor or sharer…
Sometimes, there aren’t particular problems we are facing, but we would find it helpful to have someone journey with us, as we seek to deepen our relationship with Jesus, or long for greater awareness of His presence.
Spiritual Direction is jointly sensing the presence and voice of the Holy Spirit in your life. It is often discovered through community and the process of reflection. It is not counselling, pastoral care or prayer ministry. It helps us discern God in your stage of life and development, suggest practical ways of receiving him and so ultimately to trust God.
There is a number of people within Community Church who are offering spiritual direction. Each offers something different and with varying degrees of experience and training.
If you are interested in meeting with someone, please contact Andrew Hook.
We offer inner healing prayer as part of the support we want to make available within the church community. The model we use is called SOZO which originated in Bethel church, Reading, California, designed by Dawna Desilva and Teresa Liebscher.
The word sozo is a Greek word used in the New Testament translated variously as saved, healed or delivered and has the implication of wholeness.
In Sozo prayer we offer an individual a session lasting two and a half hours. Sessions are on a Thursday morning, afternoon or evening, or Friday morning. During a session you would normally meet with two people. They would be inviting God to highlight wounds that He wants to heal and to reveal lies unconsciously believed. Where these wounds and lies have created an obstacle between you and God we want to see these removed and a closer connection to the Godhead created. Our goal in Sozo prayer is for people to be free to make good choices.
Lesley and the rest of the team have all been trained to lead Sozo prayer, and are long standing members of the CCE family. We are part of the Bethel Sozo UK Network.
For further information or to make an appointment please email Lesley Helfer or visit sozoedinburgh.org