- Outlined below are the program offerings that Encounter the Heart offers. Each program can be tailored to suit local needs.
Train the Trainer
EH 1 The Student Retreat: Master Class
The Student Retreat Master Class is a two day Professional Development opportunity aimed at upskilling professionals in the school setting to more effectively facilitate the local school student retreat. Please see the Encounter the Heart Calendar for the dates of these programs in 2022.
The Student Retreat Master Class will;
- Examine the psychological processes at play within the student retreat
- Look at the strengths of varying types of retreat; the twilight retreat, the street retreat, the theme retreat and more
- Examine best practice in the retreat setting
- Introduce participants to the key elements that make up a effective school retreat; ritual and symbol, ice-breakers, story sharing, witness, silence and meditation, group work and more
- Provide participants with access to key resources for the retreat setting
- Invite the sharing of participant wisdom and experience
EH2 Service Learning: Master Class
The Service Learning Master Class is a two day Professional Development opportunity aimed at upskilling professionals in the school setting to more effectively engage with Service Learning. Please see the Encounter the Heart Calendar for the dates of these programs in 2022. This Professional Development opportunity will:
- Examine the psychological processes at play within Service Learning
- Identify the key processes for LEARNING within Service Learning
- Examine Models of Service Learning
- Grow awareness of the importance of concepts for effective Service Learning
- Looking at Service Learning programs
- Introduce possible Service Learning curriculum mapping strategies
- Look at reflection upon experience models and best practice
- Examine the role of direct experience, the mentor, the ideological (theological) framework and critical thinking for transformational change
Many schools operate from a particular charism. If Jesus and his Gospel is the diamond, each charism is a face of the diamond. The charism is not the diamond itself but merely a unique (and gifted) insight into or lens of engaging with the person of Jesus and the Gospel. This Professional Development offering would normally take five hours over a day. The details of the day are negotiated with the local community reflecting their particular needs.
While Br Damien is an Edmund Rice Christian Brother his personal experience of both charism and the Religious Life enables him to have privileged insight into the world of charism beyond his own.
EH 3 Charism
Core to this Professional Development day will be an engagement with the Gospel of Jesus as experienced by the founder or founding persons who first lived and articulated the communities ‘face of the diamond’. The PD day engages with a belief that our call is to;
- Know the story (knowing – as well as we can – the seminal stories that are at the heart of our community)
- Tell the story (find a multitude of ways to share the heart stories of our community – even though we may not feel worthy of the telling or know the story itself well – it is in the telling that its gift is released)
- Become the story teller (each community will have those members who grow into the core story – they personify it – they become the ‘story teller’)
EH 4 Spirituality for the every day
Spirituality for the every day is the central program offering from Encounter the Heart. Like all our programs we encourage people to engage with Encounter the Heart to massage this program offering to meet local needs. Many teachers and other professionals in faith based communities are looking for a core articulation of the spirituality and theology central to what they do and seek to be.
Based upon the work of Fr Henri Nouwen, ‘Spirituality for the every day’ introduces us to a simple incarnational spirituality that mirrors the pascal mystery. This Professional Development day will, through the use of ritual, story and small group work introduce participants to a language and concepts that will empower them to be more effective disciples of Jesus in their place of mission and ministry. The central elements of this day are;
Encounter with God – the choice to come as guest – coming as guest to the innate dignity of the other, knowing it is holy ground – coming as guest to the story which is that person’s journey – from this space choosing to be deeply present. Our presence says to the other, “you are beautiful, you are lovable, you are unique”! From this space of presence our hearts will open in compassion. The compassionate heart will be truly and deeply free.