There was a great turn-out for the first-of-its-kind Lay Reader Training Blitz on Saturday, January 20th. Nearly 50 lay readers gathered at St. Matthias in Edmonton, significantly more than organizer, the Rev. Nick Trussell expected. "The blitz was better than I could ever have imagined! Lay Readers drove in from every part of the diocese to pray and learn together. Some for the first time and some for the first time in a long time. When we started planning the day I thought we'd be doing well to have 20 people take part. I didn't expect more than double that!"
The morning began with Rev. Nick, who is the diocesan Warden of Lay Readers, leading a smudge for the opening worship session. After that, the “blitz” began! Participants were divided into small groups which then moved through two back-to-back 45-minute training sessions, then a break for lunch, a gathering of the large group again for worship, and ending with two more training sessions. In all, four topics were offered four times each through the day - Pastoral Care, Prayer and Spiritual Formation, Reading the Bible and Leading Worship. The result was that every participant got to sample every topic. It was a full day, busy and intense, but early feedback suggests the group enjoyed it and wants more.
Rev. Nick is now gathering further feedback to shape future sessions. He says it's a joy to invest in lay leadership in Edmonton diocese. "The passion and dedication of these ministers for their faith and their faith communities is inspiring. The work of a lay reader is about way more than saying prayers and making Sundays happen, it's also about living prayers and making community happen through caring attention to the grace of Christ at work in them and where they are."