ORA NewsletterAugust 2018
"It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain,
broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength."

- Vance Havner

Upcoming Workshops

Saturday, September 8
9:30 am-4:00 pm @ Ste. Genevieve United Church

Leadership Circle

For those who are interested in leading or helping out at Loss & Living workshops with ORA in future, we will be holding a "wisdom circle" in September to discuss best practices for animating conversations, empowering participation, and encouraging sensitivity. We will also be sharing helpful resources about learning styles and discussing a variety of topics related to grief and loss.
Volunteer to help with coffee, snacks, set up and/or cleanup
Register for Leadership Circle
September to November
(see dates below)
$250 / person for five Saturday sessions OR eight Tuesday evening sessions; includes art supplies

Embracing Grief

ORA will be partnering with The Art of Soul Care to offer two Embracing Grief series of workshops, starting in September. One set of multi-session workshops will be offered on selected Saturdays in St. Lazare; the other sessions will be held in the West Island on selected Tuesday evenings. The cost is $250 for approximately 25 hours total, and includes art supplies for activities. Eight different themes will be explored through meditation, creative art activities, group discussion and sharing on each theme.

Saturdays (The Art of Soul Care Studio, St. Lazare)
  • September 22 (full day): 9 am-5 pm 
  • September 29 (full day): 9 am-5 pm
  • October 13 (half day): 9 am-2 pm
  • October 27 (full day): 9 am-5 pm
  • November 3 (half day): 9 am-2 pm — includes potluck feast and art display
Tuesdays (7:00 pm-9:30 pmWest Island-TBD)
  • September 25
  • October 2
  • October 9
  • October 16
  • October 23
  • October 30
  • November 6
  • November 13 (6:00 to 9:30 pm) — includes potluck feast and art display
Vivianne LaRivière, spiritual arts practitioner, educator, and multi-media artist holds a Masters of Pastoral Studies, a Masters of Theological Studies, and is a Doctoral Candidate in her final year of a Doctorate of Ministry Program. Additionally, she holds a diploma in Recording Arts Management, and is a Reiki Master. Vivianne honours her Indigenous ancestry, and is a drum maker and carrier. As a facilitator, Vivianne brings decades of experience working with the convergence of art and spirituality, noting the language of symbols and metaphors as an extremely powerful tool, that can open the portals toward healing and transformation. Her special skill set helps determine what lays beyond the image on the page, invoking a responsible conversation with your authentic self: your soul.
Register for Embracing Grief (five Saturdays)
Register for Embracing Grief (eight Tuesday evenings)
Thursday, October 25 
2:00 pm-4:00 pm @ Dollard Civic Centre, Room E-024
$10 / person

Spiritual Caregiving at the End of Life

Going Beyond Traditional Formulas

Many times, those of us who function as faith leaders in our respective communities are called to provide spiritual care to members of our community who are living their final days. Are the traditional formulas we have all learned within our respective faith traditions always the most helpful way to respond to someone who is living his or her last days? For some, perhaps, yes; for others, perhaps, not necessarily.

You are invited to attend a 2-hour workshop on this theme, the aim of which is to help all of us who provide End-of-Life Spiritual Care with more tools for our spiritual care toolkits. This workshop will be presented in a multi-faith context. We all have a lot of experience that we can share with each other - and which we can also learn from each other.

This workshop will be lead by:
Rev. Ian Smith
Minister - Ste-Geneviève United Church
Team Member - ORA Loss and Living Program
Spiritual Caregiver - Supportive Care Services, West Island Palliative Care Residence
Member - Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC)
Register for Spiritual Caregiving at End of Life

Please Help Spread the News!

If you are willing and able to distribute a few printed posters for upcoming events to friendly neighbourhood locations (libraries, community centres, shopping centres, churches, faith centres, etc.), please contact Judy or Donna ASAP! 

(Also, if you think these events might be helpful for friends, family members or colleagues, please feel free to forward or share this newsletter!)

New in the ORA Resource Library

Take Me With You
by Andrea Gibson

An unflinching, matter-of-fact—and yet hopeful—tone pervades this book of poetry about global crises, loss of relationships and living in a world that doesn't always behave kindly towards members of the LGBTQ2S community. Frequent reminders of shared humanity, forgiveness and humour season the short quips and anecdotes, bringing together a meaningful feast of words and ideas.
Imaginary Fred
by Eion Colfer and Oliver Jeffers

In this quirky story for children of all ages, Imaginary Fred must deal with the ongoing grief and loss of being forgotten and fading away each time a child who calls him into being moves on with life and forgets about him... until something —and someone— extraordinary comes into his world.
Collateral Beauty (DVD)
starring Will Smith

In this heart-wrenching and inspirational movie, a man has become an empty shell of his former self in the wake of tragic loss. Humour and hope—and a twist of mystery—help soften the very real struggle of a man moving through deep and life-changing grief.
Books in ORA Resource Library (sorted by title)
DVDs in ORA Resource Library (sorted by title)
To borrow books or DVDS from the ORA Resource Library,
please contact Judy or Donna

Community Grief Resource Guide

Experiencing grief and loss can cause a "perfect storm" of emotions and create issues which may require a deeper level of support, beyond the scope of ORA's mandate. A wide variety of support services are offered by other associations and organizations in our local community; please download the attached community network guide to learn more about other resources that may be helpful.
Download community grief resource guide

Inspiration / Reflection

TED Talk (video)

Candy Chang: Before I Die I Want To...

Click here to watch video

Interested in finding out more?

For information about upcoming events and new community partnerships and resources, you can follow us on Facebook, peruse our web page or subscribe to our newsletter. 

If you would like to schedule an event for your group or discuss ideas about new ways to share hope and live fully through loss and grief, please contact Judy Coffin (ORA Program Coordinator) at

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ORA Loss & Living Program is grateful for financial assistance received from the Good Samaritan Fund, Erskine American Fund, EDGE's Chasing the Spirit and Embracing the Spirit, as well as personal donations.
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Copyright © 2018 ORA Loss & Living Program / Programme Perte & Vivre, All rights reserved.

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