ORA NewsletterSeptember 2018
 "All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on."
- Havelock Ellis

Recent Events


ORA Leadership Circle workshop

A full-day workshop with friends, old and new, helped us explore diverse learning styles and personality types, learn more about different types of loss and grief and work together to envision ways that we can reach out and support those who are grieving in our midst (including ourselves). Many thanks for the wisdom and insights shared by all of our participants!

Upcoming Workshops

Tuesday evenings, October 23 to November 13
@ Ste. Genevieve United Church
$22.50/session for four Tuesday evenings (total of $90); includes art supplies

Embracing Grief

ORA will be partnering with The Art of Soul Care to offer a four-part Embracing Grief series of workshops, starting Tuesday evening, October 23rd at 7:00 pm at Ste. Genevieve United Church. The cost is $22.50 per session* (for a total of $90 for four sessions) to help cover the cost of art supplies and leadership. Eight different themes will be explored through meditation, creative art activities, group discussion and sharing on each theme.

Tuesdays (7:00 pm-9:30 pmSte. Genevieve United Church)
  • October 23
  • October 30
  • November 6
  • November 13 (6:00 to 9:30 pm) — includes potluck feast and art display
We only have space for a maximum of 12 participants, so be sure to register early!
*ORA Loss & Living tries to ensure that financial hardship will not be an obstacle to participation; please contact Judy Coffin ( for details.
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
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!

Sharing information about grief and loss workshops with friends, family and colleagues who may be experiencing challenges makes a real difference to the wider community that ORA Loss & Living Program was designed to serve. 

Please forward or share this newsletter!

New in the ORA Resource Library

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning
by Margareta Magnussen
(Reviewed by Fran Wright)

This charming, practical little book, written by a woman "aged between eighty and one hundred", gives experienced advice on 'decluttering'. Whether you're simply downsizing, moving into a smaller home or disposing of a loved one's belongings after a death, Ms Magnusson has some ideas you may find helpful. She writes easily with wit and grace, making a difficult task seem like fun!
On Living
by Kerry Egan
(Reviewed by Fran Wright)

A very moving little book written by a hospice chaplain who experienced her own 'brokenness' and learned that in helping others heal, she herself was healed. Although the author tells of her work with people who are dying, she calls her book "On Living" because the stories she tells of of strength, courage, caring, and compassion for ourselves and others reflect more of the joys of living rather than the pain of dying. I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
Cake (DVD)
starring Jennifer Aniston

A "darkly funny" tale, Cake walks us through one woman's disconcerting journey of chronic pain and traumatic loss, with her unconventional support systems offering a small sliver of light that might just lead her back to the edge of hope. 
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)

Jeremy Forbes: How to start a conversation about suicide

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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