Life is what happens when you've planned
something else.
- M Scott Peck

This page explores the twin areas of pastoral care and counselling.

By Tony Copple

I took the Ottawa Pastoral Care Course in 1994, and am a Pastoral Care Team member at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Kanata. The Ottawa course is excellent, and can be contacted through administrator Verna Nuttall, (613) 821-2744.

This means I am trained in the art of being a sympathetic listener, without feeling the need to offer solutions. Sometimes I wish these skills such as they are would more easily flow into the family environment. Men particularly feel that they must solve all problems that they become aware of, but women often just want a listener, not action.

We live in a continual competition: for jobs, for time, even for friends. Our frantic lives threaten to destroy the elements of happiness. Do you feel that you aren't as good as others, and you just weren't born with what it takes to "succeed"? Do you have an inferiority complex, or are you actually inferior in your current field - and haven't yet discovered your true vocation?

If you know someone in the Kanata area in need of a friendly ear, regardless of their church affiliations if any, I would do my best to help. I am also interested in giving long distance pastoral care over the Net.

In Kanata, Ruth Sword organises pastoral care in secondary schools, adding a Christian context in a field that has become secularized. On May 30, 2003, the Kanata Kourier-Standard reported on Rev David Sherwin's work at Sir Frederick Banting alternate school, an eye opener to me at least. Ruth can be reached at (613) 591-8698.

I have been a host for the Catholic Immigration Centre, which helps immigrant families adjust to life in Canada. Check it out; you may wish to volunteer in this rewarding field.



Since I married Laurie-Ann in June 1999, the counselling field has revealed itself to me in a far more comprehensive form. She is an M.Div. with a counselling major, and she is also a trained Christian prayer counsellor for individuals, couples and cross-cultural counselling. She is not trained in psychotherapy, family counselling, or disorders (eg eating disorders). Although Christian counselling within a church environment would be the natural place for her skills, she is not practising mainly because few people in the Ottawa area are prepared to pay for counselling services, and the cost of liability insurance is heavy.

Counselling is available in many fields, both Christian and secular, to help people optimize their potential, and recover from stressful experiences. The one can be considered preventative, or wellness oriented; the other is part of the recovery process.

Christian Counselling Ottawa has been in the forefront of this field for years. Laurie-Ann and I attended some individual pre-marital sessions with them in 1999. Their 0ffice is at 151 Holland Avenue, Suite 200, Ottawa, ON K1Y 0Y2, tel 613-729-8454, and they have locations in Westboro, Kanata and Gloucester. E-mail: ccointake(at),

Roger and Sheila Rayner (e-mail: host events for the Ottawa Prayer Counselling School. Prayer Counselling is thoroughly Christian, non-denominational, and the results are life-changing.

Isaiah 40 Foundation
A Venture in Christian Counselling
In major Canadian cities including Ottawa: (613) 591-3950. Montreal HQ. Founded by Vina Sweetman.

The Coaches Training Institute - CTI, specializes in helping people discover ways that they may be able to improve their performance in their vocation and any other aspect of their life, including spiritual.. Call Ottawa-based practitioner Vickie Townson, Lifes's New Chapter at 224-9259 for further information. Vickie is a long term friend and colleague and I have personally experienced benefits from her program that proved a turning point for me.



Encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Jesus' primary call to His disciples is seen in His words "Come to Me" (Matthew 11:28) and "Follow Me" (Matthew 4:19). Mark records: "He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons" (Mark 3:14, 15). Notice that Jesus' relationship with His disciples preceded His assignment to them. Discipleship is the intensely personal activity of two or more persons helping each other experience a growing relationship with God. Discipleship is being before doing, maturity before ministry, character before career.

Every Christian, including you, is both a disciple and a discipler in the context of his Christian relationships. You have the awesome privilege and responsibility both to be a teacher and a learner of what it means to be in Christ, walk in the spirit and live by faith. You may have a role in your family, church or Christian community which gives you specific responsibility for discipling others, such as husband/father, pastor, Sunday school teacher, discipleship group leader, etc. But even as an appointed discipler, you are never not a disciple who is learning and growing in Christ through your relationships. Conversely, you may not have an "official" responsibility to disciple anyone, but you are never not a discipler. You have the opportunity to help your children, your friend, and other believers grow in Christ through your caring and committed relationship with them.

Similarly, every Christian is both a counsellor and counsellee in the context of his Christian relationships. A good counsellor should be a good discipler, and a good discipler should be a good counsellor. Biblically, they are the same role. Your level of maturity may dictate that you do a lot of Christian counselling. But there will still be times when you need to seek or receive the counsel of other Christians. There will never be a day when we don't need each other.

Father, help me remember that I will never be so mature that I need not receive godly counsel from my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Taken from:
Neil Anderson Daily Devotional
from Freedom in Christ Ministries

Below are links to relevant internet resources.

Christian Counselling Ottawa, 613-729-8454
Home Based Spiritual Care, 613-789-8165
Graceworks - Christian counselling ministry - Roger Moyer
Community Resource Centre of Goulbourn & Kanata
The Navigators
Lifes's New Chapter - Vickie Townson, Ottawa: call 613-224-9259 (see above)
Evangelists, and Mission
How the Spirit tends to the Body
Marriage counselling - my own experience
One Parent Family Association
Ottawa Prayer Counselling School - Roger and Sheila rayner
Rideauwood Addiction & Family Services - tel 724 4881 (Ottawa)
Leanne Payne
Prayer Page
Stephen Ministry
Stories of the human, and Holy, Spirit