Quebec institute seminar focuses on families

Posted: 2020/05/29

Physical distancing restrictions have not prevented regional institute seminars from taking place, such as the one held in April by the training institute board of Quebec. Instead of cancelling the meeting, which was scheduled to take place in Victoriaville, Que. during the Easter long weekend, friends came together online to consult. This format allowed more participants than expected to join, including several friends residing in remote locations.

Most of the 20 participants, themselves parents of young children, are tutors working with groups of families. They gathered online for three mornings to share what they are learning about working with networks of families. Their reflections focused on the dynamics of an expanding nucleus of friends, as well as the power of the institute process to connect people with the Writings of the Faith and develop a love for prayer.

The participants reflected on the spiritual qualities that the House of Justice highlighted in its Naw Rúz message. This inspired one tutor to invite her Ruhi Book 3 study circle to reflect on these same qualities when they met online later that evening. The study circle participants then decided to explore these qualities with their children’s classes as well as with their own families.

Despite the difficulties brought on by the current crisis, the seminar participants identified many opportunities to strengthen bonds of friendship with those in their networks. They were inspired to contact friends in the afternoons to share prayers or to invite them to online devotional gatherings.

One participant called a friend in her neighbourhood with whom she had organized a children’s class that had paused due to physical distancing restrictions. The call led to a meaningful conversation about the effect of the pandemic on their families and their hopes for their children during this time. The two friends set up an online discussion for the parents of their children’s class to continue the conversation. This created a support system through which they can share their families’ activities, for example prayers their children sing.

To assist parents to participate in the seminar, an online program for children was organized during the consultations. A junior youth group took up the challenge of carrying out remote activities for the children. While we are all learning how to organize activities by video conference, the junior youth have set a fine example of creativity and courage in the face of the obstacles that must be overcome due to physical distancing.

– The training institute board of Quebec