Change Journeys at Holy Trinity


While working in healthcare, I attended at one-day workshop on change for chaplains. During the workshop, we discussed the book Guiding Change Journeys by Rebba Chan Allen and incorporated spirituality into its teachings. The memory of this workshop inspired me and led me to creating a workshop at Holy Trinity.

On Sunday March 17th, I facilitated a short workshop on change journeys at Holy Trinity Anglican Church. There were 30 participants including members from All Saints and St. Matthew’s. The workshop incorporated a tool from Guiding Change Journeys in which Chan describes 8 life steps organizations experience in the process of change. These steps were the focus of the workshop on Sunday.

Change workshops are important for any organization, but they are not there to provide a single answer. Rather, they are a way to begin conversation, discernment, and eventual action. Chan’s steps provide a language for understanding change and a launch point for discussion. These steps are Inertia, Call, Jump, Trials, Dissolution, Discovery, Integration, and Application.

Many churches, including Holy Trinity, are facing challenges as they experience change. These challenges include aging buildings, smaller aging congregations, fewer volunteers, and increased financial stressors which take away people’s energy. Workshop participants did not shy away from discussing these challenges, many of which centered around the decision at Holy Trinity’s February AGM to sell their church building. Participants are now ready to Jump into changes and finding that they need trust in God and community to pull them through.

Change can be exciting. It is an opportunity to reevaluate, to discover the gifts of community members, to reimagine new roles and possibilities. Change can also bring grief as people mourn the past. The past still plays a role in the present and can be utilized in new and different ways.

Overall, it is natural for organisations to start their processes of change from a place of inertia. Church Inertia is experienced historically. For example: urbanization meant that many rural churches had to close their doors. This also meant many urban Anglican churches became community centres. These centres provided sense of community through programs for children (girl guides, scouts, etc.) and adults sports and social gatherings. Therefore, the churches of Winnipeg are continuing on with seeking how to best meet the needs of this time.

Workshop participants found the exercise beneficial, and it was helpful to share their feelings and their ideas. I empha- sized that I would offer a second workshop at Holy Trinity which would review what was shared in the first meeting and explore the next steps in their change journey in detail.

I did hear from others who were disappointed they were unable to attend the first event. Therefore, I will offer another workshop at St John’s College on May 11th at 10:00 a.m. Cost is $15.00 and includes a brunch. For those interested, just save the date and a poster with registration details will be forthcoming.




The Rev. Helen Holbrook works half time as a chaplain at St John’s College and as an assistant Priest at Holy Trinity Anglican Church (interim until end of June). Helen has a Masters in Public Administration and Arts Theology. She has worked for over 20 years as a spiritual care provider at Riverview Health Center, Seven Oaks General Hospital (SOGHJ) where she was a manager, and at Marymound Treatment Centre.

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