Welcome to All Saints Church
We're drawing the circle wider!
"What's all that going on up there with the tents?"
"Oh, it's probably those All Saints people. They do stuff like
All Saints Anglican Church, located on the corner of King and
Queen Streets in downtown Hamilton is currently dergoing redevelopment of its
property and the community is temporarily relocated in Erskine Presbyterian
Church. Our services are at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons and always include a
celebration of the Eucharist. All are welcome.
All Saints has a long history
of commitment to social justice, advocacy, mental health and supporting those
who are marginalized in our city. Our mission to “Draw the
Circle Wide” includes extending God’s compassion and justice to our non-human
friends as well.
All Saints Mindfulness Programs
Now, the same eight-week programs that were pioneered at The University of Massachusettes Medical School and The University of California San Diego School of Medicine are available in downtown Hamilton!
The All Saints Centre for Mindfulness and Healing seeks to bridge the great wisdom traditions of the past with the emerging paradigm of mind-body medicine in ways that are incarnational, life giving and medically validated.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) are available as well as a number of second generation Mindfulness Based Interventions for young people and emerging adults.
The programs are fee based and support the ministry of All Saints. Tax receipts will only be issued for donations made that exceed the cost of the course. Your donation toward the scholarship fund makes the program available to those who otherwise might not be able to afford it.
A Wellness Ministry of All Saints Church
How do I know which course I should take?
Each course teaches a different skill set. MBSR helps people to become aware of what is happening in their body, anxiety triggers and thoughts that they might not otherwise be aware of but which often motivate mood and behavior. By helping participants to create some space to observe the self, they are able to develop insight and the capacity for change and to be less emotionally over-invested in their own thoughts and feelings. This can drastically reduce anxiety and a number of other stresses and physical ailments.
MSC, a very different skill set, also uses mindfulness meditation to bring awareness to what is happening internally but rather than helping the experiencer to disengage or otherwise detach from what is happening, they are taught to bring self-compassion to the experience of suffering using a range of tools and practices which are taught over the course of the program.
Whereas MBSR incorporates a significant amount of yoga and other somatic (body) movements, MSC incorporates a strong didactic (talking) component and uses few movements. All of these practices help participants to turn gently towards their own and other's experience of common humanity.
Why does All Saints Charge for this? Church should be free.
Like any other charitable organization, the church has expenses. We have to pay salaries, heat, electricity, rent/building maintenance and supplies. All Saints is a small, poor, urban parish and receives no outside funding. We are solely supported by parishioner donations as well as some small fundraising projects. The mindfulness programs must pay for themselves and it is reasonable that those most benefitting assume that cost. Course fees are charged at a competitive rate.
It's still too expensive.
It's a matter of priorities and only you can decide what those are. However compared to the cost of a gym membership, yoga classes, psychotherapy, or the latest electronic gadget, MBSR and MSC is a bargain. In the end, the decision to participate needs to be a thoughtful and well considered one. The programs are demanding three hour sessions with daily homework. If you are not prepared to do the work, you won't get anything out of it, no matter how much or how little you pay. When you do break down the costs, it works out to about $36 a session (which is 2.5-3 hours each). If you further divide the cost, it works out to about $12 an hour. Some people choose to pay in several installments, with a deposit and the other cheques post-dated, so that their fee is covered over the period of the program.
Can I just show up the day of the class? Can I bring a friend?
No. You must apply to the program and be accepted, as well as fill out an application and have an interview, usually over the phone, with the teacher. Fees must also be paid in full prior to the start of the first class. For these same reasons, you cannot simply bring a friend along unannounced the way you might to a church program. However, you may bring a friend who has gone through the application process and been accepted. These protocols are required because there are certain conditions where MBSR and MSC are contraindicated such as untreated PTSD. The phone interview is short and has the added benefit of helping to ensure you are in the right course for your needs.
Do the courses have religious content?
No. MBSR and MSC as well as many of the other MBIs (Mindfulness Based Interventions) are informed by Buddhism and Buddhist psychology. However, the courses are both secularized and medicalized, with components borrowed from evidence based therapies such as CBT. In other words they are free of religious content and appropriate for use in a clinical setting. For religious communities that wish to take a course that integrates religious practices or teachings, the courses are a natural segway into spirituality and can be accommodated.
No. This is a skills training course that takes place in a group setting. Although it is not therapy per say, for most participants the class is therapeutic (healing) in terms of outcomes. For some it is profoundly life changing. However, therapy is a process based on narrative, whereas MBSR, MSC and other MBIs are based on skills training and exploration of the immediate experience of the participants.
The Rev Ronda Ploughman, BA., M.Div. is Priest-in-Charge at All Saints Church. She trained in MBSR and MSC at the University of California San Diego School of Continuing Medical Eduation and is a Trained Teacher of MSC and member of the Centre for Self-Compassion and Mindful Hamilton. .
My workplace already offers mindfulness classes. What's the difference?
MBSR, MSC and other second generation MBIs are heavily researched and medically validated training protocols that are structured to assist people with issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, obsessive thinking, sleep problems, depression, panic disorder, shame, PTSD and a number of other issues that can seriously impair quality of life for some individuals. They are eight week long, intensive periods of training and exploration and include elements found in evidence based psychotherapies. All courses include a day or partial day retreat experience, usually held on a Saturday. The intensity and duration of the programs differ significantly from basic mindfulness training of the type one might find in an employee wellness course or community centre.
Do you offer shorter one day and half day mindfulness workshops and workshops designed for specific populations such as children or professional caregivers?
Yes. We have programs for younger children as well as emerging adults (those of college and university age) to help them deal with stress and anxiety. We also offer shorter workshops geared to specific populations such as professionals, cancer survivors, business people and others on request. Please contact the office for more information.