September 2022 Newsletter

Helping You Manage Life’s Challenges

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

Thanksgiving, just around the corner, is a time to remember and celebrate the harvest and the many blessings that we have. And no matter how difficult things have been in our circumstances, especially during the past two years, there is always much to be thankful for, recognizing that the giver of gifts, small and large, is our heavenly Father. At CCO we are thankful for faithful therapists, for our dedicated staff, and for the team of directors who are servants working to enact the mission of Jesus to heal the broken, to feed his lambs and to bring hope to the despairing. We are thankful for you, our supporters, who make it possible for us to provide counselling for those who could not otherwise afford the cost. We continue to provide subsidized fees, based on a sliding scale, to make getting help accessible for all. This is our ministry at CCO. 

We are thankful that God is a constant.  He does not shift like shadows, and we firmly believe that He will continue to provide for our needs as we move forward. Will you be part of His plan to provide for CCO financially or through prayer support? Will you respond to His invitation to help us meet the needs of our clients? Each and every gift, no matter how big or small, is a blessing that can bring relief and hope to an individual, couple or family looking to improve their situation in challenging times. We are very grateful for each gift and all your prayers. 

  • Become a monthly partner.  Being a monthly partner with us helps us to plan more efficiently and ultimately impacts more people.  
  • Help us spread the word! Share this letter with your friends and family or share our posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Sue Skinner, Vice Chair

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

by Rev. Dan Guther

In Luke’s account of the Lord’s Prayer (Lk 11:1-4) we find the disciples, after seeing Jesus praying, asking him to teach them how to pray. If we are honest, most of us have asked this same question somewhere along our journey with Christ. Even now in my walk with Jesus I would like to learn how to pray more effectively and understand more deeply how prayer actually works.

Jesus gives them a model prayer which is still used today by many believers. At times I have used it in my own devotions but I usually follow the ACTS prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. The question still remains, what is prayer and why pray at all?

The word Luke uses in verse one “denotes prayer comprehensively,”1 meaning more generally than prayer that is directed, such as petitions, intercessions (I Tim. 2:1) or specifically asking for something (Lk 1:13). “It is understood as a regular habit”2 as Jesus was doing when his disciples asked him to teach them how to pray. The habit of prayer is not, and should not be a ritual. As Jesus explains in Luke 1: 5-13, prayer is trusting in the goodness and providence of God to take care of us and provide for our needs. It is in our own relationship as children of God, by asking in faith, that God will grant what is good for us and establish the kingdom of God.

 Practically, Jesus had a regular time, place and way of praying. Prayer does not just happen; we must make it a priority as Jesus did. I know in my life other things crowd out my time if I do not make it of greatest importance. It has been my habit for the past 30 years of ministry to pray every morning before I do anything else.

A final thought about this word. It can be used to mean “a place of prayer”3 as in Acts 16:13 when the Apostle Paul met Lydia by the river (probably in a synagogue) at Philippi. Prayer is not only an individual experience, it is a corporate ministry that we are called to do together. This was a regular habit of both Jesus and Paul as they worshiped with other believers. Participation in a local congregation praying together is not only encouraging to those praying, but also a powerful testimony when we see our prayers answered.

The ministry of CCO needs our prayers individually and corporately. Please make it a habit to pray for the clients, staff, and board members on a regular basis as this ministry impacts our city and beyond.

1 Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Kittel, Gerhard, Editor. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. pg. 807

2 Ibid. 807.

3 Ibid. 808.

Prayer Partners:  If you would like to partner with us to pray for CCO, our Prayer Team will send you monthly emails with specific prayer requests. Connect with us at


By Megann Wall

The decision to limit sugar intake – or possibly remove it completely – in a person’s diet began years ago. And this was not without cause: high sugar consumption is publicly known to be connected to dangerous side effects, such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and inflammation. All these, as we know, can lead to cardiovascular diseases.  Maybe you have been limiting your sugar intake for health reasons, or to lose weight, or to support a loved one who has had a health scare. While being aware that one’s sugar intake is not bad or wrong in and of itself, there are consequences of restrictive dieting that are not talked about enough.

Most diet changes are well-intentioned, but the truth is that the body is not wired for change of habit, and the self control to maintain that change can oftentimes be draining. Not only is it wearing but labeling certain foods as “bad” encourages restrictive eating which has been linked to induce food cravings (Pelchat and Schaeffer, 2000), mood disturbances (Timkho and Perone, 2005), and increased binge eating (Linardon and Mitchell, 2017), among other disordered eating activities. Regrettably, it appears that rigidity in meal planning and having an ‘all-or-nothing’ attitude is destined for a cycle of collapse and can cause more emotional and physical harm than good.

However, there is hope.

As in most areas of life, psychology plays an immense role in our relationship with food. When we label food as “good” or “bad”, we are giving it morality – which clearly, it cannot have. But when we view food as “more nutritious” or “less nutritious”, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to fuel our body, while still allowing ourselves to occasionally eat a bowl of ice cream or an extra sweet latte.

We read throughout the Bible that God “formed us in our mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13) and that “we are his workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10). He created our every detail and wants us to worship Him wholeheartedly with each of those details. This includes the way we view ourselves. We are told from a young age to love others as we love ourselves, though we would never tell another person, “Don’t eat that, it’s not good for you”, or “I can’t believe you had another chocolate bar today, you’re such a failure”. Why then would we say this to ourselves? When we are more mindful about what we are eating, we give ourselves the permission and the freedom to make the decision to eat what we want to, when we want to – whether it be a healthy quinoa salad or a croissant from the local bakery – rather than reaching mindlessly for the first thing in the cabinet. We give ourselves the opportunity to be aware of the nutrients we are fueling our body with as well as the chance to enjoy the treats we’re indulging in.

All this of course is not to say eat all the treats your sweet-tooth desires. Instead, when faced with a decision of what – or if – to have a snack or a slice of the birthday cake, take a moment and be mindful of what present state you are in.

Why am I reaching for this food?

Will it make me feel better physically? Emotionally?

Is food the best remedy for what I am feeling?

Can I slow down and enjoy this treat to appreciate the taste, smell, and texture of it?

Does this food align with my current health goals? By eating this, am I improving my relationship with food?

Keep in mind, no matter what the answer is, you have permission to eat it. All food serves a purpose. Changing your mindset on food can rewire your attitude towards health. You have the power to make the right health choices, and health includes your relationship with food. God created us beautifully and wants us to make good decisions, but sometimes enjoying chocolate fondue with friends, free of guilt, is the best decision.

 Psalm 139:14-16 

You know me inside and out,

    you know every bone in my body;

You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,

    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;

    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,

The days of my life all prepared

    before I’d even lived one day.

Book Review

by Sue Skinner

I’ll Start Again Monday

This book by Lysa TerKeurst is for all of us who have unsuccessfully tried one diet after the other to break our cycle of unhealthy eating patterns. When we blow it, yet once again, we promise ourselves that we will start again next week. Lysa’s insights come from personal struggles and wisdom she has gained.

Unlike other dieting books, this book is not about counting calories nor does it offer recipes for healthy eating. It is a call to grow deeper in our relationship with Christ, and an invitation to allow the Holy Spirit to help us develop self discipline in all areas of our life, including what we eat. Lysa tells us that “God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we redirect our misguided cravings to the only one capable of satisfying them.”

Being a condensed version of TerKeurst’s book, “Made to Crave,” this small book (literally) is humorous, easy to read and could be devoured in a single afternoon. But that would be missing the point. This book is intended to be savoured slowly, chapter by chapter, inviting you to reflect on the insights and scriptures that are shared to feed our malnourished souls. Scriptures are power in times of need and help us to experience true freedom, when we are victorious in dealing with temptations and anything that becomes an idol in our lives.

Even if you don’t have an issue with your weight, this book can provide insight into developing self discipline in a pursuit of holiness to follow Jesus. 


People to serve on the Board of Directors. If you have time, expertise and sense God leading you to serve in this role, please contact Rosanne at

Executive Director. Do you enjoy meeting new people, sharing the story of vision and mission, and building relationships with new donors? We are looking for someone to lead our charity. Visit our website to find out more, including a job description.

Christian Counselling Ottawa

63 Glencoe St #303, Ottawa, ON K2H 8S5

June 2022 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As we head into June and the summer months, the board and staff at CCO would like to thank each of you. Your continued support and prayers for Christian Counselling Ottawa is greatly appreciated. God has been good to us at CCO – He has provided continual funds to help those that come to us seeking help to manage their circumstances and he has provided new therapists.  

CCO’s mission is to serve God and our community by providing counselling and psychotherapy in order to effectively help people manage life’s challenges. CCO has been doing this important work for 44 years and is committed to continue this service.  We hope you will partner with us as we face today’s mental health needs in our community!  

Each dollar provides us with the means to help a person know they are cared for and not alone. The funds you provide will support our work with couples so that marriages and families are given hope in these trying times. Each session that you support means someone can be guided to reduce their anxiety and depression. Your financial help means a person, a couple, a family and a group with mental health concerns have help  that otherwise would not be available without this important ministry. 

  • Become a monthly partner.  Being a monthly partner with us helps us to plan more efficiently and ultimately impacts more people.  
  • Help us spread the word! Share this letter with your friends and family or share our posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 


Thank you for helping us reach our goal to raise $1500 for our first virtual silent auction held from May 9-May 18. Twenty items were auctioned off, including a day with a local artist, paintings, theater tickets, and baking, to name only a few. A tremendous thank you to all who donated items and services, to all participants who checked it out, and to those who won something to take home. If you missed out this time around, stay tuned. We plan on doing it again!

Jacob Moon and his band


On May 7, friends of CCO were treated to a live concert by the Canadian, award winning singer/songwriter and incredibly talented guitarist, Jacob Moon. Accompanied by Jake (keyboards) and Sarah (vocals), Jacob performed songs from his newest album, Under a Setting Sun, as well as others from his large repertoire of music. Jacob shared stories of personal struggles and how God has acted faithfully in his, and the life of his family, touching the hearts of the audience. We appreciate all of you who came to support this fundraising effort, and thanks to Arlington Woods for graciously hosting.

Jacob Moon performs at May 7 fundraiser

TRIBUTE TO ROGER MOYER by Elizabeth Reynolds

 Roger C. Moyer  

Founder, Counsellor, Mentor, Humble Servant of God  

On March 20, 2022 God called Roger Moyer home after a lifetime of service. He was in his eighty-ninth year. The sad news is that CCO lost both of our founders within seven months. The comforting news is that they were not long parted. 

Roger, as founder of CCO served as Executive Director and Clinical Director from CCO’s founding in 1978 until his retirement from official leadership in 2000, at which time he focused on offering psychotherapy until well into his eighties. I say “official leadership”  because Roger continued to be a leader in how he lived. He was a safe place to land: to seek  wisdom, reflection, encouragement, and humour to the very end. He was a friend to all, a  counsellor to hundreds, and he was my friend and mentor. 

If I were to use one word to describe Roger Moyer it would be the word “humility.” I don’t  remember Roger talking about humility- he lived it. He exemplified humility more than anyone  I have known. He was gifted and talented; intelligent, sharp, and quick witted; but I never saw  him use any of his abilities to promote himself. It was always to promote and encourage  others. Even as I write I am struck by how easy it is to say this without any reservation. It is  indeed rare. He didn’t seek to become famous or great, he humbly served for the good of  others in the Kingdom of God. He had a habit in his life of stepping down to serve and make room for others. After he stepped down as Executive Director and Clinical Director, CCO went  through some changes that eventually led to me becoming Clinical Director. I spoke to Roger  about how uncomfortable I was supervising his work and expressed empathy for how he must  be feeling. His response was, “Not at all. It’s as it should be. The student has become the  teacher of the teacher.” He meant it. This was who Roger was! To be clear, Roger didn’t need  my supervision, but I continued to value his mentoring. 

Over the years I enjoyed some very special moments of speculating with Roger about what  heaven must be like. His creative mind was able to imagine so much better than mine the  wonders of heaven. Memories of these talks play over in my mind now as I imagine him enjoying, no longer speculating about, but experiencing the reality of heaven. I imagine the  greeting he received from his Lord, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Then I see the  wonders of heaven and the presence of God opening to him, and I find myself whispering,  “Until we meet again dear brother to enjoy together what God has prepared for his children.”  In the meantime, we have work to do. May Christian Counselling Ottawa and all who support  this agency, the ministry that Roger and Diane founded, led, and poured their energies into, continue faithful to the mission and calling of the One who called us to this ministry.


FAREWELL ELIZABETH!  By Heather Fawcett  

It is with mixed feelings that I write a tribute and farewell to Elizabeth. In it there is a mix of joy and pleasure that she will have time to putter about, breathe in the fresh sea air and indulge in a more leisurely lifestyle. I can picture her digging and planting on her terrace, arranging her plants so they erupt in a riot of colour or sitting outside on a sunny morning while sipping her coffee. Elizabeth will live close to her sister for the first time in many years and can pop over for a visit whenever the whim arises. Thinking about her new life evokes a smile of delight.

Of course, all of us at CCO also feel sorrow at having to say farewell to our colleague and mentor. Since her early days as a volunteer and throughout her many years as a psychotherapist, Elizabeth gained an immense amount of experience and wisdom, which she unstintingly shared whenever called upon. I cannot count the number of times I popped my head into her office to talk through a particularly heavy session or to seek her advice on how to approach a challenging issue. She served as a mentor to many of us. Indeed, her lasting legacy will reveal itself in many a future client session.

More than anything, I will recall our chats about ancestry (she can trace hers from Robert the Bruce!), World War II, her beloved dog, Kip, family, travels and theology. I would look up from my desk and there she’d be, standing in the doorway, taking the time to ask how I was and what was going on in my world. She did that with all of us, giving not only of her wisdom, but also of herself. We will miss her laugh and her ready smile, both of which lifted our spirits and caused us to smile and laugh in turn.

Now Elizabeth gets to reap the rewards of her many years of dedicated service. More likely than not, she will shy away from words of praise or gratitude because that’s how she is. Nonetheless, here they are for all to see because I know this one thing: everyone who ever worked with Elizabeth, those of us privileged enough to know her, will agree with everything written here and add their own warm memories.

So, go and enjoy your new life, Elizabeth! May you have adventures galore, a bucketful of laughs, fun with family and friends, and a warm place to call home. We wish and pray that your future holds all that is good!

BOOK REVIEW by Krista Heath

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer

Dallas Willard once said, “Hurry is the greatest enemy of spiritual life in our day.” Hurry kills relationships, kills joy, kills gratitude, appreciation and kills wisdom.  If you want to experience the life of Jesus Christ, the peace, joy, authority, identity purpose and calling, you need to adopt the lifestyle of Jesus Christ, and the simplicity, silence, rest and slowness of it.

This book encourages us to take up the easy yoke of Jesus – to walk at his pace, which FYI isn’t frantic or frenetic or so over-scheduled there is no room for rest, interruptions or connection with God.  Jesus prioritized those things and it’s completely doable for us too. The book creates a hope, a hunger and a vision for a beautiful, abundant life with our Saviour.  That’s what Jesus wants for each of us when He said “Come, follow me.”

Side note: book is excellent as is the podcast with John Mark and Jefferson Bethke “Fight Hustle, End Hurry”.


Throughout the year, CCO provides placement spaces for Masters level students who are in training to become therapists. Upon completion of their placement, many interns have chosen to stay with us as qualified therapists. We welcomed Amanda to the team in February, John Paul in April, and Heidi in June. We love that you have decided to continue helping others through CCO. May God bless you in the ministry of healing to which He has called you. 


People to serve on the Board of Directors. If you have time, expertise and sense God leading you to serve in this role, please contact Rosanne at

Prayer Partners.  If you would like to partner with us to pray for CCO, our Prayer Team will send you monthly emails with specific prayer requests. Connect with us at

Registered Psychologist.  If you, or someone you know, would be interested in providing supervision and mentoring to our team, we’d love to hear from you.

Executive Director. Do you enjoy meeting new people, sharing the story of vision and mission, and building relationships with new donors? We are looking for someone to lead our charity. Visit our website to find out more, including a job description.

March 2022 Newsletter

 One of the first signs of spring is the crocus. I find it amazing that even through the last remaining snow, a crocus is able to push its way through, proclaiming that spring and warmer temperatures are on their way. We, like the crocus, are coming out of a cold winter, and for many a time of darkness. With the lockdowns and restrictions due to COVID-19, the shorter days of winter, and the struggles that people are dealing with, many of us are ready for a warm and uplifting change. Crocuses are resilient, and so is the human spirit.  We have made it this far and will continue to bloom in the days to come. With the help of family, friends, churches and professionals, we have supported one another to make it through these difficult times. The days are getting longer and spring is on its way! May God help you to be uplifted as you give thanks to Him for all He has provided for you.

By Sue Skinner – Vice Chair of the Board


After great success last year, CCO is once again offering an online support group for teens (12-14 yr, 15-17 yr). Facilitated by CRPO registered psychotherapists and interns specializing in youth therapy, these sessions run for ten weeks on Thursday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. starting on April 21. 

The goal is to provide a safe space for young people in our region to participate in group counselling tailored to their physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual needs; to access support, share experiences, remove isolation, and create connections with peers who are facing similar challenges. In essence, to know that they are not alone! This group will help address the unique pressures of the pandemic on youth mental health. Participants will explore skills and strategies to foster wellness into the future.

Apply online to register at  Spaces are limited. 

CCO is seeking a new EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR to lead the organization in 2022. Do you enjoy meeting with new people, sharing the story of a vision and mission and building relationships with new donors? Do you have experience in leading a charity? Come work with us! For more information, including the job description, please click here


Karen Dunphy joined the staff of CCO in the Fall of 2019 as our Intake Coordinator.  Over the two years since then, her title has changed to Client Care Coordinator as the role expanded in scope and hours.  Karen is our frontline, welcoming new clients and setting up their accounts. Karen has a deep love for Jesus and for those who come to CCO looking for assistance.  Her sense of fun-loving humour can often be heard throughout conversations revealing her Newfoundland roots and putting people at ease.

Accidentally Employed!    By Karen Dunphy  

Gosh! Where do I start? I came to Ottawa 25+ years ago from Newfoundland. I planned to finish my Graduate Degree then head back to the rock to work in the family business. Instead I worked for 2 decades in what my dad always called ‘Corporate America’. In 2012, a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis led to an early retirement. I am very blessed that my MS symptoms are well in check and I feel great, other than the usual problems for a 50 year-old! I decided to retire because MS is a bit of a question mark and I wanted to get away from a 60 hour week and plunge into doing the things that bring me joy!

I kind of fell head-first into my second ‘career’ at Christian Counselling Ottawa. A close friend from my church,  who works for CCO,  asked me in October of 2019 whether I’d be interested in covering for someone going on maternity leave. My plan was to help out for the year then go back to being happily retired. It hasn’t turned out that way! I have been here ever since and now occupy the role of Client Care Coordinator. It is a privilege for me to be the front line for so many of our clients and partners. I love to speak to our clients and the team I work with is incredible. It brings me joy to have Jesus at the heart of everything we do and I have been given so many opportunities to share my faith with clients and our partners.

I joke that I am still mostly retired. I work at CCO part time which leaves me plenty of opportunities to pursue other things I love. I volunteer in a number of different roles at my church and as an Adoption Coordinator for a local dog rescue. This brings me to my other obsession- animals. I am very active in the animal rescue community and I am the proud mom to 2 one-eyed rescue cats, Betty and Rudy. They are affectionately known as foster-fails. I was supposed to just have them for a few weeks but I couldn’t give them up! The final four-legged member of the family is Clementine. Clem is a 2 year old Potcake (which is a fancy name for mutt). She is a former street dog rescued in Barbados and brought to Canada for a new life. When I am on Zoom meetings with my teammates from CCO, at least one of my ‘pack’ usually makes their presence known!

I am so grateful for God having brought this amazing organization into my life.  Being able to hear and see firsthand the difference we make in the lives of our clients is such a blessing. At the end of every workday I know that I have made a positive impact on someone’s life. That certainly didn’t happen in my previous work life. Retired or not, I can’t imagine ever leaving CCO. 

Join us Saturday, May 7 at 7pm for an evening of music with Jacob Moon.  Jacob will be sharing old and new music as well as sharing his heart for mental health.  Come and hear music from his new album – Under the Setting Sun – at Arlington Woods Free Methodist (225 McClellan Rd, Nepean, ON).  Tickets will be bought at

BOOK REVIEW by Rosanne Wall

 There is so much in our lives and environments that can make us feel overwhelmed and helpless, making us feel incapable of changing things.  The average person has over 30 000 thoughts a day which can lead to confusion and chaos in our minds.  

Jennie Allen encourages us in her book “Get Out Of Your Head” to take each of our thoughts captive to the things of God (2 Corinthians 10:5).  As Jennie Allen will tell us in this book, how we think shapes how we live.  The way we think is linked to our emotions.  Our emotions are linked to our thoughts which are linked to our behaviours and then to our relationships.

To change our outlook we need to change our thought-life.  We need to believe that we do have a choice – a choice to believe what God says about who we are and that His Word is true.  We can choose to interrupt the confusion and chaos of our minds through the perspective of the  truth of God.  We have a choice to focus on Jesus.  As we focus on Jesus and choose to believe Him then our emotions, thought-life, behaviours and relationships will also change. 

This is an excellent book to get yourself started on the path to taking your thoughts captive to the truth that we have in Jesus.  It is a journey. But, this is a book that will help get you into the habit of being a critic of your own thoughts and the way they can spiral out of control.  With God, you  can take charge of your mind so that you can turn that spiral from downward to upward.  

  •  CCO believes that God cares about your mental health and can use a variety of methods in your healing – psychotherapy, Christian principles, medical intervention taken under the advice of a medical professional. 


The mental health crisis that has become associated with the pandemic has increased the need for psychotherapy.  CCO seeks to assist all those who come to us regardless of finances, by offering subsidies to those in need.  Over the last two years, Covid has put a strain on our ability to do this.  Please consider making a donation to allow us to continue helping others.  

To make your donation click here

Are you wondering how you can give  your time, expertise and talents back to the community?  We are looking for people interested in serving on the Board of Directors. If interested, please contact Rosanne at

CCO believes strongly in the power of people praying together to accomplish God’s purposes. If you would like to partner with us to pray for CCO, our Prayer Team will send you monthly emails with specific prayer requests. Connect with us at

We are looking for a Registered Psychologist who is willing to provide supervision for our therapists.  If you, or someone you know, might be interested in this supervisory role, we’d love to hear from you.

Christian Counselling Ottawa

63 Glencoe St #303, Ottawa, ON K2H 8S5

December 2021 Newsletter

It is hard to believe that it is already December and CCO is starting its Christmas campaign.  2021 has been a busy and blessed year (check out our highlights of 2021 below).  A huge thank you to all our ministry partners  – we could not have accomplished as much without your prayers and donations.  You have been a blessing! 

 However, like most people have experienced,  2021 was not without difficulties – we have a long waiting list and due to Covid-19 we were not able to hold in-person fundraisers. This has put a strain on our financial resources, limiting our ability to offer subsidies and to see clients on the waiting list in a more timely manner.

Please help us finish 2021 well! 
Help us reach our fundraising goal of $10 000

  • Give the gift of mental health by making a donation today

  • Reach out to a business partner, colleague or friend and ask if they would be willing to support us

  • Need a Christmas gift for someone who has everything? Consider making a donation in their name

  • Pledge to become a monthly donor

  • Share our posts on social media with your circle of friends

  • Continue to support us in prayer 

We are looking forward to all that God has in store for us in 2022.  Merry Christmas from the Board and Staff at CCO!

Rosanne Wall, Chair

CCO Highlights of 2021

  • God is transforming lives, relationships, families as they get counselling and therapy through our compassionate and dedicated staff. People are experiencing the difference Jesus can make in their lives.
  • Our therapists have helped people in over 4300 sessions in 2021 alone. This marked increase from previous year gives evidence to the growing need for mental health support as a result of the pandemic and other life challenges. 
  • At a one-day prayer retreat in June, the board of directors clearly heard from God to trust Him, to continue to heal the broken, and to make prayer a priority.
  • We have developed a team of prayer partners who pray regularly for CCO.
  • We increased our staff, hiring Karen Duval as Client Care Coordinator, and Kerri Guther as Business Director and increased our team of therapists to better meet the needs of our growing practice.
  • We have benefited from a team of interns from Tyndale, St. Paul, Liberty and Yorkville who help us substantially in caring for clients, and who also benefit themselves from training and supervision from CCO. Amy, upon completing her internship, is now a staff member with us. Lori, who was an intern in 2020, returned to join the team.
  • Therapists and office staff have successfully adapted to an entirely new way of working. We continue to see some clients safely in person, in the office.
  • We implemented a new website format and had a promotional video made.
  • Despite decreased fundraising and fewer donations in 2021, God provided the means for us to subsidize over 700 sessions this year for those who would not have otherwise  received the help they needed.

Navigating the Stress of the Holiday Season

By Jennifer LeBlanc

‘Tis the season to be… stressed? That’s not how it’s supposed to go! But most of us do experience stress of some sort as Christmas approaches. For some, it is an endless “to do” list of preparations and activities, and for others, the weight of wondering how to cope with challenging family dynamics throughout the season. Still others carry financial stress and the heaviness of not being able to afford the Christmas they would like. And for many, the holiday season is a time of loneliness and grief or remembering better times. The list goes on, leaving us wondering how we can navigate the seemingly inevitable stress of the season. 

Here are four quick steps to consider practicing this coming month, or during any time of stress.

First, let yourself STOP and NOTICE your stress. How do you know when you are getting stressed – what are your “red flags”? Maybe you engage in some unhealthy behaviours, or are quick tempered with everyone around you. Maybe you just can’t get your mind to slow down, or feel so overwhelmed you don’t even know where to start. Or maybe it’s a literal pain in the neck that just won’t go away. Take a minute now to write down a few changes you notice in your emotions, your thought patterns, your behaviours, your daily habits, or your physical body that indicate rising stress levels.

This next one is easy. BREATHE. We hear it all the time, but it can seem so hard to actually put into practice. Take 1-2 minutes to pay attention to your breath – breathing in through your nose to the count of 4, holding for the count of 4, and breathing out through your mouth to a count of 8. Count at a pace that is comfortable for you. As you do the exercise, notice your lungs filling with air and your belly expanding as you breathe in, and notice the tension leaving your body as you exhale. While this can seem overly simplistic, physiologically this deep breathing sends a critical message to your brain that it’s OK to slow down and step away from a place of stress.

Once you are feeling a bit calmer, ASK yourself, “What do I actually need right now, in this moment?” There is an endless list of possible answers to that question, and it might change from day to day, from one stress to another. Start with physical needs – do you need to take a nap, drink some water, eat a nutritious snack, have a cup of tea, go for a walk outside, do some gentle stretching, take a warm bath or shower, do more deep breathing, etc… ? Then consider your emotional and spiritual needs – maybe you want to spend time in prayer with God, reach out to a friend, meditate on a Scripture, say no to a task, get a hug, listen to worship music, ask for help, snuggle with a pet, etc… Challenge yourself to check in regularly with your physical, spiritual and emotional needs through any season of stress, and make self-care a priority.

The final step is arguably the most important – REFOCUS on Jesus. In the busyness or emotional charge of the season, too often we lose sight of the Prince of Peace, Immanuel – God with us. Jesus brings peace and His presence into a sometimes painful and chaotic world. He will meet us in our Christmas stress – whatever it looks like. We just need to remember to look for Him. During Jesus’ ministry, life got very busy and emotionally overwhelming for His disciples. He noticed their stress and fatigue and invited them to “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31, NIV). While that rest is sometimes short-lived, it is always valuable and restorative. Jesus’ invitation to His disciples applies to us even today. So challenge yourself to find a way this season to build in a daily practice of turning your attention back to Jesus; to the peace and presence He brings to your life. Allow yourself to enter a quiet space to rest with Him, and to notice His presence even as you walk through whatever stress arises as you prepare to celebrate His birth.  

So let’s start again – ‘Tis the season to be jolly! Jesus gives us a reason to have joy in spite of our circumstances. We just need to stop, breathe, and quiet ourselves enough to hear His call to receive His peace and to rest with Him. 

 “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3 (NLT).


Why am I Still Here?

by Alexander (Sandy) Davidson

Over the years, a number of my friends have told me how they benefited from the counselling they received at Christian Counselling Ottawa. I became an invited guest at board meetings some 15 years ago and am happy to say that I am still here.

So why am I still helping CCO? In my role, I contribute to board discussions by drawing on my legal background and experience with the charitable community. I spent over 33 years as a federal Department of Justice lawyer helping the Canada Revenue Agency develop policies regulating charities. I know how significant the charitable sector is to the community, especially to those who are vulnerable. In retirement, I am able to draw on my knowledge of a number of statutory and common law rules that govern charities like CCO, and I eagerly collaborate with highly-skilled board members and employees who have diverse and interesting backgrounds.

I have seen CCO grow over the years under strong leadership. But the real strength of CCO is its office staff and psychotherapists. CCO’s committed psychotherapists all have really solid counselling credentials. Each of the therapists is a registered psychotherapist or has qualifying status with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), holds a Masters Degree in counselling and has membership in a professional association of psychotherapists. And their commitment stands out! They see CCO as a ministry, serving God and the community, rather than merely a job.

The various therapists specialize in different needs, but collectively are able to offer a wide range of support to clients struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, isolation and loneliness, sexual and pornography addictions, family issues, emotional trauma, and other life challenges. The therapists serve the entire community, from any or no religious background, but have a particular awareness of the challenges facing those called to church leadership, including pastors and their families.

I have been amazed how the therapists have helped clients find peace and hope during the incredibly difficult time we are all experiencing as a result of the pandemic. CCO still offers in-person appointments, but has pivoted to online counselling using safe and convenient (and expensive!) software. I find it hard to fathom how it can work so well, given my experiences with technology (“You’re muted, Sandy.  No, we still can’t hear you.”)  But the growing number of very satisfied clients attest that the therapists have made a remarkable difference in a lot of people’s lives despite the current challenges. 

If I can continue to make a difference in the life of this dynamic organization and ministry, I am here to stay for a while. 


Are you wondering how you can give  your time, expertise and talents back to the community?  We are looking for people interested in serving on the Board of Directors. If interested, please contact Rosanne at

CCO believes strongly in the power of people praying together to accomplish God’s purposes. If you would like to partner with us to pray for CCO, our Prayer Team will send you monthly emails with specific prayer requests. Connect with us at

We are looking to hire new Therapists, especially those qualified to see couples and or children. If you, or someone you know is a qualified psychotherapist and a member of CRPO, we’d love to hear from you.

October Newsletter


OCT 3-10, 2021

Each autumn Canada marks Mental Illness Awareness Week.  This year’s national campaign theme,  from Oct 3-9th, is “There is no health without mental health.” At Christian Counselling Ottawa  we couldn’t agree more! At CCO, we see how supporting the mental health needs of our clients directly impacts their overall health, as well as that of their families and community.

Over the past eighteen months, many people have been experiencing stress and poor mental health due to fear and uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the reality that many of us are experiencing mental health problems, lack of awareness and stigma keep us alone and fearful of seeking help for ourselves or those dear to us. Cost can also make it difficult for many seeking mental health support to access those services.

At CCO, we aim to make it possible for all people to access our counselling services by offering subsidies. This year alone, CCO has been able to subsidize over 500 client sessions. This is only possible through the generosity of individual donors and partner churches.

On behalf of the board and staff at CCO, thank you to our supporters; those who pray for us as well as those who support us financially.  You are truly the backbone of CCO – we could not do what we do without you.

However, as the need for counselling continues to grow, so does our need for financial resources. Our Fall Fundraising Campaign kicks off October 3 and runs through October 10 but you can give anytime. Please consider donating today. Your financial gift will not only impact someone’s life, but also their family and the community.

To make your donation click here

Rosanne Wall, Chair

Remembering a Life of Service
Diane Moyer 1936-2021

By Elizabeth Reynolds

An inviting smile, a caring presence, a warm hug.  That is what many think of when they remember Diane Moyer.  To those in the early years of CCO, that is what greeted you when you walked into the old waiting room on Eddison Avenue.  Many who came to CCO for help were made to feel more at ease and cared for by their encounters with Diane. Together she and Roger founded this agency; together they sacrificed for, served, and nurtured the many who came through the doors.  That included the staff as well as clients.  Roger counselled, and directed the business of the agency, while Diane served as receptionist and front-line worker, checking on how we as counsellors were doing, what we were struggling with, praying for us, and showing her love in very practical ways.  I always knew that when I came out of a challenging session, Diane’s warmth and encouragement was on the other side.  What she offered us was friendship, real, genuine friendship, which occasionally included a meal in their home.

When I first came to work at CCO there was no guaranteed pay.  If the money was there- you got paid.  Sometimes I was paid a few days late.  What we didn’t realize was that Diane and Roger sometimes got paid less or went much longer before being paid.  We didn’t realize it, because they never spoke of it.  They quietly waited on the Lord to provide.  While they waited, they continued to serve and encourage.

 When Diane retired in 2000 her absence was felt.  She was missed.  I missed her, but she continued to be a friend to the very end.  I spoke with her a couple of weeks before she passed away.  True to form, she was concerned about me and my family.  She made humour of all that she was dealing with, while showing genuine concern for me.  Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them… It shall not be so among you.  But whoever would be great among you must be your servant” (Mt 20:25-26 ESV).  Diane learned that well.  She sought to live it among us.  God’s humble servant has gone home to her eternal reward.  I miss her, but her influence continues, in CCO and in the many lives she impacted by her loving friendship. 

Thank you, dear friend.  Until we meet again!


Mental Health Challenge of the Month

By Megann Wall


She humbly brings us an offering of fiery colours.

She warms our souls with apple cider and pumpkin pie.

She wraps us in faux fur and blows a crisp breath of air
through our hair,
promising life in the coming months.

It’s clear that autumn has arrived in all its glory.

But with it comes the return of the busyness of life.

Maybe for you, autumn means winding down from weekend getaways to neighbouring small towns or the cottage.  For some, it’s going back to the classroom. For others, it’s gearing up for the lineup of holidays and events that the next three months hold.  And for others still, autumn is a dark and exhausting time.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is [often] a recurring mood disorder that causes depression-like symptoms in the winter months.Roughly 18% of Canadians experience some form of SAD at one point in their lives (Seasonal Affective Disorder, n.d.). For those who struggle with some form of depression or SAD, the thought of facing the fatigue that comes with it is almost as exhausting as the tiredness itself.

While it is not a bulletproof cure, it is well-known that exercise is a mood-booster, along with many other health benefits. But stress not, exercise is so much more than picking up weights or training for a half marathon. For reference, The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) has released three manageable guidelines for the general public. Simply put, to combat an inactive lifestyle, the goal is to “move more, reduce sedentary time, and sleep well” (CSEP, 2021, para.3)3.  This could be anything from going for a walk around the block with a loved one, doing extra cleaning around the house, following along to a yoga or pilates video on Youtube, or skipping the elevator and taking the stairs.

Life gets tough and busy, but small additions to your everyday life are beneficial in the long run.  And if all else fails, hold onto hope.  Make tea to warm your hands and soul. Cling to the knowledge that spring does come again.

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,   his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.
Lamentations 3:22-24 MSG

1 Raymond W. Lam, Alan Buchanan & Ronald A. Remick (1989) Seasonal Affective Disorder—A Canadian Sample, Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 1:4, 241-245, DOI: 10.3109/10401238909149989

2Seasonal Affective Disorder. (n.d.). Canadian Mental Health Association. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from

3 Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults ages 65 years and older. (n.d.). Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from


A Joy to Serve                                                                                    

By Kerri Guther

2020 was just beginning when I had a call from Rosanne, the Chair of the Board, regarding a need at CCO for help with bookkeeping.  I was coming out of a difficult season, having experienced burnout and a transition from a pastoral job I loved. My inner voice was telling me I was not the person she was looking for.  But, after initially suggesting someone else for the role, I agreed to stop by the office and volunteer my time to help sort things out.

On January 19, I met with our then Executive Director, Linda, and looked over everything.  I offered my help and set to work figuring out the processes of how things were done.  Within an hour, Linda returned with a contract for me to sign, if I was interested, and hired me on the spot.  I went into the office that day thinking I was just going to help for a few hours.  It became a one day a week job and as it turned out, it was just what I needed to get my feet back under me.

Here we are, a year and three quarters later and my role is now (since January 2021) Business Director.  Through different circumstances that I attribute to Linda, the Board of CCO and, of course, God – in only the way He can work, I have the privilege of having oversight of the business end of the agency and even get to bring some pastoral ministry to the team.  God is so faithful. He is in this.  He has a heart for the poor in spirit – for those struggling to find hope and balance in everyday life.  Through our compassionate, professional team, we are helping to heal hearts and homes across the province.  COVID-19 forced us onto secure video-based platforms, but this now allows us to minister to clients throughout Ontario.  Times are changing, and the Board and staff of CCO is seeking God for discernment and wisdom on how to best move with them. We want to grow this ministry to be as effective as we can be at this moment in time and in the future.

It is a joy to work with the Board and Staff of CCO.  Each person is committed to the purpose of the ministry and are daily offering their gifts and talents to serve our clients and the community.  The Lord led me to this place and all I can do is thank Him.  Please keep CCO in your prayers that all our financial and team needs would be met and that we might be a blessing to all who come through our doors. We are grateful for all who support CCO through prayer and donations. Together we can do amazing things for God in this community and beyond.

I spoke this over our team at our last staff meeting and want to take this opportunity to speak it over your life too:

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”  Numbers 6:24-26


We would like to welcome Jean-Paul as an intern to the CCO team. He has a Bachelor of Social Work and has been back at school completing a Masters of Counselling at Yorkville University.  John-Paul embraces an empathetic, person-centered approach within a holistic framework which includes Christian faith and spirituality. He believes in the importance of ‘digging deeper’ to achieve increased self-awareness about the narratives we tell ourselves. He also values practical, solution-focused methods to help clients achieve their goals.  Welcome to the team JP!


Are you wondering how you can give  your time, expertise and talents back to the community?  We are looking for people interested in serving on the Board of Directors. If interested, please contact Rosanne at

CCO believes strongly in the power of people praying together to accomplish God’s purposes. If you would like to partner with us to pray for CCO, our Prayer Team will send you monthly emails with specific prayer requests. Connect with us at