What can I expect?

Individual Spiritual Direction

Process

  • Meet about once a month for an hour. At the beginning or at times of crisis one may meet more frequently.
  • Begin with quieting prayer
  • All of life is appropriate to bring to sessions.
  • Willingness to open one’s self to some kind of spiritual practice outside of sessions e.g. prayer, meditation, reflection, journaling, movement, observing nature, spiritual reading deepens the process Fees: Negotiated with sliding scale from $50-$65 / individual session group session $15 per meeting with a 6 month committee. First meeting always free!
  • A revelation of who you are; a re-exploration of your Truest Self. Bring a willingness to live your Truest Self, who you were created to be as your unique expression in this world.

What Spiritual Direction Is Not

  • Spiritual direction is not counseling.
  • Spiritual direction is not therapy.
  • Spiritual direction is not financial advice
  • Spiritual direction is not mentoring
  • Spiritual direction is not discipleship or accountability.

More about the process

  • Like psychotherapy, it is often offered as a one-to-one or group experience in private sessions with spiritual mentors who have most likely completed extensive formation for the ministry and service of spiritual direction.
  • It is up to you to choose a spiritual director who has the training, formation and experience that suits your needs. Spiritual direction includes the Holy Spirit as a third partner in the process.
  • It is appropriate to bring all of life to Spiritual Direction
  • It is appropriate to expect growth

Group Spiritual Direction

Mission Statement

We are a body of Christ. Joined together to grow individually and together in love for God, for ourselves, for others and for one another. Making the effort to accept one another where we are. We commit ourselves to prayer. We commit to pray for our group, for our concerns, for our growth, for our relationships. We will stand firm in truth in the face of opposition. Arming ourselves with the weapons God has provided. We will remind one another of God’s truth and be not deceived by the world’s reality. We will shine God’s light, bring courage, provide strength, give support and be Christ to one another. We will recognize and nourish one another’s gifts and goals. We will offer grace, gift mercy and forgive. We know we will experience opposition and will offer our spiritual act of worship in service to God, one another and the world. We can make a difference. We can change not only ourselves, the world we live in and the world in general.

Group spiritual direction is a process in which people gather together on a regular basis to assist one another in an ongoing awareness of God in all of life. They are seeking support for their responsiveness to God and they agree to support others in that same responsiveness.

You can expect:

  • a time to be heard
  • confidentiality
  • a safe sacred place and time together
  • God’s presence among us
  • experienced leadership
  • timeliness
  • to commit yourself to an honest relationship with God
  • to participate wholeheartedly in the group process through prayerful listening and response
  • to open their spiritual journeys for consideration by others
  • These do not guarantee the effectiveness of group spiritual direction. They do, however, foster and reflect the willingness needed to engage in such a process. The depth of sharing necessary in group spiritual direction demands a level of trust not often found in other types of groups. This trust is not dependent upon similar personalities, mutual interests or common experiences; rather it is grounded in a trust of God’s desire for each participant individually as well as the group as a whole.
  • We will contract to a six month period of time

When asked by a friend how she prayed for her, a thirteenth-century anchoress, Julian of Norwich responded “I look at God, I look at you, and I keep on looking at God.” Put simply, the group’s challenge is to keep on looking at God for each person in the group

Dynamics

A monthly two-and-a-half hour meeting time allows a spaciousness for the unfolding of the process of group spiritual direction. Four or five-week intervals between meetings honors that sacred space within each person where ultimately all discernment happens and yet allows for a continuity in the group’s life together. God works both during and after our times together; allow and expect time for fruit to grow.

The Process

  • Our time will begin with silence. Several minutes to allow ourselves a space to let go of busyness and become focused on God’s work
  • Sharing : Each person will be given several minutes to share how they come to our time together.
  • Silence (3 to 4 minutes) : This silence is simply a time for making space for God, for allowing God to cut through the limits of biases and accustomed ways of responding so that individuals might respond to one anther from a place of freedom.
  • Response (about 10 minutes) : There is a period of sharing the questions or comments that have come up on the silence. The facilitator might need to encourage trust of God’s caring love, active in the silence and in the words. This trust is honored when individuals listen to the response of others and move with the flow of the group instead of holding onto a personal agenda for the person.
  • Silence (about 5 minutes) : During this time we can pray for one another as we feel led.
  • The “Sharing—Silence—Response—Silence” is repeated, with a short break midway, until all members have presented.
  • Reflection on the time together (about 10 minutes) : This reflection is not meant to analyze the time together or to control future outcomes. Instead, it is a gentle looking and noticing, God and the group together, and an honest sharing around what is seen. The focus for this time is the sense of prayerfulness within the group and within individuals. Whatever is addressed — silence, words, the human dynamics within the group — is viewed in terms of that prayerfulness, looking at what has served it or has gotten in its way.
  • (Subject to change and refinement)

When a group can give itself to the process over a period of time, and when individuals take seriously the responsibility to pray for one another within and outside their times together, transformation occurs. The group becomes a spiritual community where the uniqueness of desire for God and the commonality of that desire is celebrated, and where people want to be present to God for one another in the fullness of that desire. That desire for God becomes the ground for their discernment. Together and alone they continue to examine choices for responsible love.