Rev. Dr. Paul Bramer
Rev. Marc Gauvreau
Elena Taliotis Franklin, MDiv.
Rick Wukasch, MDiv.
Mee Yun Kim, MDiv.
Floyd Grunau, DMin. CSD
Katherine Donevan, MDiv.
Shirley Breakwell, MAMS
Finding a Spiritual Director needs to be initiated by prayer, trusting that God will give you discernment, as you talk with 2 or 3 directors as a beginning. She needs to be familiar with our Scriptures, and with contemplative approaches to prayer and with the ups and downs of life. He will be mature in his walk and life with God, grounded in the Christian Scriptures. He will have experience in co-discerning the movement and activity of God—even in the mundaneness of life. She will have completed a recognized training program in the practice of Christian spiritual direction, and be under supervision for her practice as well as, accountable to a code of ethics, which you may request. It is common for spiritual directors to charge a fee, the amount of which will usually be commensurate with training and experience, about which you may inquire during your first conversation.
Emmaus Formation Centre is a hub for church spiritual formation and direction resources. Spiritual directors are sent out to help churches begin spiritual formation ministries through ½ or full day teaching retreats, as well as beginning a group spiritual direction ministry—while mentoring key individuals to continue the group beyond Emmaus’s involvement.
Contact Emmaus if your church wants to know more about beginning a spiritual direction group, or would like training for staff in the area of spiritual formation, please contact Sandra Broadus at email@example.com
Men or women who would enjoy the company of a small group on retreat are invited to inquire from Emmaus, about where and when our next retreat will take place. Emmaus retreats have typically been facilitated at Kingfisher Retreat in Peterborough. To develop a retreat for your church or group, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It was a terrific experience, so thoughtfully prepared and executed, a very positive experience in my spiritual life. I have experienced the blessing of listening to God, a renewed commitment to solitude, to be with God in His work, and to talk to him. I am left with a continued sense of God’s blessing and direction, with thanksgiving, that as I draw to God, He will draw to me. I know peace, knowing that I am loved and important, and enjoy deeper assurance that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
“The Individual Retreat has helped me understand myself better. It is a new way to meet God and receive his love – I want to continue on with this renewed sense of God’s grace in my life. I now see that one-on-one time with God, even when life is busy, is both possible and necessary. The RDL has provided me with a greater appreciation for Spiritual Direction and thankfulness to God.”
Men and women can take a “day away” with the guidance of a spiritual director. Directors develop guided days, specifically oriented to the space and needs of the individual. Contact one of our directors if you are interested in exploring a “day away.”
Can’t get away for a retreat? Retreat while continuing your every day life.
1-week format: setting aside 1/2hr each day, your spiritual director, whom you will meet with every day for a brief session, will guide you through the classic ways to journey with God.
3 or 5-week format: setting aside 1/2hr each day, your spiritual director, whom you will meet online once/week, will journey with you, aided by an online 3- or 5-week journey, complete with guided Scripture reflections, artwork, music, poetry, and audio teaching on prayer.
“The practice of spiritual direction has honestly been one of the most important and beneficial things I have done this year. Over the past year, ministry has been more challenging, and discouraging, at times. Having a spiritual director with whom I can openly share, discuss and pray, has helped me in this journey.”
The pastors in our lives need a real retreat: where they have time and space to exhale in a place of beauty—where there’s room for solitude, where they have NO responsibilities, and have an opportunity to engage in spiritual direction if they choose.
1. Pastors’ lives are VERY busy and fragmented, leaving them feeling like they’re pulled in too many directions. For example: interfacing with the local community, meeting with walk-ins, praying with people, repairing windows, hospital visits, funerals, weddings, staff meetings and training, pastoral care phone calls, marriage preparation, mediating conflicts in the church, sermon research and preparation, meeting with various committees in the evenings, and the list continues….with little time to attend to their own needs.
2. Pastors’ personal boundaries are often broken by members who expect their availability 24/7, leaving them feeling stuck in the middle—between the church and his/her family.
3. Pastors often feel that they have 100+ bosses. Members often believe tithing automatically provides a platform for their wants and desires for the church.
4. Pastors today serve in a post-modern world in which truth, morality, and commitment, have been compromised to such a degree, that pastors are facing these issues within their own congregations. New challenges—often not addressed during their seminary years. How to meet these challenges can become frustrating, leaving the pastor feeling inadequate to the job.
5. Pastors listen to many stories: grief, relationship strife, overwhelming anger and frustration, confession, and theological questioning. Who listens to their stories: of grief, relationship strife, overwhelming anger and frustration, confession, and theological questioning? On a real retreat, pastors have an opportunity to, not only exhale, but be heard, understood, and supported.
On a real retreat, gifted spiritual directors will really listen—in a humble, compassionate, unbiased, confidential, and non-judgmental manner—something we all need.
Challenge: The next time you see or talk with your pastor—or someone else’s pastor, bring encouragement into their life, by suggesting or even sponsoring them, to attend a real retreat.
Until we see with the mystic's eyes, to hear with the sage's heart, and walk with the elder's spirit, we remain in our heads. B. Holmes
“The mystical imperative is not that we know about God, but that we know God in the depth of our being.” ~ Bob
Provocative question: "Are we building towers or tables?" #Debbie DiVirgilio