Expanding Spiritual Direction Ministry

It is with gratefulness and joy that I make this announcement: The church I attend, Easter Lutheran Church in Eagan, Minnesota, is providing a space in which I can meet with people who desire spiritual direction.

Amish Quilt I have been a spiritual director for a few years, but one of the challenges has always been finding a quiet, confidential space in which to meet people. Spiritual direction is an ancient Christian practice, so what better place to meet than a church building?

Over the course of my life, spiritual direction has been such a huge benefit for my soul. In difficult times, a spiritual director was there to offer support and remind me of God’s love. When facing challenging decisions, my spiritual director helped me to listen carefully to whatever God wanted for me (discernment). For me, a spiritual director has been one of the ways I take care of my deeper self and grow in my relationship with God.

Because of the many blessings I have received in spiritual direction, it is only natural that I would want to serve others in the same way. In fact, it was a spiritual director who invited me to become a spiritual director (also known as “spiritual companion,” “soul friend,” “spiritual midwife,” or “spiritual counselor”).

Although I’m meeting with spiritual seekers at Easter Lutheran, you do not have to be Lutheran to come visit me for spiritual direction. Although I am a follower of Christ and a member at Easter Lutheran, my spiritual direction training was very broad, even including learning about spiritual direction in other religious traditions. Some people who want spiritual direction are “spiritual but not religious;” others are diehard Lutherans, Catholics, or Baptists; still others blend traditions, such as the Christian who also practices Buddhist meditation.

Click to enlarge--Open Butterfly--photo by Julie McCarty

Any of these people might benefit from spiritual direction, because spiritual direction is a highly individual, personal process. It focuses wherever you are at with God (or the divine as you perceive it). In spiritual direction, one person might want to learn a new way to pray; another might feel drawn into ministry but wants to explore this potential with a spiritual listener; yet another feels confused about where God is in the midst of suffering; or another may want to focus on their passion about social justice and finding God in the midst of serving others.

It is always important to recall that the real “director” is the Holy Spirit, the hidden God within and around us, who loves us deeply. As I see it, the spiritual director is an active listener, who listens both to what the seeker says and to what the Spirit within might be saying. The point is to GROW in your spiritual beliefs, your awareness of God, your ability to serve God and others with your gifts, and mostly to grow closer to that God who is already deep within your heart. Spiritual direction helps with this process. READ MORE 

If you are interested in spiritual direction, I encourage you to learn more about it and seek a spiritual director who will best meet your needs. Ask God to show you who to work with. Research the options on sites like “Spiritual Directors International” and ask around at retreat centers or your local church.

If you want to visit with me for spiritual direction, you can reach me by phone or e-mail to set up an appointment:

Violets image with info 2B

(The first letter of e-mail address is a “j” for Julie. Phone is in Central time zone.)

In all things, pray for God’s desire for your life–
and know that God loves you, immensely.

Until next time, Amen!

P.S. THANK YOU to my faith community at Easter Lutheran!
You give me hope and keep me growing in my faith and love for Christ.

Kristen Hobby on Spiritual Direction

People sometimes ask me, “What is spiritual direction?” Great question! However, it’s not so easy to answer in a single sentence.

Historically, spiritual direction has been a one-on-one process of “companioning” with a person on his or her spiritual journey. In some ways it’s a little like meeting with a counselor or church pastor, but often those meetings are dealing with the search for solving a particular problem, whereas spiritual direction is about paying attention to the presence of God in your life (not to say that “problems” are excluded from the conversation in spiritual direction!).

Some people think of a spiritual director as a sort of coach, mentor, or personal trainer for the soul. Others may view their spiritual director as a spiritual companion, soul friend, or “spiritual midwife.”

In the short video below*, spiritual director Kristen Hobby from Melbourne, Australia answers many questions about the spiritual direction process in our times:

(If you don’t see the video here, visit YouTube or Google and type in the search these words: Kristen Hobby spiritual direction .)

Questions or comments about spiritual direction? Please share them below or  send them to me in e-mail (see contact page). I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time, Amen!

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*Special thanks to Spiritual Directors International, a network of spiritual directors of many religious traditions throughout the world, for making this video available on YouTube.

New Page about Spiritual Direction

Yesterday I learned how to add a whole new sticky page to the Spiritual Drawing Board. The page I created tells about the time-honored practice of spiritual direction, often called “spiritual companioning” today.

(You can access this new page by clicking on the tab labeled spiritual direction above the sunrise photo. If you are receiving this post via e-mail subscription, you can click to my blog or else just google “Spiritual Drawing Board.”)

If you are looking for a safe place to explore your own spiritual life, to wrestle with soul questions, to learn about prayer in a one-with-one setting, think about finding a spiritual director. If you live near Eagan, Minnesota, and feel you might like to work with me, my contact info is on the Spiritual Direction page. You can locate other spiritual directors by asking church staff, spirituality or retreat centers, or searching on the website of Spiritual Directors International.

By the way, Spiritual Directors International website has some great YouTube videos of people talking about their experience with spiritual direction.  

Hope your Lent is proving fruitful–and if not, it’s not too late to delve into a good spiritual book, take a soul walk,  or turn to prayer. 

Until next time, Amen! 

P.S. If you are receiving this in e-mail, feel free to pass it on to others who might be interested in spiritual direction. (It is always okay to forward my Spiritual Drawing Board posts!)