How to Say Goodbye to your Spiritual Director

All relationships have a lifespan, and the relationship between a person and their spiritual director is no different. It is a shame when people hang on with a spiritual director out of a sense of duty or obligation. If you find you are no longer growing in the way you had hoped to grow spiritually [Read More…]

5 Ways Spiritual Direction Can Improve Your New Year

Have you included “getting spiritually grounded” on your list of goals for 2017? If so, you may find the practice of spiritual direction helpful. Spiritual direction is a contemplative look at what really matters in your life. Here are 5 ways spiritual direction can be helpful to you:   Spiritual direction provides a safe, confidential [Read More…]

Discernment as a Visioning Tool

Many churches and faith based organizations do good work in the present but have difficulty catching a vision for the next chapter in life, be that the next three months or the next three years. Change takes them by surprise, the congregation or group’s anxiety ratchets up, and fear about the future begins to drive decision-making. [Read More…]

5 Spiritual Discernment Questions for the Undecided Voter

With only a few days left before the 2016 Presidential election there are still those who have not yet decided whether to vote for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, third party candidates or a write-in candidate. So it’s time for an outline of 5 basic spiritual discernment questions—culled from the writings and teachings of Ignatius of [Read More…]

Spiritual Direction and Election Anxiety

For highly sensitive people like me, news in the fall of a presidential election year feels like a sharp and constant hammer to the head. The harsh rhetoric, the reality of the deep division between those on the left and those on the right, the way every single emotion-evoking event is turned into a partisan [Read More…]

Using a Discernment Coach

Part of every spiritual director’s training is (or should be) education in the art of spiritual discernment. In addition to the work I do with people exploring their spiritual path, I also serve as a discernment coach for some individuals and groups. That is, they have a particular question facing them—a choice, a change or [Read More…]

Spiritual Direction and your Leadership Team

One of the greatest gifts a spiritual director brings to any leadership team, council, session or board is the gift of non-attached observation. When you participate in working groups such as these it is easy to get bogged down in the work, making it difficult to step “onto the balcony” and see what is really [Read More…]

Simple Questions to Help you Discern

Discernment doesn’t have to be some heavy, serious, complicated process.  Just this week I was reading a denominational booklet designed to help churches discern their growth strategy, and it was exhausting to read all the intricate instructions. It even suggested that groups spend time discerning whether or not to use that particular discernment model. You [Read More…]

Discernment-in-Community, Quaker-style

If you don’t know enough about Quakers to stand in utter awe of their understanding of discernment, it’s time you learned. For centuries, The Society of Friends—popularly called Quakers—has been promoting discernment-in-community both for individuals and groups (especially their business meetings). Say a young Quaker couple wants to get married. They are advised to be [Read More…]

Basic Principles to Help You Discern

You could fill a library with books written about spiritual discernment. Here’s a distillation of what some of the better ones have to say. I have noticed about 12 key principles always mentioned in writings about discernment.  They come from the Christian traditions of St. Ignatius (Catholic) and the Society of Friends (Quakers). When at [Read More…]