At The Threshold: Discerning Spiritual Direction in a Season of Uncertainty

8/27/2020

This episode's topic is Discerning Spiritual Direction in a Season of Uncertainty. The practice of spiritual direction is an act of paying attention to God in an intentional way. It’s always a good idea to cultivate a relationship with a spiritual director, but if ever there was a time to do so, this season of uncertainty and possibility is it! Some may call it spiritual companioning or spiritual friendship, but the key elements in spiritual direction are attending to the presence, the activity, and the Voice of God in one’s life through the gentle direction of another. We hear from three trained spiritual directors— Rev. Dr. Connie Wilson, Rev. Steve Griffith, and Matthew Johnson — who speak to the power of attending to God’s presence, leaning into the solitude and vulnerability of this season, and find partners who can hold safe space for us as we navigate new possibilities.

Rev. Dr. Connie Wilson is a retired elder from here in the Great Plains conference. She’s served in a variety of ministry contexts—mega, rural, suburban, and new church starts whose ministry of spiritual direction precedes her ordained ministry. She has served on many not for profit boards, currently serving on the Integral Christian Network and has served as faculty, teaching spiritual direction. She’s currently the director of Companions—on the Journey, where she offers spiritual direction and supervision, as well as Internal Family Systems Coaching.
Rev. Stephen Griffith is retired after serving churches for 35 years in Nebraska. He’s served the community in a variety of capacities throughout these years and after retirement served as executive of Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and as an interim pastor in several congregations. His training has been in Interfaith Spiritual Direction from the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, CA and has served on a number of boards in the area of social justice, interfaith dialogue, and the arts.
Matthew Johnson describes himself as a “contemplative pilgrim walking the path that is Jesus the Christ.” He serves as the Director of Spiritual Formation for the Neighboring Movement, which is based in Wichita, and also the Missional Wisdom Foundation, a national movement. He’s authored several books and study guides in the area of spiritual formation and hosts a weekly podcast, the Neighbor Next Door.
This episode debuted on August 27, 2020.

Articles and resources

Books
  • Linn, Dennis, Linn, Sheila Fabricant, and Linn, Matthew. Sleeping With Bread: Holding What Gives You Life. Paulist Press.
  • Melandar, Rochelle and Eppley, Harold. Growing Together: Spiritual Exercises for Church Committees. Augsburg Fortress.
  • Melandar, Rochelle and Eppley, Harold. The Spiritual Leader’s Guide to Self-Care. Alban Institute.
  • Nouwen, Henri. Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the long walk of faith. HarperOne.
  • O’Donohue, John. To Bless the Space Between Us: A book of blessings. Doubleday.
  • Peterson, Eugene. The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction. Eerdmans.

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