In times like these, people need spiritual directors to listen deeply to their stories.
Despite our best efforts to listen to God and to each other at the July delegate sessions of Mennonite Church USA in Kansas City, many people left the convention with deep hurts and pain. Our well-planned processes did not always work in ways to promote peace and love.
Some people felt manipulated, while others felt voiceless or victimized. Many were disappointed. Others truly sensed God’s presence in the decisions of the delegate assembly.
Our relationships with others – whether in our families, our churches or our denomination – can impact our relationship with God. Meeting with a spiritual director can be a resource for renewing and strengthening our faith, refreshing us for the arduous work of making peace with others.
Spiritual directors are trained to listen with compassion. We ask open-ended questions. We don’t try to solve problems or give advice or tell people what to do.
We listen and pray and hold space for others to listen for God in the midst of their lives.
We are often on the same spiritual journey, seeking to discern where God is showing up in the midst of the struggles and pain of life. We also help look for the joy and beauty that can be discovered when one sits in silence and listens for the still small voice from God.
Do you know someone who is questioning their relationship with God, with their congregation, or with the denomination?
Do you know someone who is trying to discern what wisdom God might be showing them through scripture? Do you struggle with what Jesus would say or do in 2015, if Jesus walked into the midst of our meetings? Are you grappling with questions of how the church uses power and authority or how we agree and disagree in love? Whether you feel unsure about how to pray or wonder where God is in the midst of the pain of our denominational process, spiritual directors are compassionate listeners who are willing to hear your questions. They are humble servants who meet us on the path, wherever we are. Liz Budd Ellmann, Executive Director of Spiritual Directors International says spiritual directors “help us learn to live in peace, with compassion, promoting justice.”
If you are interested in finding a spiritual director, check out the Mennonite Spiritual Directors Listing.
If you prefer to find a spiritual director from another faith tradition, start with Spiritual Directors International (SDI).
Both sites have a list of questions to ask a potential spiritual director during an initial conversation and recommend interviewing several people to find someone who feels like a good fit.
Mennonites need spiritual directors now more than ever.
The Mennonite Spiritual Directors Network hopes our church will discover these servants in our midst who can help us all learn to live in peace and unity, bringing healing and hope into our confusion and brokenness and into the pain of our world.
Jesus, help us live in peace
From our blindness set us free
Fill us with your healing love
Help us live in unity.