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Spiritual Directors (September, 2011)
If you are interested in learning more about spiritual direction or receiving spiritual direction, you may contact any of the Episcopal spiritual directors listed below or The Rev. Dr. M. Lorraine Coufal at or (317) 255-8136.
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The Rev’d Jack Brockman
Retired Episcopal Priest
Personal definition of spiritual direction/companioning: Spiritual companioning/direction is joining persons in listening for and discerning the movements of the Spirit. This involves creating a safe place for persons to explore their thoughts, feeling and values in their relationships with humans and the divine. This includes sometimes questioning and challenging; always encouraging. It may involve suggesting scripture texts, prayer methods, journaling techniques, exploration of dreams, spiritual reading material, etc.
The Rev.’d Gordon Chastain
Retired Episcopal Priest
Personal definition of spiritual direction/companioning: The true director is the Holy Spirit working within the directee; however, an ongoing relationship of sharing conversation in spiritual direction clarifies for the directee the directions in which the Holy Spirit is leading.
The Rev’d Dr. M. Lorraine Coufal
Episcopal Priest, Hospital Chaplain, Retreat Leader
Personal definition of spiritual direction/companioning: Spiritual direction is the prayerful, Spirit-led process wherein a person opens oneself to grow to a deeper relationship with God by sharing dreams, thoughts, feelings, etc. with a director/companion. Regular meetings help the individual get a deeper perspective of how God is lovingly present and active in one’s life. As spiritual director, I may use the individual’s dreams to facilitate this process. By actively listening and asking clarifying questions, I, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, assist the individual to find strength and hope through an awareness of the Spirit’s presence and action in the joys and struggles in the individual’s daily experiences.
The Rev’d Jean Denton
Personal definition of spiritual direction/companioning: I seek to be a holy listener, hearing what a person needs to say about his or her life and relationships. I seek to respond in a way that facilitates a person’s experience of God. My style is eclectic, using insights from the Celtic approach to spirituality and using dreams as “God’s forgotten language.”
Dan C. Hoffman
Member of Community of the Gospel, non-residential monastic community organized under canons of the Episcopal Church
Personal definition of spiritual direction/companioning:In totally contained, confidential and safe spiritual direction, the directee and I are drawn to God’s presence and promptings in the directee’s life. The Holy Spirit provides guidance as the largest and smallest life experiences are shared as sacred stories in a contemplative setting bracketed by silence and prayer.
Retreat & Dream Workshop Leader, Poet, Singer-Songwriter
Personal definition of spiritual direction/companioning: My part is to be present as Holy Friend (companioning the seeker’s journey), Host (creating a welcoming, safe and still-place for hearing Spirit speak), Mirror (reflecting patterns, themes, images, and connections), and Midwife (assisting the birthing of God’s image).
The Rev’d Linda C. Johnson
Episcopal Priest, University Chaplain
Personal definition of spiritual direction/companioning: Spiritual direction is a process of discerning God’s call to us and then reflecting upon this call to discover how it is manifested in all dimensions of our lives – religious, spiritual, social, economic, political, psychological and sexual.
Sr. Ellen Jones-Carney, RN
Solitary Religious of Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis
Personal definition of spiritual direction/companioning: I look at spiritual direction as holy listening and being a midwife for the soul. I seek to listen actively to see the movements of the Spirit and be a supportive, prayerful presence as the directee explores their life in God. I also have an interest in helping the directee explore the appropriate practice for him/her using the classic literature on the spiritual life.
The Rev’d Susan A. McBeath, L.C.S.W.
Retired Episcopal Deacon, Marriage & Family Therapist, and Speech Pathologist
Personal definition of spiritual direction/companioning: Spiritual direction is a holy relationship between the director, the directee and the Holy Spirit. Through the companioning process we learn to listen and discern that which God wishes for all aspects of our lives. As our awareness of the Holy grows, God’s revelation of self and God’s unutterable love grows. I feel a special privilege to be invited into another’s life and their relationship with God.
The Rev. Rebecca Ferrell Nickel
Episcopal priest, Priest-in-Charge, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Indianapolis, IN. Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, CO
Personal definition of spiritual direction/companioning: Spiritual direction is the contemplative practice that explores a deeper relationship with the Divine Mystery of God through the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within each of us. Often this exploration delves into the mystery of what it means to be created and called by God. I see my role as a companion on your journey and our process together is more about BEING than it is about CHANGING. Having worked with both groups and individuals, I see the labyrinth as an appropriate metaphor for the relationship and journey of Spiritual Direction.
Larry Rider Ph.D
Benedictine Oblate, Retired Child Psychologist
Personal definition of spiritual direction/companioning: When we become humble in spirit and calm of mind, we can become aware of the direction God provides in our lives. Being open to and responding to God is the basis of our spiritual journey. As with any journey, it is best to travel with a companion, a spiritual friend.
The Rev’d Mollie A. Williams
Episcopal Priest, Family Systems Therapist, Retired Social Worker
Personal definition of spiritual direction/companioning: I believe that the spiritual life is about all of life – not just about prayer. I assume that the person who is seeking spiritual companionship is already on a journey with God and is looking for some company, support and reflection on that journey. I assume that God likes fun and that spiritual Companioning is supposed to be fun!
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