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The Listening Hearts Ministry
The Listening Hearts Ministry: Helping Individuals and Groups to Hear God’s Call
“God calls each of us. There are a variety of calls, and no one call is inherently better or higher than any other. …. It is our faithfulness to God and not our station in life that honors a call.”
~ from Listening Hearts:Discerning Call in Community
Listening Hearts engages us in Christian spiritual discernment designed to help people prayerfully listen for signs of God at work in our lives. Together we seek the flowing movement of the Holy Spirit that carries usforward. It is a quiet program of trust in God’s presence welling up.
The spiritual ministry of Listening Hearts is a community of prayerful people trained to be present with others at such spiritual crossroads in our lives. Anyone may ask to meet with a Listening Hearts group to gather in prayer concerning this moment in your life when you are seeking God’s guidance, God’s presence, God’s will.
The Listening Hearts Experience
A Listening Hearts session is typically a one time meeting of about three hours. The person or group seeking the session is asked to write a brief two-page description of the question about which they are seeking discernment of God’s will. This is shared with the team of three people before the session so that all might be in prayer about this issue even before the session takes place. Those requesting a Listening Hearts session also will be asked to read Listening Hearts: Discerning Call in Community and groups also read Grounded in God : Listening Hearts Discernment for Group Deliberations (see bibliographical information below).
During the session, all will sit in silent prayer and the team members will ask questions as they feel moved to do so by the Spirit, questions that contribute to a gradual process of spiritual clarification and discernment. The person or group seeking the session may ask for a follow up session if they feel the need for further discernment.
How does God call you? Where is God calling you? Is God only getting through to your voice mail? Perhaps during a difficult time? When facing retirement or thinking about a career or job change? During a spiritual crisis? At other times? If so, then perhaps the ministry of Listening Hearts will be valuable to you. It can help you listen for God’s presence and see where God is leading you.
Perhaps you are forming a search committee. Or your Vestry or a committee of the parish community seeks God’s direction and leading. Maybe there are group questions or challenges concerning the direction of your ministry and mission. If so, then perhaps the ministry of Listening Hearts will be valuable to you. It can help your group listen for God’s presence and understand where God is leading you.
Listening Hearts is Not...
Listening Hearts sessions are different from spiritual direction where an individual meets with a trained spiritual director for a period of time, although someone in spiritual direction may choose to use a Listening Hearts session as part of their spiritual direction. (Please look here to seek a spiritual director if you feel this would meet your spiritual needs.)
Listening Hearts: Discerning Call in Community by Suzanne G. Farnham, Joseph P. Gill, R. Taylor McLean and Susan M. Ward. Morehouse Publishing.
Grounded in God: Listening Hearts Discernment for Group Deliberations by Suzanne G. Farnham , Stephanie A. Hull and R. Taylor McLean. Morehouse Publishing.