What can you expect from participating in Spiritual Guidance with me?
My abiding belief is that, while traveling your spiritual path, it is wise to have an experienced companion. Spiritual companionship can be described as deep, empathic listening with a focus on this question, “Where is the God of your understanding in this situation?” As a spiritual guide, I will provide you with an experienced listening ear, informed by years of exploring my own spiritual path. Each person has his or her own individual path and no one else can or should alter or direct that path. A spiritual guide is a companion and witness to the profound movement of the Spirit within another person. In each session, you can expect that I will listen respectfully and non-judgmentally as well as offer invitations to go deeper. These will be invitations only, because again, you will be the ultimate one to experience what and how your Creator is communicating. While I come primarily from the Christian tradition, I have explored and become familiar with many spiritual traditions, including Buddhism, and honor all of them.
Spiritual companioning is different from therapy in that we are not delving into life’s problems in order to solve them or move beyond them. What we are doing is allowing the Spirit to lead us into a place of healing and understanding from the perspective of the Soul. Thus, the guiding principal for us would be the question stated above, “Where is Spirit or the God of your understanding in all of this?”
What are some of the “invitations” that I might offer?
Spirit moves and speaks in many ways — through nature, dreams, conversations, books, etc. Guided by deep listening, I might suggest that we explore a vivid dream further, that you spend time in nature noticing what the natural world teaches us each day, or simply invite a further discussion of a significant event or transition occurring in your life at this time. We might explore what the sensations in your body are teaching you, or how an encounter with an other- than-human creature has impacted you on your retreat. Journaling each day is a wonderful way to process your experience and also to keep a record of your retreat for the future. Sometimes, but not often, I might recommend a book to read. I believe, however, that using your mind while on retreat is less important than allowing your soul to breathe and speak. You might find that you are moved to write poetry or create art, which could be shared and discussed in our sessions. The solitude and quiet that you experience in your time away from your busy life will be transformative and rejuvenating. Spending time in silence, meditation and prayer would be one of the most desired ways to spend your time. I have significant experience and training in walking the labyrinth for spiritual growth, having trained with Lauren Artress, author of a seminal book on the labyrinth, “Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as Spiritual Tool.”
In all situations, it will be the Spirit who leads — not me. I will do my best to attune my soul to yours so that, together, we can walk for a while along this spiritual journey of life. In my experience, these deep connections lead to spiritual learning and growth for both of us.
Why should I engage a Spiritual Guide while on my retreat?
No matter which of the wise and experienced guides you choose at the Christine Center, you will find your time spent with a compassionate, empathic, creative individual who has the training and desire to accompany you into your own deeper connection with God and Self. I believe that this is essential work for all of us, especially in these days of transition and turmoil.
May your retreat be filled with wonder and awe.
What is my training and experience?
I am a retired Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church. During my pastoral career, I served small, medium and large churches before entering my long-desired profession as a Board Certified Chaplain. I completed a Masters of Divinity at McCormick Theological Seminary in 1996, and a Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary in Chicago in 2000. I completed a three year training program in Spiritual Direction at Oakwood Spiritual Life Center, receiving my certification in 1995. This study program included deep exploration of Christian mystics, including St. Hildegard, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. John of the Cross, during which I was engaged in deep exploration of my own spiritual path.
My career as a healthcare chaplain was spent in acute care, hospice and the rehabilitation setting. I retired from my position as Director of Spiritual Care at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in 2017 after serving for twelve years.
Since my retirement, I have continued my own spiritual journey by attending (mostly online) a training program in nature-based spirituality called “Seminary of the Wild.” Through attending to and feeling connected with nature, I am learning more about my own embodiment and the movement of the spirit in our natural world and our lives. I have advocated for environmental changes and justice through my work with the national Elders Action Network. I traveled to Washington, DC in 2019 to advocate for pro-environmental legislation.